My husband and I generally have our own little Christmas celebration the weekend before the actual day, when we join in the craziness of celebrating with the large extended family. This year my husband was on call that weekend, so we had to work around that, but that’s quite a bit easier when you’re only dealing with two people.
The exchanging of “stuff”
Aiming to give each other anything major as Christmas gifts seemed sort of ridiculous as we’re currently honing in new TV and sound system already. This not long after getting the new computer, some clothes… You get the idea. So we just did “stocking stuffer” kind of things, which, as Jean said, is way more fun! The amusement of each having bought each the same wine accessory… The silly but cute gadgets from those catalogs… Chocolates and wine (which needs to be replenished constantly, anyway)… The fact he actually listened when I said I needed a new closet thingie for storing my jewelry in…
So, the black thing in this photo is a dress-shaped thingie with a hanger top that has loops in the back for hanging necklaces, and pouches in front for holding earrings and bracelets and such. It will be perfect, but it’s empty at the moment (since I just got it), and therefore seemed in need of some adornment. That takes the form of a VSC bra, which—though I ordered it myself, for myself—was still something of a Christmas surprise.
First, it arrived in record time, despite my not having paid for fast shipping. (Thanks, Canada Post.) Second, I bought it mainly because I thought my current strapless wasn’t pretty enough to wear under a dress. (Which basically makes no sense, since the point of a strapless is that no one sees it. But never mind that.) The pleasant surprise was that it was even prettier than I’d expected, with its little sparkles and lacing details. I almost felt it should be seen. So here it is! (I ignored Jean’s suggestion that I model it. This isn’t that kind of blog.)
I went for pretty simple-to-prepare, traditional-ish food, in quantities suitable for two.
This was Rock Cornish hens, prepared by sticking a mustard/rosemary paste under the skin, then baking it at 425. This produced nice crisp skin (which the diet recipe said to discard, but I poo-pooed that suggestion) and tasty, moist meat. The “gravy” was a mix of the juice with red wine, chicken broth, and seasoning.
I served this with mixed roasted vegetables—red potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots—in olive oil, white wine, and seasoning, baked at the same temperature as the meat, and a homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, apple cider, sugar). As Jean had to limit all alcohol while on duty, we served it with a nice but not spectacular Cotes du Rhone.
Dessert stayed on the homey theme: A cinnamon apple crisp, with raisins, served with vanilla yogurt and port.