Since this was our first Christmas in our new house, I decided that we needed to have Christmas dinner here instead of going somewhere else once we opened Santa gifts. That meant as soon as Kate finished opening her presents, I jumped into over-drive cooking mode. Lunch was planned for 1, so I needed to get busy. I had done a lot of prep work on Monday and Tuesday, so I had a pretty good start on things. The turkey went into the roaster at midnight on Tuesday night after being smothered in butter, sage, and rosemary, so it was nice and juicy by noon. I had the dressing in the oven, we had potatoes boiling, beans cooking, and everything else in other stages of prep. I even made candied sweet potatoes the way my Grandma makes them, which is the way her mother makes them, and I have to say - they were perfect! (No marshmallows needed.)
It wasn't my first time hosting a big meal like this, I have done Thanksgiving in the past, but I've never done Christmas Day. It's a whole other level of stress. Not only do you have to cook, but you have to arrange everything around gifts too. At least with Thanksgiving, it's just about the food. Nick was an awesome kitchen helper and Kate was preoccupied with her new toys, so it really went fairly smoothly. We were feeding 11 that day: the three of us, Mom, Richard, Trey, Emma Lee, Richard Sr, Yiayia, Nana, and Bill. I must say, I thought the meal was awesome and I was quite proud of myself. If I may, I will go ahead and declare this my tastiest pot of chicken and dressing to date. It must have been pretty good because there was very little conversation at the table - everyone was busy stuffing their faces.
After lunch and before dessert, we exchanged gifts with Mom. Then we filled our bellies some more with chocolate pie, buttermilk pie, Texas hot cocoa cake, and oreo balls.