for jewish girls who’ve considered suicide when christmas cooking was enuf

with apologies to Ntozake Shange.

some friends are coming over for christmas eve. i’m pretty excited, as i have not yet hosted either family over my house. it’s kind of amusing, really, that the nice jewish girl is hosting a christmas eve ‘do, but i just consider it another occasion for celebration. as i said so sweetly to BS this morning as he was getting cranky because of cleaning duties: get ahold of your holiday spirit, dammit.

it’s clicheed, but it’s true: my dream of christmas day has always been a movie followed by chinese food. for the many years of our marriage, i went without those, deferring instead to BS since this annual trainwreck holiday belongs to him and i wanted it to be as he would want it to be. i love to see his face, all happy and thrilled 🙂

but last year, i got my dream of chinese food: to be clearer, crappy, overpriced, but still chinese food. we were surrounded only by dressed-up chinese people who all seemed to know each other and who ordered stuff emanating from animal parts which i, a borderline vegetarian, probably don’t want to contemplate. this year in jerusalem, BC would like to have vietnamese food instead. BS and i (embarrassing history geeks who should no longer be allowed to watch the history channel) have already spent actual time contemplating whether certain southeast asian nations have had significant numbers of christian missionaries invading (thailand? india? cambodia?), as this might determine whether they would actually be open on christmas day. do normal people talk like this? i don’t really know. [note to self: just call the damn vietnamese restaurant tomorrow to find out whether they’re open and forget about seeing whether the history channel has an answer for you. they won’t.]

consequently, i have no earthly idea what one eats on christmas eve beyond the cookies and carrots one’s child has dutifully left out for st. nick. (oh, and by the way, for any of you kids out there reading this — auntie wreke wants you to know that those are only the cookies and carrots that santa and his reindeer left behind. they get kind of full on christmas eve, you know.) so we’re going with modified thanksgiving. i can hardly wait to taste the brined turkey that kellyo is bringing over; and i’m full of thanks that nylonthread’s AJS has something with which to actually carve the bird — and he’s not afraid to use it.

i found a recipe for sugared cranberries. heaven knows why i decided this, but i’m making said cranberries, which apparently create a lovely sugar syrup that’s appropriate for mixing with vodka. i added some orange peel to steep in there — i like my cranberries with orange whenever possible. i’m not entirely sure what the hell to do with this, but kellyo assures me that she does. i think i might welcome that sort of drink after the cleaning and cooking i’ve been doing.

additionally, i’m making ginger-orange carrots (a modified tzimmes, for you red sea pedestrians out there), some sort of garlic mashed potatoes, plain peas (because there will be 6 kids there), hummus, some sort of challah rolls (haven’t decided yet, but i guess i better get on the stick) and dessert. one dessert has turned out well — red velvet cupcakes topped with white chocolate peppermint cream cheese frosting (say that 10 times fast). in fact, the kids helped me decorate many of the cupcakes with lots of colored sugar and frosting, so if people haven’t started out in a diabetic coma, they will definitely end up nearing one.

dessert #2? well, that’s a different story. the gingerbread in question started out life with a different purpose. (a special purpose.) i made gingerbread cupcakes from an online recipe source and was all set to make the lovely frosting to go with it. people swore up and down, 5 stars, amazing recipe. so i made it. only, too bad for me. the cake, while delicious, ended up quite fragile and fell. the batter was quite thin. no way in hades would this stuff stand up to a stiff wind, much less frosting. i had to come to plan b.

or, in the words of my hero, winnie the pooh, think, think, think.

and sha-ZAAM! it came to me. a trifle. when G-d gives you lemons, make lemonade. the cake tastes fine; it just won’t be a pretty thing. i found a recipe and i’m modifying it by using my gingerbread. if nothing else, people might like pumpkin pudding, which tastes fine.

so what have we learned, boys and girls? stick with recipe sources where you can stick it to them via the letters to the editor section, if need be.

and when all else fails,we’ll always have kung pao chicken.

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4 Responses to “for jewish girls who’ve considered suicide when christmas cooking was enuf”

  1. oooooh, you changed your look! again! 🙂

    been reading/lurking, not too much time for commenting. hope you get to have vietnamese food. (i don’t think you’d have as much trouble with them being closed as you would if you tried to go to a korean restaurant, is my guess.) one of our favorite (chinese american) family traditions was to visit our best-loved chinese restaurant and splurge on that instant pimple-maker, peking duck. we’d be surrounded by other chinese and jewish people with exactly the same idea. ah, heaven. oh, and of course, a movie. (just avoid NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, unless you like bleak nihilistic downers.)

    xmas eve dinner sounds delish–enjoy time with friends!

  2. …and i wish you a happy, pimple-free peking duck 🙂 and movie. of course, i’m trying to figure out which movie i can take the kids to see. (getting a babysitter on christmas? priceless.) we rented “meet the robinsons” and “the incredibles has been on perpetual rotation since saturday.

    i have a feeling i will be lucky if i get to the restaurant, lol 🙂

  3. Aw man, leave a place for me at the table. A really wide chair about to snap in two that I’ll occupy in spirit. The get-together sounds like it will be a blast and quite tasty. I’d fly there just for the sugar high of those red velvet cupcakes. Yummm. Give the gals a big ‘Howdy Honey’ slobbery kiss for me. 😉

    Oh, and no, “normal” people do not judge the opening or closing of restaurants by their corresponding country’s christian invasion. That’s hilarious. 🙂

  4. Great title, although I would say ” . . . when Christmas MUSIC was enough”. After singing Jesus music for weeks straight in Chorale, I do not want to hear any more damn bells or fa-la-las.

    BTW, we had Vietnamese food last night. 😉

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