Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good Mechanic, Good Friends, Good Food (and Bad Camera)

Ladies Christmas Dinner

Apple-Cranberry Cider and Crudite
Fruit and Walnut greens salad with red wine vinigrette
Martha's Tuscan Roast Turkey Breast with stuffing
Cheesy AuGratin Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans
Whole cranberry sauce
Aunt Sue's Beet, Apple and Horseradish relish
Sweet Scallopped Apple Crumble

Thank you, ladies, for your encouragement and prayers for my dinner last night. God is very good and things went swimmingly! I got a real conviction from the Lord midway through the day that the reason He wants me to do more hostessing and have people in my home is to bless others and minister to them, and not to have some perfect presentation of my wanna-be domestic talents (or some display meant to hide my lack thereof). So I chilled out and figured whatever happened with the car would be fine, our evening would be good.

And it was! I left the mechanic shop just about in tears with gratitude becuase I love our mechanic; we are super blessed to have a young Christian man running a shop in town andhe is so honest, patient, and thurough. I thought our problem was the alternator, but turns out it was just a bad battery. He fixed me right up and I had my car by about 3:30. I dashed home and got right to work.

I had prepared this AuGratin potato dish from recipezaar on Tuesday night and had it ready to go in the oven. Funny story about this- I have now prepared this dish three times in the past two weeks, and each time I fully intent to take a picture of the final product... and each time I am too busy whipping around to get it served to remember to take the picture. I will blog about it with pic at some point on the recipee blog, though, because it's a new favorite and i did alter the recipezaar version a wee bit.

When I was at my Aunt Sue's for thanksgiving, she served us this delicious beet, apple, and horseradish salad/relish. I didn't think i cared for beets, but I tried it and wow! was i ever good. So I wipped some up, and you can click on the picture below or here to get the very simple recipe for this festive-looking dish. I prepared this Tuesday night as well and had it in the fridge ready to go.

The big chore was the Tuscan Turkey breast that I found in Martha Stewart's Living December 2006 (I think). Becuase I was too spazzing to get a picture when mine was done, here is Martha's picture. The picture is also a link to the recipe on her website.

Now, I must admit I did not follow Martha's directions exactly. I basically took the idea and made it my own. If I make it again I'll try to remember to take a picture and blog about it. I reccommend it as a great way to serve turkey to just a few people or without having to mess with the whole big bird and hours of cooking; this only took about an hour 20 minutes to cook. It was delicious!

I also served whole-cranberry sauce and dinner rolls, both store-made but both quite tasty all the same. We had a choice between red or white wine, and here we are after opening our Christmas crackers and about to enjoy our feast.

My camera is really struggling at this point. The pictures it takes are not so great, and now it seems to "misplace" many of the pictures I take. For instance, i took a number of shots of the table after it was set, to show you all the green glass, etc, but none of them were there when I went to download them. I think it isn't saving them properly because it's just old and falling apart. but hopefuly you can get an idea from this picture. I really think it looked lovely. And the best part was having dinner with my two dear friends, Kim and Rhoda. Caleb treated himself to a night of burgers and a movie I wouldn't want to see, so we were all happy! :)

After dinner we moved into the livingroom and Rhoda played us some lovely Christmas music on our new (to us) piano! How lovelythat was! I would have taken a picture but Rhoda doesn't like to be the centre of attention, and I wanted to be a good hostess of course. It was so lovely to sit in my livingroom with good friends, look at the beautiful tree, and listen to beautiful songs about our savior.
We then watched an episode of Touch of Frost, one our favorite British detective shows (I am totally addicted to all British detective shows, and really British TV in general. Anyone else out there a fan?), that happened to be Christmas themed. Midway through the show, I served up my (and I get to call it MY because I invented the recipe! I'm so excited!) Sweet Scallopped Apple Crunch, with whipcream and cranberry tea. I will have a recipe up on the the other blog soon, I think you'll like it!
It was a lovely evening and my girlfriends said more than once they liked my Christmas decorations (post coming soon with pictures) and enjoyed the meal, so what more could I ask for? God has blessed me so richly, I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you, ladies, for journeying a long with me, and for caring enough about my journey to read to this point of the blog! More fun stuff to come soon, including more great second-hand finds, some exciting news about my little nephew Devon, and the long-coming Christmas decorations post (if my camera can just hold on!!!).
I pray all of your Christmas seasons are just as warm and wonderful as mine is turning out to be!


Lianne said...

That is so great that you opened up your home to your friends like that. I really need to do more of that! It's so easy to get caught up in all of the day-to-day ruts of life that we don't take the time to tell the special people in our lives that we love and appreciate them.

Kudos to you! (And when do you want my family to come over for dinner? :D )

Armchair Housewife said...

Oh I would love to have you! It's a bit of a drive I'd say, though, from your place to Ontario, Canada!

the voice of melody said...

Great news on your little nephew going home this morning. What a blessing to have him home in time for Christmas!

Your dinner with the girls sounded so wonderful. Now I know what you meant (in the comment you left me). :)

I used to get stressed out over having everything "just perfect" but since becoming a Christian I see hospitality differently. I value the fellowship we enjoy over all, not so much whether or not I have the right serving utensil for a particular dish!

Angela said...

I have run a home daycare for 17 years, and I hosted a pot luck dinner where 10 ladies arrived from a daycare network I'm involved with. I PRAYED so much before hand. Prayed that God would give me Martha's work ethics but a Mary's heart with my guests. Prayed for peace, fellowship, not to be agitated, intimadated and fearful (social phobia struggles). Isn't it just so wonderful we have such an amazing Father who cares for our needs and does more than we could ever ask or imagine in our lives. Your party sounded just delightful. I LOVE your party hats,,crowns of splendor in God's right hand!!