Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big family Christmas at our place

Tristan making cards for the family
For the first time this year, my parents accepted our invitation to come over to Vancouver and spend Christmas with us. Typically, we just spend Christmas here alone. We've been over to Victoria a few times for Christmas but the ferry traffic and me having to bring a lot of kitchen things over kind of stresses us out. This year my parents and older brother came over. My sister and her family and my younger brother, who all lives in the Vancouver area, also joined in on the Christmas gathering. I volunteered to cook the turkey at my place this year. That made it the largest Christmas gathering at our place in the past 8 years!

That Christmas morning, we took our sweet time with breakfast, took pictures by the tree and presents, and then we unwrapped the gifts. Tristan was probably the last kid on earth to open his presents! Like any special occasion, we took pictures and video and documented the whole thing :) Tristan was visibly more excited and happy this year compared to last year when he just turned 2 years old. He received plenty of Legos, Playmobil, Playdough, books, clothes, and money. I honestly don't think anything was left out. Spoiled you think? :) After unwrapping gifts, we skyped Tristan's grandparents in France since we were not able to the day before. Luckily it was still Christmas for them. Then it was play time with the new toys! I took advantage of the time to prepare and send my Christmas emails since I totally forgot to send cards in advance this year :(

Food preparation started around 12:30PM. I honestly think cooking would take much less time if we had a large kitchen instead of the tiny one we currently have. Every time we cook, we have to clean along the way to free up counter and sink space. Luckily my sister agreed to bring a few dishes over so I didn't overwork myself that day :) My sister and brother-in-law brought a roast pork loin, roasted root vegetable dish, and mashed potatoes. Jean-Louis made a vegan lentil salad. I made hot spinach and artichoke dip and served it with red and green tortilla chips and sourdough bread. I roasted two 8lb turkeys, which fitted perfectly in my roasting pan. Hooray! I bought a nice bag of organic carrots and cooked them with marsala wine. We had wine, champagne, juice, and soy milk. The food was colorful, delicious, plentiful and we were all quite full before dessert even arrived.

For dessert, I made an eggnog cake with eggnog flavored swiss meringue buttercream and nutella cupcakes. I am beginning to think nutella cupcakes are my favorite cupcakes :) I got Tristan to help me top each cupcake with a ferrero rocher chocolate ball. He was a good help too! There were also pistachio and apricot sables cookies, chocolate almond caramel, and Christmas rice krispies. It was a Christmas dessert buffet people! Pumpkin pie was the only thing that was bought so really most of the desserts were somewhat healthy because they were homemade ;) You aren't falling for the healthy part, are you? Oh, but was Christmas. You know what they say: eat December, diet January! Lol.

Dessert buffet. Pumpkin pie was brought out shortly after.

The meal was a success. We ran a bit late but it was a good thing we told everyone it was at 4:30PM. I was actually surprised everyone showed up on time. We ended up eating shortly after 5PM I think. I had compliments for my turkey, which was cooked just right and came out flavorful and moist. It was brined and I also stuffed it with celery. I wanted to use my batch of celery up since it was taking up too much space in the fridge and why not, right? We had no bread stuffing this year. It was a bit weird but we made up for it by having plenty of other great dishes. The turkey was served with gravy, cranberry sauce my sister made, dijon mustard, or nothing. Jean-Louis had compliments on his lentil salad as well :) The fact that he made it was enough to get people to try it. Most of it was gone by the end of the night! Kudos to him! The party was over by around 8PM.  Everyone was in a food coma by 8:05PM :) And we were still on routine for the night so I call that a double success!


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