December 24, 2009

Christmas Cook

The office closed at 1 p.m. and people scattered quickly on this Christmas Eve. Most of the talk today was about who was making what and for whom.

In my house, Husband is the Chief Cook and I’m the Bottle washer. Food, prepared with love and care, is a gift as much as any precious jewel.

He’s been preparing for our Christmas Day meal for at least a month. He has the recipe books out and marked and a list of the menu on the refrigerator door.

Yesterday he made homemade pie crusts and then filled them with “Aunt Belle’s Sugar Cream Pie.” No one in my generation ever knew Aunt Belle. I’m not sure what limb of the family tree she sits on. My Dad had this recipe from his sister -- who has been gone for 9 or ten years -- and Husband makes it for my dad. I just cannot imagine too many son-in-laws do this for their father-in-law.

Husband once made banana pudding (with Nilla Wafers) for Dad in a pink Depression glass bowl that his mother used for banana pudding. Depression glass was available everywhere in the 1930s, and now is a valuable treasure from those times.

Husband made all desserts yesterday -- a homemade strawberry cake with nearly two pounds of strawberries in the batter. And of course, Cherry Delight, his family's favorite and filled with decadent "Delight."

Today he’s made scalloped corn, green bean casserole, and Waldorf salad. Tomorrow he’ll bake a ham with a special glaze and “cheesy” potatoes. Not those frou-frou potatoes with the white sauce, but good old Hoosier comfort food with “real” Velveeta. Real cheesy. Another ticket stamped on our ride to Carb City.

I looked in the upstairs fridge and saw cold bottles of a special ale my brother likes, and I know he has chocolates hidden somewhere for my mother.

Now he’s taking a much deserved Christmas Eve nap before we head to the local Japanese steak house for a night of hibachi magic.

My contribution for our guests tomorrow: Chex Mix. I can’t screw that up too badly.

My Husband’s gifts of planning and loving care over this meal are a huge gift to all of us. Merry Christmas, honey.

Quoth the raven.