For many years, I hosted large family gatherings for most holidays throughout the year. With my own family of 5, my parents, my 6 sisters and their spouses, then the growing horde of children that now numbers 23 or more, and often, my in-laws, it was quite a production. No more. It was just too much. The parties were fun, sure, but just so much work that I really didn’t have time to spend with people.
When I got divorced, I took Christmas Eve with my kids and their father got Christmas day. Though they are grown and have homes of their own, we still get together on Christmas Eve for our much smaller family celebrations. Just my sweetheart, my three children, their SO’s and until this year, one sweet little grandson, Aiden. This year he will be joined by his new baby sister, Arya.
We have a meal and a signature cocktail each year and share gifts and laughs and love. This year I will be particularly grateful to have my family around me. Not just because little Arya, but also my son, who sustained a terrible head injury last Spring and has made a nearly complete recovery. We are blessed.
Anyway, on to the food. I’ve been quite inspired by my trip to Italy in October and decided to have an Italian theme for dinner this year. Not the traditional fish-and-seafood Italian Christmas Eve; just what I felt like making. So here’s the plan.
This year’s cocktail: Hot Buttered Rum
And for dinner:
Bolognese and Alfredo Sauces
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta
Freshly Baked Bread
Much of this can be done ahead, so the Bolognese is on the stove (recipe to follow), the lasagna will be assembled tonight and the veggies put together in the morning. Bread goes in the oven in the afternoon while I make the pasta dough and the Alfredo will be the only last minute item. I plan on delegating that task to one daughter or the other. Sounds like a plan, hmmm?
And my sweetheart says I always overdo it. Pah! It’s Christmas.
Tagged: holiday dinner