Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Family Christmas Dinner

Jonathan and I hosted the 10th annual family Christmas dinner before Christmas...before a Mauss family tradition, now a Maussski family tradition. :) It's grown over time from our Mauss family of 7 (My fam + Tim, Sue and Brandon) to add Kristine, Jonathan, Ben, Avila and Thomas. We missed Mom tonight (see photo of Avila talking to her on the phone) and Ben, who couldn't get the night off.

The table highlight? I made my first turkey. A 17.5 pound fresh bird, which Jonathan and I brined early this morning. Using Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Turkey recipe, it turned out beautifully. So relieved, because I had dreams of the turkey from Christmas Vacation, smoke and all.

The only change I made to the recipe was substituting fresh thyme (which I couldn't find anywhere) with fresh rosemary from the last remaining pot on the deck. Seriously loving that the rosemary is powering through our winter.

The apple cranberry & sausage stuffing was fabulous, and made a ton. I left out the leeks and still had enough to fill a 13x9 dish + another 8x8 dish. I saved the 8x8 dish in the fridge before baking, so we can have fresh stuffing one of these upcoming nights.

Saved the turkey carcass to make turkey soup tomorrow.

I love holiday food. Seriously.

We've exchanged gifts with Tim, Sue and Brandon on this night for a number of years - and especially now since the Skis spend Christmas Day on the farm instead of up at their house. Sue found us the coolest soup cookbook + lemongrass soup bowls. That will get an entire post to itself. :)

This was the first Christmas dinner that Brandon passed me up in height. He's such an awesome young with a girlfriend/friend that's a girl. It seems like yesterday that I was holding him just after he was baptized by my uncle...and now he's thinking about high schools!

But yet, he can't figure out why a toy phone has no "0". :)

Avila talking to Grandma in Iowa...

Perfecting the boy stare.

I love this tradition. And I love that Christmas week is almost here... :)

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