Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Casserole Left Unturned 2010 Tour

This past weekend, Mom and I hosted our big family Christmas gathering at our family’s lakehouse.  We got there around lunchtime on Friday and started decorating.  Remember evil gnome Santa?  He greeted guests and kept watch over Mom and me while we put lights on the porch.

 DSC_2135 mantel Christmas tree

I had been making snacks all week, so I was glad to finally get them out on display.

Chex muddy buddies

I made Muddy Buddies, chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, and tree-shaped cake truffles in advance.

chocolate-dipped pretzels cake truffles

Also in advance, I made two big crockpots of chili for Friday night.

chili and cornbread

After dinner, I started on preparation for Saturday’s big meal.  I look like Jack Nicholson.  Check out my breasts.

turkey breasts

Tee-hee.  I roasted a couple of turkey breasts Friday night.  Check the time behind me…I was up until midnight making gravy.  When the turkey went in the oven, we belatedly celebrated Mam-ma’s birthday with her traditional pumpkin cheesecake[The one I made at Thanksgiving tasted like smoke due to an unfortunate spillage issue in my oven.  When we made this cheesecake, some spilled out and full-on CAUGHT ON FIRE.  However, the cheesecake tasted fine this time.  Go figure.]

Mam-ma's birthday cheesecake

After a short, restless night’s sleep (Mom and I slept side-by-side on a double bed with kittens pouncing on us all night…), we got up and made little frozen sausage biscuits for the crowd.  I like mine with mustard and grape jelly, just not at the same time…though that doesn’t sound horrible, does it?

 sausage biscuits

After breakfast and a shower, it was time to get to work!  My cousin got some shots of me dismantling the turkey.  I was almost in tears because I wanted to do it myself (i.e., I don’t need a man to do it for me) but got frustrated when I was fake picked-on by my uncle.  I’m an only child and the baby of the family…I don’t like feeling incompetent.  I did it all by myself and it came out just fine.

carving the turkeys 

We had quite a few casseroles on the menu…

 casserole city

And – ooh, lookie there! – some fruits and veggies, too!.

fruits and veggies 

I also made our traditional cold Christmas punch with cranberry juice, ginger ale, pineapple juice and almond extract as well as some hot spiced apple cider.

We all used to exchange names to get gifts for each other, but now that my cousins are all having kids, we just do gifts for the little ones and my grandmother. 

kids opening presentskids opening presents

However, Mom and I missed our gift-giving so much that we started a new tradition – Yankee Swap/White Elephant.  We had a blast, so I hope we play it next year, too!

gag gifts

gag gifts

After all the gifts were given, the kids wanted to see the kittens.

kids and kittens

kids and kittens

Poor kittens.

So now that the tour is over…time to get back on track for realz?