Christmas Eve Celebration
Now that I live in Philadelphia I would like to streamline the Christmas Eve party we host in RI. It is at my dad’s house and is always lots of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Every year we tend to make way too much food that causes us to spend all night putting out food, putting away food, and cleaning dishes. This year I tried to simplify the menu to allow us to spend more time mingling and catching up. I hope no one minded the simpler menu! It is hard to get the house ready and the meal ready in such a few short days since I live in Philly and the party is in RI.
The night seemed like a blur that sped by too fast. I had a fabulous night celebrating with family and friends- especially the little ones- but I would like to make some changes for next year. I’m still not sure what changes to make, but I’m going to take notes to remind myself before the 2011 Christmas Eve menu must be decided!
Notes on Christmas Eve 2010
1. We bought 2 beef tenderloins (total of 9 lbs), had no lasagna, and a 10 lb lamb (with bones) that my dad ordered from Opa in Providence. We had just enough meat.
2. Either the caprese skewers weren’t a hit or I made way too much. For the record I made 4 pints of grape tomatoes and 1 large container of the small mozzarella balls.
3. The cheese tray that my SIL made went early- as long as she put some brie and honey on each cracker. No one really wanted to make their own.
4. Pistachios were a great idea! We went through 3 small bags of pistachios, and had I remembered to refill the bowls I bet more would have been eaten.
5. Gallons of water were a great idea. We went through 5 of them and wasted a lot less than last year (when we had small pint sized bottles of water).
6. The roasted potatoes were a success and we had very few left. Also the huge salad was gone immediately. Maybe make a fun pasta dish next year?
7. The spinach gratin was fabulous and over half went (I more than doubled the recipe). Next year if I make this I need to use much less milk.
8. Stuffed grape leaves were a success as usual. (Thanks Auntie Ruthie & Raz!)
9. The table set up was excellent. We removed the tables from the kitchen to allow a flow to continue through the room and added those chairs to other rooms. Served apps and dinner on the kitchen table (easy set up and clean up), drinks on the square table and dessert on the dining room table. People ate at the dining room table or the other rooms, leaving the kitchen open for cleaning and setting up/breaking down.
10. I did not like the zucchini and much prefer the traditional recipe. Must remember that for next year.
If you host a holiday year after year it is a great idea to make notes right after the holiday to remember what you want to change to make it even better! That way you don’t start asking around what people remember from the previous year 11 months later. And it makes for a better holiday!
I will admit it is a lot easier to host a holiday in your own home where you know what types of kitchen supplies you’ll have and can get your home ready as early as your like. Entertaining from afar at my dad’s house is not too easy!
In other news, Santa brought me a tripod & remote control! We were able to take a picture of the whole group (33 people) and it is such a nice memory to have! I want to make sure we do it every year. I recently went through old pictures and realize just how important it is to document holidays.
I love Christmas and it is absolutely my favorite holiday. I love spending time with my family, and I love being Christmasy. Most of all, I love smiling.
Life is good.
Now… time to create my Armenian Christmas menu for January 6th!