Another snow day! On the last one, ten kids made it to school, which amuses me. The Girl has heard such wonderful things about snow days that she’s insisting that she MUST GO, which also amuses me – I would never, ever have voluntarily missed out on a chance to legitimately Not Go To School as a kid (or now. School. Shudder.), but my daughter is made of different stuff.
Yikes! There are gusts of freezing rain and howling winds wrapping themselves around my cozy house. I think I’m keeping her home, anyhow.
This is a more wintry winter then we’ve had in years – I don’t think there was really much snow at this time last year and this year, the banks are huge, taller than The Baby’s head. We went for a walk last week, and she looked disconcerted by these walls of snow on either side of her, which I hope she remembers – the cold, the narrow white corridors, the snow falling forever and ever.
My dad phoned me on Saturday and asked if he could take the kids out into the bush to get our Christmas tree. I had to put down the phone for a moment while I hyperventilated at the very idea, and then my husband suggested he go too, so that was all right. They headed over to my uncle’s farm, and my dad and The Boy argued over my father’s choice of a tree – it was, The Boy warned him, MUCH MUCH TOO SMALL and grandma would NOT like it. But my husband chose a very nice tree for us, and my dad cut down the little tree for himself and we brought our tree home and decorated it:
And while we were doing that, my dad went back into the forest – this time with my disgruntled mother – and got another tree. What happened to the small tree? Apparently, it is now on my porch. Oh boy.
At last count, we’re having 17 people here for Christmas. This doesn’t daunt me – they’re just family and they’re easy to entertain, especially since we have all of the grandchildren here – but I’m a little bit boggled AND WHO COULD BLAME ME at the very idea of what to feed that many people. So. Here are my rough ideas for right now:
1. I’m going to have a tray of veggies, dips and cheese fondue set out for those who find Christmas dinner a bit hard to wait for, as well as a coffee and tea bar. Are there any other snacky things I should set out? How about beverages?
2. Christmas dinner is going to be a roast turkey and a cold glazed ham. But side dishes! What can I possibly make? Have any of you ever made a side dish in your slow cooker – and if so, what? My aunt is bringing a sparkling jello salad, but I’m still going to make aspic because apparently it JUST ISN’T CHRISTMAS without my brothers and fathers asking for the aspic OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Family jokes! Fear them! So I’m also going to make some over-the-top mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy, something with sweet potatoes (but WHAT? I hate marshmallows and I hate nuts. Any other festive ideas for sweet potatoes?), probably some Brussels sprouts… and what else? Remember, I’m having a GAZILLION PEOPLE over here, so a lot of side dishes are probably a good thing.
3. And then dessert. I’m making Pavlova (filled with pomegranate seeds, I think. so pretty!) and probably a buche de noel (rolled cakes like that are MUCH easier to make than you might think!) – should there be anything else? I’m thinking yes, but WHAT? I would love to have a beautiful table set up with desserts, so what would look pretty and festive? IDEAS! HELP!