Last night was Christmas dinner at our home, and with my in-laws visiting it made it even more special. We spent the day hanging out, and watching a bit of tv. We managed to eat quite well throughout the day as you might expect. The whole wheat waffles I made for breakfast came out great using hazelnut oil in place of melted butter, and topped with home made hot blueberry topping with just a touch of whipped cream.
We all enjoyed the Maitake Mushroom Chowder(http://www.fastandfuriouscook.com/392/) I made the day before for our simple lunch. After lunch came our nice walk in the sun to let our puppy Tucker chase sticks behind the school for some much needed high impact exercise. You got to take advantage of the sunny days this time of year in Baltimore!
Around 3pm I put the leg of lamb in the oven for its three hour journey to tasty perfection. It was simply rubbed with Penzey’s lamb seasoning, fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper. I placed it on top of diced carrots, onions, and celery for flavor. What was real different was surrounding it with sunchokes. This was my first time cooking sunchokes and I went to youtube to find instructions on how to prep and cook the little nuggets. Lucky for all of us Youtube is there when you don’t know how to cook something like sunchokes. For those of you that don’t know about them they are native to North America and are a tuber. Think of them as a little potato with more flavor.
To round out the lamb feast was a nice starter of cauliflower, red bell pepper, sun dried tomato salad on a bed of shredded cabbage dressed with my mushroom salad dressing. We also had garlic mashed yukon gold potatoes, and succotash.
The pecan bars I baked the day before made for a great dessert when paired with a scoop of Keyes Creamery pumpkin ice cream. Mind you that this was not a low fat healthy meal, but well worth the calories!
To wind up the festivities we had bought four party poppers( a British tradition ?) with a reindeer theme. You haven’t lived until you have had in home reindeer races! These little wind up toys were inside the poppers and came with a race course. All four of us received a reindeer for the big race. A practice session was granted to get the feel of the equipment then off we went. My mother-in-law seemed to have the winner in the practice round as it flew straight and true. I had a fast little guy named Prancer, but he didn’t have a great sense of direction. My father-in-law had a confused reindeer that only excelled in running tight little circles. When the smoke had cleared Prancer won the race and the prize bag containing a $20 gift certificate to Trader Joe’s, a fine little note pad and pen set, and a candy cane.
Some of our most memorable Christmas dinner parties have been the ones with poppers. So if you see some while out shopping the day after Christmas be sure and get some for New Years or Christmas dinner parties and party like a reindeer!