Monday, 31 December 2012

Inspired At My Island's First Christmas

Merry Christmas, family, friends, and other folks! 

I hope you have had time to enjoy the company of loved ones and some good food to boot.  We hosted my parents, my brother's family, and the family of the brother of my blog-inspiring cousin.  How are those for handles, Troy and Trevor? ;-) 

This Christmas meal, as per the last seven we have hosted since moving to our acreage, has been prepared primarily by my father.  "We'll bring the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cabbage rolls, carrots, and peas," he informed me again!  It makes my dad happy and he says we're too busy with the kids and work, so we thanked him and obliged.  I have made a turkey in the electric oven my parents gave me (mixed message?!) with no food poisoning experienced by my nuclear family, but my dad's bird-baking ability is tried and true.

Dad even kicked it up a notch with a new style of presentation as you can see.  Gregory looks impressed!

My husband wanted to contribute two traditional Ukrainian dishes.  One was nalysnyky; these are made by mixing dry cottage cheese (as opposed to creamed-style) with dill, perhaps other spices like pepper, even cinnamon, maybe some eggs for added adhesive power for the ingredients, rolling a few spoonfuls of that in many-a-small crepe, and baking them in cream.  My mother-in-law insists that one must boil the cream first so it doesn't overflow the pan in the oven...but you still need to keep an eye on it! 

The second dish was nachynka, a cousin of polenta, prepared by cooking chopped onions, frying the cornmeal a bit, adding milk or cream, perhaps some eggs depending on the version of the recipe, and baking it.  The consistency varies, depending on the cook's family traditions and personal style; sometimes it might be creamy like porridge or perhaps more on the firm side.  I think that the best part of nachynka is the crunchy crust that you might be lucky to get a piece of!  You can see the yellow nachynka on the right bottom corner of this photo.

Both dishes turned out very well and the husband of this blogger was very pleased with himself.  The recipients of the food were satisfied, too.  The feast was also enhanced with a traditional cooked red cabbage dish from the German heritage of Troy's wife, Monica, and my sister-in-law, Nicole, made a sweet-and-tart salad with Granny Smith apples, pieces of Snickers bars, vanilla instant pudding, and Cool Whip.  The salad is the fluffy white delight in front of Little Boy Blue and the cabbage is in the foreground of the graciously grinning girls.  

Hungry people ready for the spread; the Ukrainian          Bob of the Bird and Lovely Lorraine
chef is the handsome fellow in the long-sleeved                         a.k.a. my parents
blue dress shirt.

Now, are any of you thinking, "Jennifer, did you contribute ANYTHING to your family's feast?!" 
I did, I promise!   For the main course, I'd prepared a coleslaw salad from Bon Appetit, but the island was pretty full and I forgot about it until we'd all gone through the line and were well on the way to FULL on our belly tanks' gauges!  The dessert and snack table bore more of my efforts.  However, just in case this post is getting a bit lengthy for your taste, I will share them in the two entries to be entitled "Truffle Brownie Cups and Other Treats" and "Jennifer vs. The Grinch."

Thank you for joining our family's tasty celebration at the island this Christmas and I hope you will be back many times in the coming year!


P.S.  If you'd like an email message when I put up new posts, feel free to fill in the Subscribe section on the right side of the blog.  I excitedly told Larry that I was up to NINE followers.  He smiled and chuckled at me - he knows I'm not in this for the stats and is happy that I am finding joy in this journey. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Looks fantastic Jennifer! Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you and your beautiful family!


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