It's Christmas Eve and D's family came up for dinner and Mass (D and I stayed home to prep for dessert and get things ready for the rest of the evening).
I tried to keep it simple for dinner and think I was successful. We served a roasted pork loin stuffed with apples and prunes with roasted butternut squash, carrots and onions; red cabbage (as mentioned in yesterday's post); and a green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette from Cheryl's salad recipe file. Unlike year's past, everything was ready at the appointed hour and we sat down to eat just a bit after the scheduled 2p dinner time. (Everyone was planning on going to Mass at 430p, so we wanted to be done with dinner in plenty of time.) Everything was delicious and, although the cabbage wasn't the same as Grandpa Pete's recipe, it was good none-the-less.
I'll definitely make it again, but the next time I do, I'll use ½ c. port and 1 c. red wine vs. the 1½ c. that the recipe calls for to make it more acidic. This recipe was a bit on the sweet side and, while everyone liked it, I didn't think it had the bite that Grandpa Pete's had.
We were able to eat dessert before everyone left for Mass and this too turned out better than I had expected. I made a rice pudding with a cranberry/raspberry sauce. I had cooked it yesterday and after it was chilled, it congealed more than I had hoped, so I poured in a cup or so of cream and reheated it. After 30 minutes or so, it was nice and creamy.
After everyone got back from Mass, we sang Silent Night (yes, I played my guitar) and proceeded to open presents. Afterwards, the kids were sent to bed and the adults stayed downstairs doing the Christmas Eve thing (some of which involved watching football). We finally called it a night when M came out to the railing and told us we needed to go to bed so Santa could get on with delivering his presents. We complied.