Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Menus

Time to get serious about Christmas food! The Composer is German and loves German food, so we do a German Christmas dinner. I love this menu, it is so easy! And we all love eating it; I never cook these things during the rest of the year.

*Christmas Dinner*

Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast)
Spaetlze (dumplings)
Hot potato salad
Cucumbers in vinegar
Sweet and sour red cabbage
Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce

Spaetlze are a flour dumpling that you squeeze through a spaetzle-press, which is similar to a potato ricer. I used to make the spaetlze from my actual German cookbook. This dough was insane. It took the strength of three strong men to press through the gizmo. I switched to the recipe in Joy of Cooking. A baby could press those: so much better.

The Christmas Eve menu is a little trickier. It walks a fine line between actual good food and white trash-type selections. The hot dogs in sweet and sour sauce are a given, and they definitely pull us toward the trashier side. But men and children love them! And I think that when they were instituted in the early 70's they were a little more cutting edge.

*Christmas Eve Dinner*

Hot dogs in sweet and sour sauce (from a jar)
Mushrooms diablo
Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
Cold marinated asparagus
Cold marinated broccoli
Cold marinated red pepper strips
French bread slices and Brie
Shrimp with cocktail sauce (from a jar)
Cold tortellini on skewers with Parmesan dip
Black olives, sweet pickles, okra pickles
Cookie tray

This is the strangest, saltiest meal we eat all year, and it is so fun! Everything that can possible go on a skewer or a toothpick does, and the fondue pot is a must for the hot dogs.

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