THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IN THE EMPTY NEST

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It’s here-the Christmas season.  Our favorite time of year.  Time to drag out the decorations, dust them off and let the memories float through your home like scent of the Christmas tree you’ll soon be trimming.  That old chipped Santa finds his way to the mantle as he and his companions have every year since the kids were small. There are ornaments made by little hands, ornaments that have been with you for years and, of course, the stockings.  There are cookies to bake and menus to plan.  A trip to the local tree lot to find the perfect tree-always the perfect tree.  And let’s see, where did I put those rolls of wrapping paper I bought for 75% off last year after Christmas?

We never struggled to reconcile the spirit of Christmas with the white noise of non stop commercials.  They may have wanted every thing they saw, and we still have the lists and letters to Santa to prove it, but we never remember a Christmas when any of the kids expressed anything but joyous abandon when Christmas morning arrived.  On this morning they are celebrated by a jolly, bearded man in a red suit who comes down the chimney (all houses have chimneys at Christmas) with a sack full of gifts,  just because they are, because they exist.  If that is not magic, we don’t know what it is.   And that magic transcends the commercialization.  You know it the first time you unwrap a gift made by a child’s hand, given with as much anticipation and joy as you saw moments before through a blizzard of wrapping paper.  From Merry Christmas Mommy to Merry Christmas Mom, through the years of believing in Santa to the years of believing in the spirit of Santa, we see it reflected in every gift that touches our hearts, makes us laugh with delight or moves us to tears.  We are the keepers of the flame of the spirit of Christmas.   We make a spot for Santa in our hearts and in our homes long after the last child has grown “too big” to believe.  Christmas carols on the stereo.  Candelight services.  Homemade eggnog on Christmas Eve.  Cookies and milk left for Santa.  Sweet Christmas Eve good night kisses from little ones who will not fall asleep until long in to the night. We tend that flame, every year, until one day we will see it glow in the homes of our children grown.

This weekend we’re cooking a standing rib roast.  It’s a practice run.  If it turns out like we hope, that will be Christmas dinner in Denise’s house.  We’re also going to bottle the limoncello.

It is, as the song says, the most wonderful time of the year.

We want to thank babyboomerbakes.com for nominating us for the Sunshine Award.  We’ll be working on that this week as well.  Thank you so much.

THE MENU:   Standing rib roast with a compound butter made with horseradish and dijon mustard, blue cheese potato tart (it deserved an encore) green salad with pomegranate dressing, and cheesecake.

STANDING RIB ROAST:   Preheat oven to 325.  Bring roast to come to room temperature.  Season with salt and pepper.  Allow 30 minutes per pound for medium-160 on a meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and tent for 15 minutes.  Add a little water to drippings and bring to a boil.  Add two tablespoons butter and a little red wine to test. Simmer until thickened and serve with roast.

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GREEN SALAD WITH POMEGRANATES AND PEAR:

Toss pomegranate seeds and pear in to mixed greens.  Make dressing with 1/3 cup olive oil.  One medium shallot diced.  2 tablespoons good quality apple cider vinegar. 1 tablespoon agave or honey.

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CHEESECAKE:

Crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs-this is better if you make your own
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Press into springform pan, lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 for 6 minutes

The Filling:

  • 2 1/2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and on lower speed, mix until blended.  Pour in to prepared springform pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  

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THE LIMONCELLO:

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8 Responses to THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IN THE EMPTY NEST

  1. A divine menu plus limoncello. It will be wonderful!

  2. Just tweeted you, love your site…always.

  3. thanks-it feels like we’re old friends.

  4. Pingback: Why Not All Year Long | Kellie Elmore

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