Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Off-Year Christmas

This year was the off-year for us for Christmas. This means all our kids were not here on Christmas Day. We celebrated on the 26th. The advantage was we got to make it an all day celebration!

We started with brunch: Omelets, Danish Pastries, Canadian Bacon, Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate and two flavors of juice.

The traditional "Christmas Tree" picture with all the family here, except dear-son #2 and his new wife. They were missed!

Each of the girls from the one year old up got a Christmas flower. This year Mr. Wonderful picked up a dozen of these lovely roses. I got the extras! (Daughter-in-law in Texas received a flower too!)

After opening gifts. Everyone cleaned up alittle then settled down to read their new books. Except Mom. I went to the kitchen and started the rolls for dinner. Dear son #4 went to take care of animals belonging to friends who are away for Christmas. When he returned he grilled the steaks. Wow were they good!

Here is the table ready for Christmas Dinner. It was close quarters with 9 of us around the table. So we filled the plates at the stove: Top sirloin steak, baked potatoes, rice pilaf, steamed carrots, rolls with honey butter, 7-up with sherbet, and water.

To have such delicious steak I brined the steak the day before for just under 3 hours. For 10 pounds of boneless steak I used 9 cups water and 3/4 cup of canning salt. Covered and let the steaks set in refrigerator.

Rinse off the brine. Then marinate. This marinade is based off one by Kim Cahill in "No Guesswork Cooking" an excellent cookbook, especially if you ever do large groups. For 10 pounds of boneless steaks:

3/4 cup olive oiil
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
6 Tbsp. Soy Sauce-low sodium
3/4 tsp. liquid smoke (probably not necessary if you use flavored chips on your grill)
6 cloves of minced garlic or equivalent of granulated garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
3/4 tsp. onion powder

Mix and pour above over rinsed meat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours!

Grill to desired doness.

After dinner we stuffed ourselves into our snow clothes and went out to play on snowmobiles and sleds. Dear son #3 and his fiance´e went to take care of animal feeding job he was doing. When they came back they had two puppies one for her and one for dear son #4. They are boys, border collie x blue heeler.

Not exactly the best time of year-weatherwise- for puppies. They are not allowed in the house, so they have taken over Mr. Wonderful's workroom, where there is heat and a concrete floor.

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