Ah the holidays. When you’re a kid, it’s pretty easy; sit back and eat the delicious food, open presents, pass out and take a nap. At least, that was always my M.O. This year, Hubby and I decided to try our hand at hosting Christmas dinner. My mother has always cooked Thanksgiving dinner, and this year was no different, so we decided to cook for Christmas and have them over. We had our little half sized Christmas tree up with our quirky ornaments; things like a dalek and the Tardis from Doctor Who, a storm trooper from Star Wars and the Wicked Witch of the West. This year my sweet hubby surprised me with Dorothy and the guys, so I almost have a complete Wizard of Oz set of ornaments. The tree had to be put up on a shelf because of the rabbit, who would have happily eaten just about everything on that tree. The stockings were hung on a coat rack we put up temporarily for just that purpose right under the tree. The cats shared a fish shaped one, and the rabbit had a crocheted carrot we bought this year. So the tree was ready with presents, the stockings were hung with care, and these two folks had to get up early to start on food. Which almost went as planned. Except we didn’t really plan. And it didn’t go according to any plan that might have existed. Ok we totally winged it, and it almost didn’t go well. But in the end, we pulled it off. I started the cheesecake early so it had time to sit and set up. As soon as I pulled the cheesecake out of the oven, the ham went in. I started my fruit topping for the cheesecake on the stovetop and also started the homemade mustard that was going to sit on the table as a complement to the ham. Or just to eat with a spoon from the jar. The cheesecake cracked, but it tasted really good, so nobody minded. The fruit topping I left on the side for the folks that don’t like it covering their cheesecake. We whipped up mashed potatoes, made corn, peas and glazed carrots, and of course, rolls. Dinner was a success!! Which, as I have alluded to, was a bit of a miracle since Hubs thought I was cooking, and I thought Hubs was cooking. We both just kind of circled the kitchen and kept asking each other what we could do to help until finally we realized somebody had to actually cook. It all came together pretty nicely though. For a first time hosting Christmas dinner, we did alright. And next year will be even better. Mostly because we will plan. The only complaint I had about this meal was that not nearly enough of it was ours. The peas, carrots and corn were all store bought. In the garden plans I’m drawing up, we will have all of that planted. But this year we had to settle for store bought produce. And that’s ok.
We ate too much food, ate too much cheesecake, and played some card and board games. We laughed until mom almost had an asthma attack. And nobody flipped the table during any of the games we played, so all in all I would say this day was a success. We got to spend it the way we prefer, which is with family, eating great food and laughing. Quite frankly, that’s a perfect day whether or not it’s a holiday.
I’m going to leave a recipe here, and as soon as this posts, I’m kicking my feet up and probably falling asleep. No matter your age, there’s always time for a nap.
Fruity Cheesecake topping:
(or pie filling, it does both)
4 cups fruit- I used 2 cups mixed cherries (tart and sweet) and 2 cups mixed berries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
- Whisk the corn starch and sugar together in a bowl, and set aside.
- Heat the fruit up on the stove on medium heat until the juices are released and it simmers for a few minutes, about 10-15.
- Once the fruit has simmered a bit, add the sugar/starch mix. Bring this back up to a simmer, and turn the heat to low, stirring frequently.
- Let this simmer for about 2 minutes, it will thicken up. Remove from heat and let cool. It’s ready to serve!
This is perfect for topping a cheesecake, or as it was originally intended, makes pie filling for a pie. If you have fresh berries, all the better.