Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Eve

I know. As a pagan, I'm not supposed to celebrate Christmas, but it's pretty hard to live in America and not celebrate this holiday... especially if you want to get presents. So, I just take comfort in the fact that Christmas has it's roots in the pagan solstice celebration and deck the halls anyway!

This year was especially wonderful. Probably the most wonderful since before my parents split... no... I take that back... probably the most wonderful...ever.

I blogged a while ago about longing for a "home". My childhood home was sold when I was 17. The new one never felt the same, and then after my parents split even that house was sold. My mom, my brothers and myself have since lived in a string of apartments. Most years not living in the same place from one year to the next. During this time my grandmother's house was the only thing I had that tied me to any sense of history. Well, after she passed away in September, my uncle (who technically owns the house), changed the locks and refused to give my mom a key. I will probably never be able to revisit or take my children to this historic place.

In an amazing coincedence, the day my grandmother passed away, we found our house. Six weeks later, we were moving closing, and two weeks after that we were moving in. And two weeks ago, we were able to celebrate out first holiday in the house.

It was truly amazing! My decided to come down the week or so before. A few days later I found out that my oldest-younger brother was coming down with her. Of course, my middle brother and Jay's mom were already planning to come over. Christmas eve I found out that my third brother was coming over and our little family would be complete! It the first time we have all been together in years... possibly since Jay and I got married almost 2 years ago!

Jay's mom got us a large roasting pan for a housewarming gift and I was itching to put it to use, so I decided that since we weren't together for Thanksgiving, I would put together a Thanksgiving worthy spread!

So, I "talked" it over with Martha (Stewart) and Paula (Deen), and together we put together a fabulous menu.

Yeah baby! That's cream style corn (cut off the cob by my wonderful husband and partner in crime!), cornbread stuffing (and yes, I made the cornbread from scratch before making the stuffing!), green bean cassarol, and Paula Deen's own Sweet Potato Bake which was superfantabulous!!! In fact, it was so good, it deserves it's own picture!

And although I'd have been happy with just side dishes, the whole point was to try out our amazing roasting pan. This was the first turkey I've ever attempted, and boy was I nervous. A trip to the ER for food poisoning is really not my idea of a joyful holiday celebration! So, I read and read and read about how to do a turkey safely and tastey!

Thankfully my mom helped me clean it out and wash it out because it was totally grossing me out! I'm ok with meat as long as it doesn't look like a dead animal! If we went back to having to kill our own food, I've be a vegitarian for SURE!

So we buttered that bird, crossed our fingers, and stuck it in the oven!

Apparently our gas stove is not callibrated correctly because about half the time my recipe said to cook it, this bird was falling off the bone!!!

Yeah baby!!!

It was hard to pull the boys away from the Wii long enough to eat. In fact, I think they eat in between turns!!! It was so wonderful to hear laughter and friendly competition filling our new house. After dinning we pulled out the guitars and the boys took turns playing while we all sang 90's era grunge songs and 70's era southern rock standards!! Gotta love bolting out Sweet Home Alabama at the top of your lungs and totally off key!

Then we finished out the night with a very LONG game of Trivial Persuit on the Wii which didn't end until after 1am!! Luke headed home, and MOST of us went to bed... but that's for another blog.