Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How the Gretch Stole Christmas

Trust Loretta Young to have everything ready days in advance.  Even at the holidays she annnoys me.

Actually, I can't hate on her too much here - she looks willing to kid herself, and I'd kill for the coat (even if I'd likely be killed for wearing it in public in these low days).

As for us, we're not nearly ready. We did manage to get the tree up last night, which counts for something, but we've somehow unaccountably agreed to have people in for Christmas dinner, and neither of us can really remember how or why it came about. In any case, it's going to mean getting out the good, from silver to bubbly, and I suppose it's been too long since we exercised our long-dormant expatriate entertaining muscles. That we'll be doing so sans benefit of le domestiche only makes it that much more of a challenge.

And at least we have heat.  Oh, boy, do we have heat. Mr. Muscato tends to like things a toasty 89° or so, which means I'm wearing shorts and the dogs lie around panting. I can only hope that my powers of persuasion will rise to convincing him to go a little light on the furnace for the party - not least because it's supposed to be in the high sixties on the big day - because our guests include the Retired Bikers, and in all that flannel and leather they'll have a stroke.

I'm a little challenged to come up with a suitably festive menu that will not completely undo my good work on the diet front, although I've decided to lash out and have a corn pudding, goddammit, because it's Christmas. Mashed potatoes, though, may be one step too far; anybody have a good cauliflower purée recipe?

So we're bustling about, and having taking Christmas Eve off, I look forward to a round of festive domesticity - silver polishing, last-minute marketing, the whole holiday nine yards.  What about you - anything amusing on the Christmas front? I can only hope our (and yours) measures up to Loretta's exacting standards...


  1. Darling, if this helps you, or one of your millions and millions of readers, then I'm happy. I've become very popular for bringing this side dish to fall and winter parties. Can't remember where I found it. Couldn't be easier. And it really hasn't got too terribly much butter......

    Cut 4 pears into quarters
    Cut 1 read onion into eighths
    Throw them into a 9 x 13 pyrex
    Salt and pepper
    Drizzle the lot with a mixture of
    2 Tbs melted butter
    2 Tbs of sherry vinegar (the real star of the show)
    foil wrap tightly
    In they go at 425 for 20 minutes
    Remove foil and go an additional 15-20

    and Bob's your very tasty and festive uncle.

  2. Ooops, almost forgot, rosemary leaves! As many or few as you like before it goes into the oven.

    1. The first sounds terrific; the addition of the rosemary makes it sound divine. We might just be tempted, either for Christmas or the New Year...

    2. Goodness..this does sound intriguing!

  3. Not sure what's least appetising - sweating bikers or cauliflower whip. Jx

    1. Now, now - they're very soigné, as Retired Bikers go. And my experience - with vegetables, not bikers - is that enough cream and garlic can work wonders.

      Come to think of it, that might just work for bikers, too...