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Posted on Dec 25, 2012 | 0 comments

Christmas Brunch, or, It’s Not a Party ‘Till You Forget Something

Christmas Brunch, or, It’s Not a Party ‘Till You Forget Something

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Christmas, to me, means brunch.  I don’t need a fancy rib roast at dinner.  By then, I want a calm, easy supper, after the energy of the day.  I certainly don’t want a frenzied, late night Christmas Eve extravaganza.

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For me, Christmas Eve is for quiet family time at home, hot chocolate, a fire, maybe snuggling up on the couch to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, and opening one present from someone who will not be there on Christmas day.
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Then, off to bed early.  Christmas comes faster that way.  My mom told me so.

 

 

 

Overnight, Santa comes to fill the stockings.

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On Christmas morning, stockings are opened without cameras, without parents hovering, at whatever time the little recipients want.  I – I mean Santa – likes to include a protein bar in the stockings to hold them over until brunch.

Brunch.  Possibly, my favorite meal of any day, but especially Christmas. You can sleep later, keep your jammies on if you’re at home, and linger at the table through lunch.  If you’re doing a buffet, a second trip through the line is almost required.  And if there’s champagne, keep it coming!  We’ll be here for a while.  Visiting, telling stories, sharing memories, laughing. And, eating!

This year, we had the Dynamic Dinner Party Duo, my mom and grandma, over to our house for Christmas brunch.  They got here about ten, and waited patiently until after 11:00 for brunch to be ready.  Bless them.  They sipped hot chocolate as they set the table and created a magnificent centerpiece from items I had around the house.

And, I do mean, around the house.  These were ornaments that had been sitting on top of our refrigerator, seeking refuge from tiny, crushing fingers.

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They started out the season adorning a nicely balanced Christmas tree, but had had been plucked from the bottom half, one by one, over the weeks, and tossed to the floor.  The survivors made it up onto the frig and, finally, onto the table for Christmas day.  The tree, being a generous Christmas tree, understood. With small children, it’s not about appearances; it’s about making do.

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The star of the brunch was Orange Sweet Rolls, courtesy of the The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier. This is where the forgetting part comes in. After leaving out some crucial element to a bridal shower I threw in my early twenties, my grandma told me an important party planning secret: It’s not a party until you forget something. An obedient pupil, I practice her advice at nearly every event I host, and Christmas was no exception.

See, the Pioneer Woman cookbook has a lovely two-page spread on how to make these Orange Sweet Rolls.  I got all the way to the last step, which was to bake them. And I stopped there. I served these faintly orangey, sweet, yet not quite moist and gooey (we were passing the butter and marmalade like crazy), bready little discs.

IMG_6897 When I reviewed the recipe later, I realized there was more to it. I hadn’t turned the page, so I never saw the instructions to make icing! I felt like Rachel on Friends when she gets two pages of her cookbook stuck together and ends up making Trifle with Beef.

Well, that explained it.  I forgot to make the gooey, juicy, orange icing that melts over the sweet rolls, coating them in good gunk (as my grandpa would say).  It never occurred to me there would be more than two pages to a recipe.  Who does that?  Nope, not even the ingredient list, explicitly listing ingredients for icing, clued me in.

Having taken care of the critical Forgotten component of the gathering, we went on to enjoy turkey bacon (for my mom), actual bacon (for the rest of us), scrambled eggs with lots of herb butter, and mimosas.  As usual, I forgot to take pictures of any of it.

Then came the presents.  Then the calm.  Then the leftovers!

What a perfect, imperfect, day.

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Maybe next Christmas I’ll get a camera so I can attempt to do justice to sunsets.

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