Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve

These little crèche figures were a gift from Tom years ago. He purchased them with loving care at our annual Cathedral Christmas Bazaar, and I daresay they were handmade in some Third World country. I was a little surprised when I opened them, and asked him if there was special symbolism related to our all-woman household. He looked puzzled and asked what I meant. I pointed out that that there were two Mary’s. He was horrified at his mistake , but somehow, this makes me love them even more.
What a wonderful Christmas we had! (I say “We,” and I am hoping it was “We” and not just “I”. It was one of my nicest Christmases ever.) Rebecca was going to fix us dinner on Christmas Eve – but what to have was the question. She is a vegan, so this limits us to not very traditional meals. I mentioned that lasagna is the way to go on Christmas Eve in Italy, and that the noodles must be made the width of the youngest child’s tongue. She thought that sounded like a good idea and was eager to try it. I immediately had reservations and regretted my suggestion. Vegan lasagna? I make wonderful vegetarian lasagne, but cheese is a pretty crucial element of it. Undeterred, she prepared soy/cashew ricotta and sesame/ something parmesan, and garbanzo bean noodles. I have to confess that I was highly skeptical and worried that our dinner might be disgusting, but the results were delicious. (I made the tomto sauce. Could that have been it? I don’t think so.) Under her direction, I made a pear and beet salad. It was both colorful and yummy. This is not reflected in my photo, but trust me – it was both pretty and tasty. The recipe is below so that you can try it.

Santa brought Rachael a lollypop looking thing from the Mexican store. We were all eager to see what the actual treat looked like, but when she opened it up – what an unexpected surprise! (I guess all surprises are unexpected, but this was even more so than the usual unexpected surprise.)

Festive Pear and Beet Salad
2 nice pears,
2 lovely beets,
a bed of greens
lemon juice, about 2 T
olive oil, about 4 T
salt and pepper

Peel the beets and cut them into 1 centimeter cubes. Roast them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile peel and slice the pears, and put them in a little bowl. Mix the oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper for the dressing. Pour half the dressing over the pears and gently stir them to coat each pear slice. Let them sit until you are ready to assemble the salad. When the beets are tender, put them in a little bowl and pour the remainder of the dressing on them, stirring to coat them. Just before dinner, assemble the salad as pictured, or however you think would be attractive. The beet juice is messy, so put the beets on last. Wear an apron if you have your nice hostess (or host) attire on.

Michelle, Samos, Dakki, Rebecca, and the smallest child - the model for the lasagna noodles.


Samos said...

One of my best Christmas' ever too. I had great Christmas blessings both before our dinner, as well as after the next day on actual Christmas when my aunt Kree came over. I feel especially lucky to have had such a good Christmas this year, because I personally know several other friends and family who are having a terrible Christmas this year. You should post my photos of the Lasagne, bread, and table! :-)

Janet said...

We had lasagna also for Christmas Eve - not vegan however. And we had a very nice Christmas, snowandice-bound.

Laura said...

two Marys - how very cute. your Dakki is cute too and the loving family surrounding her. i was served an all too healthy looking vegan donut that turned out to be delicious!