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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Every day dress, surprise and delight.