The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It


The Themeless Christmas: I Can’t Win ‘Em All
December 12, 2011, 2:14 am
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , ,

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Every year, I have a “theme” at Christmas, or at least I usually do.

Since we have several different parties to attend with different folks at each one, I like to pick a festive dish and take that one dish to each party. That dish is my food theme for the year.

It just makes things easier.  I don’t have to think or work too hard. I can buy all my ingredients once, memorize the recipe, make the dish over and over, and be done with it.

One year, I made Ollie’s Cheesecake everywhere we went. I have also made a monster cheese platter. Several years ago, I made a baked brie.  Last year, I took two things: bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese and also brie on toast with honey and walnuts.

All of my themes over the years have been different and have come from some inspirational moment somewhere somehow. 

This year? I got nothing.

Nada, I tell ya.

Last night was our first party.  This particular shindig is always fun, and I like to think that my dish always shines.

Well, almost always.

I spent all day yesterday fretting about what to take. I poured over my cookbooks, the Food Network, and my foodie magazines, but nothing looked or sounded right. I must have opened and closed the refrigerator a hundred times thinking that something would inspire me. I Googled and Pinterested. I tried, but nothing happened.

So, with no clue and no inspiration, I overcompensated with mediocre dishes.

One of our friends met me at the door with a big smile. “What did you make this year?” he asked.

I wished he hadn’t asked.

I ended up taking a boring chicken dish. I roasted some chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto. Then, I sliced them and topped them with seasoned pecans and a raspberry sauce.  Unfortunately, the dish got stirred at the party, and all of the prosciutto, pecans, and sauce fell to the bottom. So, all that was left was plain chicken.

I also made a caraffe  of salted hot chocolate.  I love this recipe, but I usually make it for just four.  Last night, I was preparing for many more.  To adjust, I used a heaping tablespoon of Kosher salt. As one friend said with a half smile on her face, “Oh, it has a kick. It’s good.” She said this right before she poured her cup down the sink.

My dessert was a crescent roll wrapped around a dollop of Nutella, a bite of cream cheese, and a sugared pecan. I topped them with another pecan.  They were actually pretty good, but a roll of crescent rolls just doesn’t go very far. It only made a dozen.

I was so sad and embarrassed.  Somebody brought a store-bought cheese ball, and it was more popular than what I brought.

I have until Saturday to figure out a theme for our next party, or mark my word-I will buy dip and chips at the grocery rather than embarrass myself again.

Better safe than sorry.

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