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Christmas, Our Way • Part 2

December 26, 2010 by Joan Nova in Family-Size Meals, Holidays | 17 Comments

As mentioned in Part 1 (Christmas Eve), we celebrated Christmas Day in Jim + Julie’s new home.

My son, who many of my readers know, is an excellent cook and a food blogger (albeit sporadic these days). He’s also a very good photographer and, as he keeps reminding me, a great son.

I recently said here that I’m still in awe of being in Florida for the holidays so, along with our family celebration and food (of course), I thought I’d share a few images to illustrate just what that means — starting with this open door and sunlight streaming through the house.

Looking through the dining area to the open door and pool.

This cracked me up — the tropical screen saver while Christmas music was being piped through the house and outside.

How about a logical second oven outdoors for the ham and the side dishes?A little bocce ball on the golf course behind the house to amuse the kids.

O.K. Let’s eat…that’s what you’re here for, right?

Since we eat pasta and fish in some form on Christmas Eve, we’ve always looked forward to a roast meat and lots of wonderful sides on Christmas Day. That’s where I come back into the picture. To accompany the spatchcocked turkey and ham, stuffing etc. that Jim decided to cook this year, I made 3 sides which I will present in separate posts over the next couple of days.

I am a convert to the idea of ‘spatchcocking’ the bird which Jim did superbly with lots of herbs, vegetables and butter. It could not have been tastier or more moist and it cooks a helluva a lot quicker too.


There was a beautiful spiral-cut ham which Nico couldn’t wait to get his hands on, a perfectly moist stuffing, homemade cranberries, and a gravy to-die-for (and I don’t normally use gravy) but Jim made it by pureeing all the vegetables, herbs, pan drippings from the turkey and I know not what else…I’m drooling just thinking about it.
After dinner, it’s more gifts for the kids and Secret Santa for the adults. For the last several years we’d been doing Stab Santa (unmarked gifts which you can steal from each other once opened). But, after a few years, it stopped being fun and people went home with stuff they really didn’t want. This year, we went back to the old draw a name out of a hat and buy a gift for that person. I got lucky!

And what do you think of our little elf?

Then, like every other family, out comes the dessert. Those are my pistachio-rosemary-chocolate biscotti at the end.

And my sister’s Broken Glass cake, the one time a year I look forward to eating jello!And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to heat up some of those turkey and ham leftovers I brought home because I sure worked up an appetite writing these two posts! :)

Recipes for 3 vegetable sides to follow. You don’t want to miss them.

Part 1: Christmas Eve

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

17 Comments

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  1. Lori Lynn says:

    HI Joan – wishing a Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to you and your family. The elf could not be more adorable.
    LL

  2. Liz says:

    Thanks for part two. Interesting way to cook the turkey and looks so good! Look forward to hearing about the sides.

  3. Peter says:

    Nice looking turkey and I like the idea of doing Christmas in shorts. Screw Canadian winters!

  4. Elli D. says:

    Oh wow! Everything looks so unbelievably good and tasty, love it! Btw, looking at these pics I have to say that I just cannot really imagine not spending Christmas in this crazy cold Toronto weather. It sure must be an interesting experience, though (cooking Christmas meal outside, wow).

  5. Katie says:

    Christmas with your family looks like a blast, Joan! The food looks heavenly, too. I can’t wait to read about your contributions to the the meal. :)

  6. Ivy says:

    Everything looks delicious on that table. That little elf is so cute.

  7. Marie says:

    I wouldn’t mind cooking outside by the pool at all, we had a white Christmas it snowed here yesterday, pretty, but now it can go away. I love that spatchcocked turkey idea, I’m stealing it! Your holiday looked so fun, filled with great food and family!

  8. norma says:

    That turkey looks so good. Jimmy is an excellent cook just like his momma.

  9. Arlene says:

    Joan, as always, your feast is drool worthy. I’ve just gotten into spatchcocked chicken; will have to “man up” and try it with a turkey.

  10. Very warm Christmas, lots of family members and lots of food. I am waiting for your upcoming recipes, happy holidays!

  11. brii says:

    wow! everything fantastic Joan!!
    we also draw names and give present just to one person, the family is big and this is a very good idea! :-D
    I love the turkey idea!!
    baciussss
    brii

  12. redkathy says:

    Oh my gosh Joan your elf is adoooorable!! And the food looks pretty darn tasty too :)

    Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

  13. What a wonderful, family feast full of fun, laughter and festivities. Stay very well Joan and looking forward to travelling with you in the New Year.

  14. Where did you live before, Joan? It is so hard for me to imagine a Christmas without snow… but it looks like you did it first class style. What is spiral cut ham? Well, how do you cut it? What do you use? It looks so gorgeous!
    Cute little elf! The kiddies always make it magic!
    :)
    Valerie

    • Joan says:

      I live in NY before moving to So FL — and I’m fortunate that the whole family eventually wound up here.

      Ham is pre-cut in spirals (but still attached to bone) before it gets to market. I guess it’s only a U.S. thing. Great if you have the opportunity to try it.

  15. Robin Sue says:

    Looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas together as family! Family and Food, the two best things!!

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