Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday meal plan

I can't remember if I've written about this before on my blog, so I'll be brief. Siobhan's family and mine both had more people around for the holidays than we ever do -- most of the time it's just us, or us and a few friends. So recreating the traditional holiday meal of either family would be way too much, let alone the superset that contains the union of both sets. In particular my family had the usual stuff plus an Italian course that was a meal in itself. (Post-surgery it's even harder to balance a big meal!) But we didn't want to leave anything out.

So we ended up with this plan. Thanksgiving is traditional but we split the stuffing up, half sage-onion and half sausage. Christmas Eve I make something Italian (ravioli, baked ziti, stromboli, braciole, sauce meat, manicotti, etc.). Christmas we have something we've never had before that we probably wouldn't otherwise have. New Year's Day I make something Italian again.

This year's Christmas Eve is also the day we're having friends over (scheduling a day wasn't easy, we've got some people with unpredictable job schedules and others going away) but it's also a work day so I'm keeping it simple with store-bought, but good quality, ravioli (Celentano). Christmas Day's plan is arancini: a Sicilian dish that somehow neither of us had ever heard of until we chanced to see it mentioned in (of all places) an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. How it happened that neither of us had heard of it, I can't guess. New Year's Day will also be relatively simple: sauce meat (pork, beef, and sausage cooked in sauce until it's falling apart tender) with a little spaghetti. Next year I'll probably go back to the more elaborate stromboli and braciole type stuff.

I won't do a whole blog post about this because I already have, so instead, here's an obligatory rant, added to today's post at no extra cost. Keep Christ in Christmas: get him out of my solstice! If you want to whine about incursions into your holidays, pick one that you didn't already steal first, Mr. Black Pot. Go celebrate Christ's birthday in the spring when it actually happened, and leave us alone -- or share the holiday you stole with the people you stole it from, and stop complaining.

This also gives me an excuse to link you to a most excellently funny (because it's true) essay posted on a friend's blog: We've Got To Stop The War On Saturnalia. Read it. Laugh.

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