Christmas at the Jacksons

A discovery was made…by me that I feel compelled to share. Cooking is hard at the front end of the process. That’s where the cook decides what to cook. This can take on many different forms. Use an old standby recipe? Do that one you had a couple of years ago (where in the heck is the recipe, though). Try something completely new so that you can experiment on your family and friends. Make it up as you go along which is good for the creative juices…but it is the holiday and should that risk be taken? All have their pluses and minuses.

This year I decided to use my fabulous crab recipe, spicy baked crab. This necessitated setting the table with newspapers, getting some bibs, buying the crab, warming up the bread as the crab baked, opening the wine and voila. Dinner. Nothing could be easier. It felt like I was cheating. Oh, and I made a pavlova. Thought I’d share the recipes. Everything was wonderful and clean-up was a breeze as clean-ups go.

And as Christmas eve goes, Christmas day follows. What to do? My, oh, my. Should I dig thru recipes, leaf thru magazines, look in my food binder, check out my MacGourmet software? Because I am often a thoroughly modern Millie, I decided to go to the Fine Cooking website where I found a neat little trick. It was called Plan a Perfect Xmas dinner (I’m paraphrasing here). Each course has about 25 choices that you browse through, make your selection, and drag your chosen dishes to the “menu” and hit go and the program automatically spits out a grocery list. So that is exactly what I did. It made the planning much easier. I crossed off from the list what I had in my pantry and then headed out the door for the store. Saved me precious moments.

So, I give you my menu for your reading pleasure. And check out the Fine Cooking website. It is fabulous. Oh, and I’m not sure but I can’t remember a recipe out of that magazine that didn’t work like a charm.

Just saying.

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