For the past several years, on Christmas Eve, Ed and I have cooked a simple family dinner and shared a nice meal together before the hectic times of Christmas Day begin. This year my sister will be joining us again. This is one of my favorite meals of the year. I look forward to his time together almost as much as Christmas morning. Every year we make something different - one year we made a standing rib roast, once a hearty lasagna, once just some nice steaks and baked potatoes. Now that Owen is getting old enough to have an opinion about what he wants to eat, we let him help plan this years menu.
Tonight we will serving BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, cheesy mashed potatoes, and green beans two ways. Owen had originally asked for us to serve sloppy joe's (which is his favorite food) but I thought the pulled pork would be a nice compromise. My boys, like all kids love starches so we let Owen decide between potatoes and homemade macaroni and cheese. And I love green beans. I bought fresh green beans at the farmer's market yesterday that I will saute with some shallots and garlic. The boys don't like fresh green beans but eat canned green beans like crazy, so I'll serve them the canned variety.
For dessert the boys will eat cookies and I'm making an apple, pear, and cranberry crumble for us grown ups. I also bought a few different types of cheese and some fresh bread and crackers that I'll serve as a simple appetizer. We'll have apple cider for the kids and wine for us. It will be a wonderful meal.
I love cooking but don't get to spend as much time in the kitchen as I would like so preparing this simple meal for my family today in between finishing up the last minute wrapping and preparing for Santa's visit tonight makes me very happy. Merry Christmas!