Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Party

Our little Christmas Tree
On Saturday we hosted our annual holiday party. While this is a small party in size it still does not diminish
the amount of work one must put into the preparations, since I do the cooking.  None of that catering for use everything is homemade from the ham to the cookies, except the chips (I have to draw the line somewhere).  This year we made ham soaked in orange rum (it was one drunken pig) with cloves and dried Valencia orange peel.  I also made Swedish meatballs with ground beef and pork sausage for the sauce I use the McCormick seasoning package in conjunction with the scratch recipe it makes for a more flavorful dish.   In addition to the two main dishes we had the traditional vegetable tray with ranch dip, a summer sausage with cheese tray which included a goat cheese wrapped in cranberries, pita chips, warm artichoke dip and cheese puff biscuits. I was surprised at the flavor and texture of the goat cheese, which was similar to a cheesecake texture and the tanginess, went well with the cranberries.  For deserts we had snowberries (white chocolate chip & cranberry cookies), traditional sugar cookies, orange rolls (like cinnamon rolls but with orange) and nut roll.   And of course drinks which I’ll discuss later.

I made most of the stuff the day of, and realized when I actually get a house I want a double oven, even if I don’t use it that often.  I also wished I had an industrial dish washer that can do dished in 5 minutes, because I did dishes around 5 times that day, while following the adage,
“clean as you go”.  Three other use full items where the disposable aluminum roaster for the ham (clean-up is so much easier), the crock pot liners (again clean-up is a snap), and finally the lowly mechanical mini scoop (it holds a little less than a tablespoon of water).  The little kitchen hand tool made dishing out cookie dough, biscuit dough and forming meatballs so much easier, provided a uniform size and sped up the process.  I love that thing.  Oh and the other thing that made my life easier is my large wooden kitchen board that I can place over the sink to increase counter space. I so need a bigger kitchen.

The little scoop

Now on to the that on thing that can make or break a party sometimes, the drinks.  This year we had several varieties of Scotch out from the not peaty to the very peaty. We also put out the special Scotch glasses, called the Glencairn glass, which is supposed to enhance the flavor of the Scotch. (Watch this video if you’re curious about the glass.) We also had Prosecco out, chardonnay, gin and elderflower liquor.  We actually mixed the elderflower liquor with the Prosecco (suggested on the liquor) to make a cocktail, then moved on to mixing the liquor with gin and tonic, both were good combinations. So everyone was in the holiday spirit so to speak.


Overall the party was a success. People liked the video of the  Yule log burning in the fireplace on the TV, it added to the Holiday Spirit. Overall people enjoyed themselves and I had very few leftovers.

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