Holiday House Party — The Menu

Christmas Story family eats Chinese on Christmas

There were many kitchen mishaps, but at least we didn't have to call out for Chinese.

There’s something about Christmas that makes me want to overextend myself. So, when planning my party last weekend, I tried very, very hard not to end up with dough on my hands, guests walking in the door and something burning away in the oven.  I tried to keep it simple.

Still the party went off like a Top Chef competition. No, I didn’t slice my finger open with a razor sharp German-made chef’s knife. But in my frantic attempt to cook for 20 in only 3 hours (after having my kitchen renovations finished the day before), I did dump a tray full of rendered bacon fat on the floor, knock over a glass of wine and preheat the oven with a plastic baggy of screws inside (note to self: after buying appliances on Craigslist, be sure look inside the over before using it) which promptly melted to the bottom and started smoking.

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Confession: I hate pumpkin pie and other holiday foods

Just admit it. No one like pumpkin pie

My mom called me a few days ago to ask an important question. “I’m just wondering,” she says. “Is it ok, if — now feel free to say ‘no’ — we have apple cake instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Last year, everyone just took a tiny little sliver of the pie, and rest just went to waste. I don’t think anyone likes it!”

Mom, you’re right. No one like pumpkin pie. I have one sitting in my refrigerator right now that my husband made in a fit of fall seasonal-iness. (Just making up words here!) We ate two pieces, and the remainder is still taking up room next to the coffee creamer. Right now as I type this, I feel like I should go throw it out. But I won’t. Special holiday food has a sacredness to it (like a present from a dead relative, a holy scripture or my pile of plastic shopping bags that collect under the sink out of guilt that I forgot my reusable tote, yet again). It can only be tossed in the trash when it actually starts to grow mold.

Yes, I don’t like pumpkin pie. While I’m making this confession, let come grinch-like clean with my other seasonal dislikes:

  • Turkey (most of the time) It’s so dry!
  • Apple cider. Too coyingly sweet.
  • Christmas/Easter ham. Out of all the ways of cooking pork, why this one?
  • S’mores. Love to camp; hate s’mores. Ugh…. marshmallows
  • Peeps. Yuck, more marshmallows
  • Frosting! And most birthday cakes. Yes, I’m the fussy eater at the office birthday parties that just picks at my store bought slice of cake.