I was going to get everything done and be relaxed and make lots of memories and take lots of pictures. My house would be spotless. Every dish would work out perfectly. No one would fight. It would be so special.
My biscotti (Grandma Mitzi's recipe) failed utterly because my oven decided to throw a tantrum and not hold or come up to the heat it should. It's only a few years old, so it shouldn't do this. (I'm calling the repair people soon.) As I sliced it to toast the slices, my knife came away sticky. Not exactly salvageable. My "Ultimate Spritz" were too floury and not buttery enough and didn't brown like I wanted and didn't puff up like Grandma's do. So next year, it's back to her perfect recipe (which blends butter and *shock!!!* shortening.) My krumkake were sort of soggy and kind of too brown. They were NOT PERFECT (but they didn't suck.)
Then, my deep freezer decided it didn't like working any more. ARGH!
The night the in-laws were supposed to arrive, I'd finished cleaning the house, except I didn't have time to shampoo the carpets and it was NASTY. I decided to plan to let Rowan leave toys everywhere so no one could see the stains. At 10 PM, we started rolling the lefse. Yeah, great planning, huh? Making a big floury mess late at night. Brilliant.
But the lefse actually turned out gloriously. Super thin, soft, tender, great flavor, though a little too big because I couldn't find the right measuring cup to make the "buns". I didn't mess with Grandma's recipe, except for my usual tweak (which is an improvement) and the fact we let it sit 2 days in the fridge because I was tired and my muscles were still sore from ricing the potatoes for it and Dr. B was unwilling to help until then. So, small success. (BTW, my friend Nikkibird had a great idea that I'm going to try next year because ricing potatoes is hard and it kind of sucks. Reminder to myself: KitchenAid attachment.)
The in-laws called, there were mechanical problems with the plane, and they were stuck in Detroit overnight. They were safe, but I didn't really have an excuse to make Monkey Bread in the AM. OH NO MY PLANS!!! FOILED AGAIN!!! (I really love Monkey Bread.)
I was a tish stressed.
They got here around noon, and I cobbled together a nice brunch and had it ready for them, with my standard Egg Bake (ham, cheese, and mushrooms), baguette, green salad, and juice. It was good. I felt a little better. I didn't plan afternoon snacks, and Dr. B yelled at me because he was bored and so therefore he should be eating more even though he wasn't hungry. I tried to ignore him. We had an early supper of pulled pork sandwiches, went to church, opened presents and had hors d'oeuvres and munchies. Which of course then he wasn't hungry for. (Grr.)
Then that night, after everyone else went to bed, Dr. B yelled at me for being stressed and trying to make things perfect and actually having a plan to follow (it's too regimented! too strict!) and always wanting a *SHOCK* clean house. Oh, the horror! It was my own fault I was on night 3 of an insomnia streak. I cried. It was bad. (He later apologized for being a jerk and said he used to do the same thing to his mom when she would get holiday stressed. You know, because yelling at me helps SO MUCH. I felt a little better then. But I still couldn't sleep that night or the next night.)
So anyway. Christmas morning, Rowan had her Santa gifts (which she loved) and then we got dressed and went to friends' for brunch. It was nice. Dr. B missed the fact that we'd all had coffee and he didn't get any until we got there at like noon, so I guess that was his payback. Heh. I drove because it was freezing rain (just in town, luckily, by the time we got to the country it was just rain) and he knew I'd freak if I rode, and he said he wanted me in a seatbelt (our car is dinky and with 4 adults and a carseat, the back is too packed for seatbelts.) But it was fine. She made spiced apple waffles and left out the cinnamon for me and made a really yummy quiche that had butternut squash and prosciutto in it. (We gave her Jewish husband a naugahyde bacon wallet and he got really excited. She's pregnant for the first time, so I gave her a Be-Band.)
On the way home, Dr. B suggested that he, Rowan and his folks go out for breakfast the next day and I stay home and sleep in. I took this as part good idea and part insult. His dad said it perfectly, "yeah, we just don't like you very much." Dick and I laughed. Dr. B sputtered. I let him.
I tried to take a nap. I had such a headache, and my nose was stuffed. Rowan decided to crawl in with me. Then she petted my hair. And hugged me. And kissed me. And "face mushed" me. And talked. I told her to be quiet. She said, "I am being quiet!" Then she laid there going, "Choo choo choo choo choo choo!!!" I told her she wasn't being quiet. "I'm not talking! I'm just going 'choo choo choo choo!'" UGH. I took 2 tylenol and a Benadryl and got up to cook.
But supper was great, if I do say so myself. Our friends came over (the ones we'd brunched with) and my in-laws (who are awesome) vacuumed and set the table with French linens and china and crystal and quickie-mopped the floor while I cooked. And everything turned out yummy and we ate by candlelight.
Here's what we had, all made from, as Rowan says, "scritch" (except the Tim Tams) and all delicious.
- Velouté de Courge Butternut à la crème (squash soup! It was really good.)
- Beef Tenderloin à point with a red wine reduction (even with a failing oven and a misfunctioning thermometer, I didn't overcook it. That was awesome.)
- Vivi's Fat Potatoes Fat Fat (Garlic mashed potatoes with whipped cream cheese, butter and sour cream. Made au pif because I make stuff like this a lot. They were so luxurious I got sick later. But worth it.)
- Haricots Verts à la vapeur (steamed green beans, left plain because the rest was so rich.)
- Spiced Pomegranate, Clementine and Lingonberry Relish (Au pif encore, and delicious. I should really write that one down.)
- Norwegian Lefse, with butter and sugar
- Red wine, vanilla Silk (for the kiddo), Apple-Pomegranate Sparklers (for the preggos. Bought that at Wegman's. It wasn't horridly sweet, so we liked it.)
And my great plans for after Christmas? Eat the leftovers and make no plans. Take some naps. Rent some movies. Maybe go out to eat. It worked perfectly.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas. We did.