Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Dinner

After our son and his family were here for their morning visit

and the presents were exchanged,

it was time to make the Christmas dinner.

And I had a lovely dinner planned.

I had just forgotten one minor detail.

My kitchen.

And my stove.

I guess that makes two minor details.

My bad.

You see, while I have a nice, open kitchen,

it is rather poorly designed,

with no counter space being larger than two feet long.

Add in the mix the fact that the stove is directly opposite

the refrigerator and the dishwasher is

in the middle of the work triangle and you have a

culinary work disaster.

Then there is the stove.

At first glance it is a nice stove, being a Jenn Air

with a stove top grill in place of two burners.

But you lose those two burners.

And then, because of the downdraft exhaust system

(which no longer works because the switch is broken),

the oven is smaller than the norm.

I had failed to consider these things when planning

my grand meal.

But let's get on with the meal and see how I overcame

these self-created obstacles.

Earlier in the month my husband had brought

home from work a fully cooked smoked turkey

as well as a bone-in ham.

Since my Christmas is laying on the ground

(the chimney, remember?),

there was to be no new refrigerator for me this year

so I could not fit both in the old fridge.

Fortunately, this December had been colder than usual,

so the ham could safely stay in the garage

while the turkey resided in the freezer

until it was time for the turkey to move to the


Then the ham moved to the freezer just as

the temperatures outside warmed up.

Convenient, no?

So anyway,

our Christmas menu was

the smoked turkey that only needed to be reheated,

a carrot soufflé and roasted green beans.

I think you can begin to see the problem here:

they all require oven space.

Fortunately I have a nice toaster oven,

but that only took care of one item.

I still thought I'd be okay, but I forgot that the

tiny oven would be overwhelmed with a whole turkey.

Le sigh.

First up on the menu, the carrot soufflé.

The ingredients for this dish, which comes from

Thomas Caterers of Distinction, are:

1 pound carrots

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick butter

3 tablespoons butter

salt (to taste)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

After peeling carrots, cook in salted water until

well done. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter.

In a blender or food processor put eggs, melted butter, sugar, flour,

baking powder and vanilla.

Blend well.

Add carrots and blend until mixture

resembles a milkshake.

I ended up adding no additional salt other than

the salt that had been added to the boiling water

for the carrots.

As with potatoes and pasta, if you salt the cooking

water enough, you often don't need to add salt later on.

Cook in an 8" x 8" greased glass pan in a 275 degree oven

for 45 minutes or until just firm.

The soufflé is ready.

And the rest of dinner?

Well, I roasted the green beans with bacon in the

toaster oven.

The directions given for the turkey barely warmed

the meat and given that it had to wait for the
soufflé to bake, that meant it was even cooler than we liked.

So I ended up carving up the meat, stuck it on a plate

and nuked it in the microwave until it came up to temp.

Life; what are you gonna do?

I do recall threatening to eat out

at a Chinese restaurant next year -

that or get a new stove.

At long last, and after much angst in the kitchen,

we sat down to our Christmas dinner.

I can tell you that there wasn't any carrot soufflé

left over.

However, if you do make this and happen to have some left,

it makes a kickin' soup

with the addition of milk or better yet, cream.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I'll have to try that carrot souffle. Looks good.