Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dinner Party Series: Early Christmas

Hazelnut Torte: Worth the effort!
We recently celebrated an Early Christmas Dinner for a visiting family member who lives out of town. Although we love turkey, we were ready for a change. Ron made most of the meal while I focused on dessert. We didnt have the full complement of vegetables we usually do because we were trying to take it easy and spend as much time as possible with our guest, so Ron cobbled up his own version of Scalloped Potatoes, some lightly steamed broccoli and carrots, and a beautiful Baked Ham that were still eating to this day.

I’d normally make dessert and set the table the day or night before, but I was tired and turned in early, so I made dessert on the day of the event while Ron made the rest of the meal. Dessert was elaborate but well worth the effort: I made the splendid Hazelnut Torte I blogged June 13, 2012. If you have an extra day to bake and decorate this superb, gluten-free torte, by all means do! Be sure to check if any guests have nut or dairy allergies. 

Ron’s ham? It was quite simply the best we’ve ever had. We bought a 10-pounder, not thinking that the average serving is -lb. per person. I now believe it was enough for 30! Since feeding five of us our Early Christmas Dinner, we’ve breakfasted on ham and eggs, lunched on grilled ham sandwiches made with cheese and egg, munched our way through a ham-and-vegetable casserole - you get the point! This gorgeous chunk of meat cost $20 and proved a bargain. And yes, we still have plenty left! 

When we finally arrive at the highly prized soup bone, I’m going to pass along my late friend Denny Boyd’s Christmas Eve Pea Soup - the single-best pea soup I’ve ever made or tasted. 

How did Ron prepare that beautiful Baked Ham? His recipe follows in the blog below, as does his great recipe for Scalloped Potatoes. Tomorrow, I’ll feature more of my promised Guidelines and Tips for easier entertaining, and the day after that, Denny's fabulous soup, so you'll have a plenty of time to make it before Christmas Eve

And now I must dash to wrap Ron’s gift! It’s snowing in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live. Theres magic in the air!

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