Tuesday, December 19 – Plan holiday table settings

Because I planned the menu already for Christmas dinner I also know exactly what dishes I plan to use. I’m excited to use the soup bowls and plates from my Goodwill find earlier this year – and one of my Christmas wishes was for colored wine glasses (even though they don’t “go” at all with the mid-century bamboo dish set, I’m sure it will still be pretty to see the table set with colored glasses). We’ll see how it all comes together. I don’t think I shared the menu:

First course – peppery lobster soup with star shaped croutons (from Best of Gourmet III)

Second course – arugula salad with a Meyer lemon dressing, with persimmon and red grapefruit

Main course – a Danish dish of a pork tenderloin, surrounded by a ground pork and mushroom mix, baked in a pastry crust AND a poached salmon with homemade herb mayo

Side dishes – parboiled and then butter roasted small potatoes, roasted carrots and fennel

I am not making a separate dessert, at least, I haven’t thought to yet.

Wednesday, December 20 – Today Show appearance

I am definitely coming down with something and am trying to push through it. It’s a good thing I’m not on TV today, I sound awful.

Thursday, December 21 – Begin winter pruning

I don’t do winter pruning. The only trees we prune are the sour cherry, and those usually get pruned in February (maybe that is winter pruning after all). I remembered to bring the amaryliss bulbs in from the garage, where I kept them in the dark for the first time ever. I usually have good luck getting a few years out of our amaryliss but last year not a single one bloomed. I’m looking forward to seeing if this year is better.

Our daughter comes home from college today and has requested latkes for dinner, so I’m going to get those started.

Friday, December 22 – Hang stockings

In our family my mother is the keeper of the stockings and brings them with her to wherever we celebrate. We stuff them full of goodies on Christmas Eve. They are usually fun to open the next morning, filled with random small gifts and chocolates.

I still feel awful, and am napping as much as I can while trying to get things ready.

Saturday, December 23 – Bake and decorate sugar cookies with Jude and Truman

Today I made the lobster soup. Here it is in two phases (out of four – first you cook the lobsters, then you pick the meat, make a stock using the shells, then puree). This is the stock when it starts and then when it’s ready to be strained and then pureed. It’s beautiful.

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I also shredded gift wrap and it looks awesome!

This week’s tip from Martha: Amaryllis care