Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Dinner Chez Probert

I've managed to close Civil 3D for a few hours (but of course I didn't shut down my computer). I need a break from raiding the household appliances for batteries as we put together this year's slog of toys. Steal from the smoke detector, flashlights and emergency radios, but leave those AAA in the remote alone!

Since Mr. Probert and I have long stopped traveling back to our respective homes for Christmas, we have become a Mecca of sorts for reveling grandparents and vagabond younger siblings.

The first crowd comes with white kid gloves for baseboard inspections and expectations of appetizers, wine glasses and placemats. My napkin rings better'd be in good order, and the tree'd best have ornaments on the visible side AND the side facing the wall. Right before the doorbell rings I employ the trick my father taught me as a child "Look at the tree and squint. If you see any gaps in light, you need to do some rearranging."

The second group is a little more forgiving. My office becomes a flophouse upon the addition of a few aerobeds and quickly fills up with laptops, musical instruments, polar fleece, hoodies and sneakers.

Our job is to keep the fridge packed with beer, bagels and brie (no cream cheese for this crowd) and to present the visiting relatives with a pair of smiling youngin' s for kissing and tossing in the air.

We are usually spared visitors on Christmas Day itself, but this year, I volunteered to cook dinner for my parents and one of my younger brothers. Though I am 31 years old and have been living on my own for over 10 years now, and I have hosted holiday meals for my in-laws on several occasions, my mother is thoroughly convinced that I am incapable of preparing a meal more complicated than the Blue Box. She offered to take us out for Christmas Dinner, but we live in the middle of Hell's Half Acre, and even his restaurant is closed for the birth of Christ.

While I make no promises to be the Ritz Carlton, I think we'll have a heck of a nice dinner with minimal fuss. In case you are still trying to figure out what to serve for dinner- here is my menu:

Cream of Beet Soup with Sour Cream, Parsley and Croutons

Rib Eye Roast with Mustard and Black Pepper (pg 269)

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesean (pg 236)

Crock Pot Au Gratin Potatoes

Steamed Asparagus

and my Mom is bringing some sort of Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, which she claims has been more work than preparing an entire Christmas dinner and if it doesn't taste good she's going to be PISSED.

Back to battery pilfering... and coffee with Baileys so I can stay awake to meet Santa but be too drunk to remember...

Merry Christmas to All!