What . No holiday food and drink talk ?

What are you making ? Or bringing to other ? I have already in hand 3 bottles of Navarro wine to bring up to Sacramento . Going to add 2 Ridge winery zins . Suggestions ? For family . I’m not cooking . Looking forward to the holiday and you ? Are you loving it or dreading it this year ? Food or drinks you are making , or bringing to family or friends . The count down is on .

Well, I was given a bottle of Ch. Haut-Batailley 1996 by my boss as a thank you for organizing the office Christmas party, so that’s going on the table for Christmas lunch. We are ten people this year, so it will be half glasses each sadly. Followed of course by about ten glasses each of something from Rioja Alta I expect!

Smoked salmon followed by rib of beef and turkey (both, annoyingly for this cook) will be on the menu.

For drink there will be prosecco to go along with the breakfast panettone. For the main meal there is a magnum of 2004 Margaux, a leaving present from a wine supplier who worked with the missus. I have made an apple , cranberry and roast garlic chutney and will make a chicken liver and porcini pate nearer the day itself. Lots of cheese no doubt, not sure yet what the main event will be as the MIL is in charge, hope it’s beef though given the wine we have.

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We’ll be home in NYC for Xmas for the first time in ages. Since we normally travel I don’t do a lot of cooking, but this year I’m going to make some candy and cookies to give to friends and colleagues. Buckeyes are a family tradition but I find my mother’s recipe way too sweet, so I’m working on a new version. Champagne caramels are also on the menu, and maybe some Apple pie bars.

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I brought a shaker of apple pie shots to a Thanksgiving soiree, big hit. Hafta come up with something for Christmas Eve

We have dinners planned from 23/12 through to 29/12 - and just about all of the festive non-perishable stuff now bought.

The sister in law is doing the family Xmas Day lunch. It’ll be turkey, roast spuds, carrots & sprouts, followed by cheese and Xmas pudding. I know it’ll be that, coz it’s traditional and you just have to have it - whether you like it or not. In this, I am in the "not " camp - turkey is a good way down my list of favourite meats.

As for booze, we are supplying the wine for Xmas Day - already bought. It’s whatever was going cheap at Lidl - none of us are wine buffs (and two of us don’t drink alcohol), so it seemed pointless buying better.

Other meals vary from pizza on 23/12, through filet de boeuf a la Avignonaise followed by tarte au citron on 24/12, to a lamb casserole with pearl barley on 28/12. Other meals will come together from the vast food warehouse that out house has once again turned into (beats me why it should - there are only two of us and we’re both retired so it’s not as though there’s any extra meals to cook.

Bah, humbug!


We’re heathens, but love to eat well… the holidays are just an excuse to indulge in the finer things in life.

There will def be some sort of crab/avocado appetizer of some sort on one of those days, and we still have a bone-in leg o’lamb in the freezer that is screaming to be eaten.

After a 3-year hiatus, we’re throwing another big-ass NYE party at casa lingua – dance floor, libations, snacks.

Surely that’s in the tradition of Yule and Saturnalia - In which Harters Hall will gladly join Casa Lingua for the solstice feast.

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Thankfully, my Christmas dinner is small - Mom and me.

And we’re going with what has become the standard dinner since I suggested about 10-12 years ago to NOT have turkey again after having just had it on Thanksgiving.

Beef tenderloin with the cognac-cream sauce from Epicurious (making that ahead of time, as it takes WAY more time to reduce the sauce than the original recipe says), some sort of spuds (probably baby roasted potatoes), and some sort of green veg (usually green beans, possibly with frizzled shallots and toasted almonds). Keeping it simple for Mom.

I’m leaning towards lemon mousse tartlets for dessert. Libation will be water for Mom (she no longer drinks), and maybe wine for myself. I’ll just pull a bottle from my rack before heading up to Mom’s on Christmas morning.

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We are hosting this year, in-laws on Christmas Eve and my family on Christmas Day. We are keeping the menus relatively simple with some traditional favorites our family has come to expect.

For Christmas Eve we’re doing prime rib, lobster tails, crispy potatoes and some vegetables. We’ll be drinking lots of champagne.

Christmas morning is a spread courtesy of our Russ & Daughters care package that will arrive on Christmas Eve. Bialys, Lox, Herring, Caviar, Babka. This is my christmas present to myself.

For Christmas dinner, we traditionally do a raclette. it’s a really fun family dinner and the kids demand the tradition continue. Overall some really fantastic and indulgent food that is relatively very little work for me!


My family has 2 days of celebration. We have Xmas day celebration (which isn’t a big deal to us culturally but we celebrate 'cause we’re all home and everyone else seems to be celebrating something) and the Winter Solstice.

