3:45 - I make the griddle cakes which are totally easy. Their perfect texture is halfway between pancake and biscuit. If I weren't topping them off with the totally strong flavors of gorgonzola and pear, I would have added a little salt to give them more flavor. But paired with such powerful cheese and sweet pears, the blandness of the griddle cake was perfectly complimentary.
4:00 - I put together our cranberry-apple cocktail which is one part cranberry juice, one part sparkling apple cider and two parts sparkling wine. It's as tasty as it is lethal. You cna easily consume four or five of these and not realize you are tipsy.
4:30 - Auntie Em and Uncle Tim come over to take our picture in front of the Rhymes with Beverly sign. My mother in law loves the retro Beverly sign and comments on it every time she visits. For Christmas, we are giving her a picture of us in front of the sign.
4:45 - We stick the corn pudding, and the Timily's two potato casserole in the oven to heat. The Timily's make their divine spinach and pine nut thingy that is garnish with sliced pears. We put the desserts on the buffet and set the table. Normally we would totally put other the cobalt blue square Asian plates but the holiday screams for the totally retro daisy dishes that served as J's parent's everyday china.
5:30 - We go into high chaos mode, fueled by cranberry cocktail and a little bit of panic. J first steams the green beans in the microwave and then sautees them in butter. We top them with almonds.
6:10 - Thank Heaven for Little Girls (THLG) arrives with her rolls. I take the turkey out of the oven to rest.
6:25 - Slim and his friend The Chad arrive with a casserole of risotto. We stick the risotto and rolls in the oven.
6:40 - Lawn arrives with a casserole of perfectly cooked mashed potatoes. They are soft and creamy and I am dying to find out how she kept them warm considering how notoriously difficult it is to warm mashed potatoes. I carve the turkey onto out Ikea platter, using the durmsticks as a lovely garnish. It's a pretty Norman Rockwell looking platter with drumsticks on either side, turkey in one half of the middle and stuffing on the other half.
7:00 - We sit down to dinner and the true chaos begins. Plates are passed around and because there are so many dishes so people committ to eating five dishes in round 1 and the rest in round 2. I keep asking for the gravy boat. The hits of the evening are definitely the stuffing, the spinach, and the mashed potatoes. I'd have to say that the corn pudding was kind of meh. I realize what I wanted was more of a cornbread consistency and less of a custard consistency. One thing I do realize is that the totaly profusion of dishes means that it's hard to fully appreciate any one thing.
8:12 - I don't know who starts it but our tradition of talking about sex and bodily functions finally kicks off. It only took us an hour and twelve minutes. That's record. The Chad is tickled pink. He can stay.
9:00 - J suggests we retired to the living room for dessert and everyone says they are so full they can move. More dirty talk along with talk about Tom and Katie's Wedding, Michael Richard's insanity, and the 2006 election. Because I cannot deal with chaos, I starting clearing and putting dishes in the dishwasher. Everyone helps.
9:54 - We FINALLY have enough space in our tummies for a little taste of dessert. We give everyone little slivers of tart and pie and cut servings of pecan bars and baklava in half. Whipped cream (from a can) and ice cream are served alongside the slivers of dessert.
11:00 - We FINALLY have digested enough food to move. We finish clearing the table and putting everything in tupperware. I fix a plate for Lawn's husband.
11:30 - Seriously, the talbe and kitchen are CLEAN and people have to mosey on. The Timily's stay behind to talk some more. We love the Timily's.
12:30am - The Timily's leave. We watch the TiVoed Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy.
1:50 - SNOOOORGGGGGGG!!!!
10:17 am - Baklava tastes so much better the next day.