Christmas Prelude

>> Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There is nothing quite as big as Christmas, even to the atheist me. Sorry, but for me Christmas is not so much about baby Jesus but it's about celebration, festivities and maybe showing the ones you love that you care. It's like Valentine's Day not being so much about St. Valentine. It's about showing your friends that you care, reinforcing relationships, gift-giving and some partying. It's the motherlode of all holidays.

Growing up in a British colony of course I've known Christmas since I was born, but the religious origins of the holiday didn't get passed on as much as the story about Santa and gifts, though one have to figure how it came to be when there is not even a single chimney in tropical Hong Kong.

I've already attended a few parties and gathering this year, shopped for gifts for the boyfriend but other than that I wasn't expecting much. Last night I went out with a few close friends for dinner and got surprised from one of them by receiving a very nice Godiva chocolate basket. It was totally unexpected and very sweet of the sender. Good thing I baked a batch of cookies in a hurry to give them away, else I will feel quite inadequate and embarrassed. It was a good time talking with them.

Since the boyfriend is going to spend Christmas eve and day with his family, I was thinking that I might be spending those days by myself, since most of my friends will be spending time with their own families. Good thing my straight Asian friends decided to throw a party on Christmas day. I'm politely ask if they needed me to assume the role of house chef, and they couldn't be happier. They also requested me to stay the night before so we can shop, I can have more time to prep and we can play mahjong at the same time. Guess I won't be alone for Christmas eve.

Watching TV, I saw Michel Richard's meringue snowmen were featured on a Martha Stewart rerun and extreme dessert show either on Travel Network or Fine Living Network, the recipe and instructions were posted and since it seems easy enough. Michel hollowed them and stuffed them with chocolate mousse, I really want to try to make them but use sorbet instead. And to complete the scene, I think I'm going to make a smaller scale chocolate X'Mas tree and a yule log on the side. I was thinking about making a black forest yule log at first but since I have a few friends that doesn't care for chocolate much, maybe I'll make a pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling instead. Somehow I always associated X'Mas with chocolate.

I'm thinking of making a carrot ginger soup, rib roast, roquefort popovers, shepherd's pie, stuffed mushrooms, baked porkchops on rice, a balsamic glazed brussel sprouts and some other vegetables. Maybe Beef Wellington instead of the rib roast but then I'll have to find something to replace the stuffed mushrooms. It's roughly 16 people this time, after the thanksgiving experience I think I've learned the amount of food I should be making. It should be a lot easier this time. Hopefully the meringue snowmen will turn out okay. Wish me luck.

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