We eat tang yuan [湯圓] for the Winter Solstice. My mom’s rendition is plain glutinous rice dough balls in a savory broth, topped with daikon, shiitake, conpoy, dried shrimp, and Chinese celery and sausage. Usually sprinkled with a healthy dose of white pepper.

Xmas dinner has turned into hotpot the last few years. Sliced protein (chicken/beef/pork) and beef tongue, some seafood, fish paste, tofu, mushrooms, shrimp or fish balls, and lots of veggies. It varies a little from year to year, and my mom always likes to have one thing that is hit/miss with the crowd (e.g., kidney, tripe, etc.).

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We usually do Christmas, but this year it’s at sis & BIL’s due to dog issues (they recently got a rambunctious chocolate lab pup and their daughter is driving in from Colorado with her Bernaise Mountain dog). So who knows what’s for dinner? Probably not turkey. Could be lamb. Could be pork roast. Undoubtedly whatever catches BIL’s eye at his favorite local farm/butcher. There will no doubt be potatoes, green veg (green beans? asparagus?), corn, salad, rolls and basically too much of everything. Other sis & BIL will bring cheeses and meat for pre-dinner. Mom’s bringing a fish course, to be determined after she talks to the fishmonger. I’ll be bringing my toffee and cookies and a family favorite Chocolate Heaven cake from a local place.

Hosts will provide a few different wines, whiskeys and scotches. I’ll grab a few bottles of wine from my wine closet and the makings for poinsettias.

Like Casa Lingua and Harters Hall, our celebration is more Saturnalia than Christmas.

The 23rd is mom’s 87th, so there will be a nice lunch at a local inn.

The 27th is a buffet at our place. The menu is still TBD, but will involve too much food and booze, I’m sure.

Since we’re less than 2 weeks out, I guess I should start working on the menu :frowning:


The Owen kids are pretty much out of the holiday loop – no family around to cook Thanksgiving for, and Christmas is kind of irrelevant around here for the same reason (not to mention our not being a faith-based operation). Though I do like to sit up with a bottle Christmas Eve and see what’s cooking at St. Peter’s this year … As for festive foods, most of my favorites are heavy on the animal component, and though the veggie doesn’t mind my cooking it, feasts are for sharing or else no fun at all. So I think I’ll do some Pad Thai and stir-fried asparagus, cooked shrimp on the side for me. Of course I don’t have to wait until Christmas for that, do I?

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Christmas the past few years has been at the in-laws. We share the chores, SIL usually makes a prime rib, my niece does most of the sides and makes some killer sauces for the prime rib which really elevates the meal. I bring the shrimp cocktail and the cheesecake or fudge cake (haven’t decided which). The teens get the clean up duty, or at least clear the table. It’s most always a low key comfortable family meal.

Christmas Eve will be just the 2 of us. This year I plan to just do a bunch of appetizers. That way if someone stops in I have something to offer. Menu is a bit if a throw back to what we had in my house as a kid. So far;

Shrimp cocktail
Deviled eggs
Chipotle meatballs
Sausage/ cheese balls
Boterkoek (Dutch butter cake with almond)
Assorted cookies
Dutch chocolates


What sauces does she do? We’ll have usual jus (Foodlab’s recipe) and horseradish sauce. I’d love to add another into the mix though.

Shrimp cocktail is definitely a Christmas staple for us. I didn’t list it, but I’m sure Mom will bring that.

She always does the creamy horseradish sauce but last year she made a Worcestershire recipe from Epicurious. It was delicious, very spicy and different. I’m assuming it’s okay to post the link, so here it is. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/worcestershire-sauce-1243821

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I bet you a béarnaise sauce would work well, too. Or sauce Mornay…

Well, I have 30#of brisket in the small crock corning for New Year’s day. There’s 80# of kraut in the medium crock some of which will be for New Year’s Day - the rest will get canned. We do an open house on NYD every year & pretty much invite everybody we know. We started it the first year we made our own kraut because it was so good. So we did pork & sauerkraut. Now the corned beef is that good too so we have that as well. Fortunately, our circle of friends has expanded as well cuz it’s a lot of food. There’s all kinds of side dishes with all that ranging from mashed potatoes to roasted brussels sprouts & pickled beets. I think this year I’m going to do Raspberry Trifle, Flourless Chocolate Cake & something else for dessert. & there’s plates of cookies as well.

For Xmas we usually have appetizers on Xmas Eve & watch 'Love Actually". Just us. Xmas dinner is us & a few close friends (family is all at a distance). We do prime rib (on the bone so the dog gets his goodies too) & scallops because they are the favorite of a friend of ours.

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So this is the kind of dog food lovers get: the Bearnaise Mountain Dog. Too funny.


Damned autocorrect :imp:

My little niece is bringing her huge **Bernese ** Mountain dog. Bernaise goes well with steak; not so much with dog.