Surprise and Delight

first table set for King Crab in the kitchen
second table ready for classic beef tenderloin with a shallot red wine sauce, mashed potatoes, hericots verts

Never in my life have I spent so much time in the kitchen, and this past holiday weekend I think I hit an all-time high, family tequilas and wine glasses not counted.

I’m ALWAYS in the kitchen, like always
Maxwell putting out handmade photo cards
family cocktails at the center island, peanut at the stove
we encouraged a little ‘dress-up’, I bought this dress for $164 a few years ago in Greenville SC, earrings were a 55th birthday gift from the kids, Lucy in the background
the back of the dress has all the drama, hard to see, I know

It’s like a little luxury loop: cook, serve, love the time spent at the table, clean-up, repeat. I just can’t seem to get ahead of myself as the loop is never-ending.

champange and crab = win

We have a Christmas Eve tradition of having King Crab legs, this year I gently steamed them and served them with baked brie and champagne at the kitchen table. Usually that’s all we do and call it a great night. This year I decided to go full tilt, King Crab in the kitchen over newspaper and then an hour or so later a plated beef tenderloin dinner on festive plaid linens.

sequins with blue jeans during the day for set-up
maybe we will all get dressed more in 2021
they all loved the crab
and an hour or later we moved into the dining room for a very late dinner
I’ve been buying used china and silver on ebay all pandemic, why not?…always eating in

Surprise and delight! My kids weren’t expecting this little plot twist, and in a year where everything has changed for them this was a fun way of staying in and showing love. We encouraged dress-up clothes (we’re usually very casual on Christmas Eve as some are still shopping), and it was a dinner and evening for the books. (I’m now keeping a notebook of starter, main course, drinks, other, guests and seating plan).

white carnations in silver mint julep cups couldn’t be easier
hand-written place cards were saved from Thanksgiving, girls decorated the cookies
I guess I’m Frosty, with a cocktail

I really hustled. Shopped early, like 7am. Bought as much as I could at the local cooperative and filled in at the grocery. Ordered the tenderloin trimmed and tied. Bought 5 organic chickens for Christmas dinner and broke them down for stock and multiple meals. A ham and eggs for Christmas Day brunch. Six bunches of white carnations in silver mint julep cups were my go-to florals this year, I don’t have time to mess with keeping hydrangea hydrated. Husband did the wine; daughters decorated the cookies.

Of course, we were dearly missing Monnie, Caroline, Sean, and Peyton, we were making the most of the moment we had. Everyone everywhere are missing loved ones at their tables this year, can’t go in deep on that or I might never get out.

Lizzie and I walked to town and bought this great red dress for Peanut to wear as a surprise, we’ve been walking everywhere
creme brulee ready to go, very small mint leaves are the last from the city garden
a little Mazi love

I think the subtle idea here is that with New Year’s Eve on the horizon, that one night that has unfathomable expectations, a little surprise and delight in the way of new table linens or an unexpected food and drink pairing or even a new dress for the youngest in the house might be just the thing to throw a little light on the luxury loop of cook, serve, love the time spent at the table, clean-up, repeat.

ready for Christmas morning ham and eggs, the snow was a gift from the gods
pretty cookies, blueberry muffins, small wrapped gifts at the table (a cookbook, of course!)
Christmas morning, I moved the flowers in from the dining room
getting set-up for Christmas dinner
classic and simple coq au vin with buttered egg noodles, nothing too fancy when youre a little wiped out
Lizzie helping, plates were warmed in the oven, therefore the mitts
honestly, it’s been a nine-month luxury loop
Christmas dinner, casual

I call it a luxury loop because it’s really all the things I love; food & wine, pretty clothes and home, and most importantly family. It’s been a year of many of those blessings.

girls spent a creative afternoon decorating
tree, snowflake, Frosty
oldest to youngest

Every day dress, surprise and delight.

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  1. Hi Rebecca, You are truly a SUPER woman! I have so enjoyed following your posts and blog. Your family is beautiful and truly blessed to have you. You make everything so special and clearly filled with love. Happy New Year! Monica xoxo

    • Monica, Happy New Year to you and yours. Thank you for your kind words and for reading along. I wish you the very best in 2021. xoxo

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