Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Menu

(not my table, but isn't it pretty?)
Now that I have officially declared it Christmas in this house, I decided to plan my menu. There'll be a full house for Christmas dinner so I want time to tweak and finalize, not rush and throw together. I'm anticipating at least 20 people, so do you see why I need to plan now? This is my menu so far:

Appetizers: Bacon crisps, stuffed mushrooms and eggnog
Main course: Ham, asparagus bundles, mashed potatoes with ham gravy (on the side of course,) cauliflower gratin and orange segments with olive oil and black pepper.
Dessert: Various cookies and a birthday cake for Jesus

My mother always baked a cake for Jesus' birthday. A simple reminder of what we're really celebrating. It was always a white cake with white icing to symbolize the purest Light which came into the world. Why not start that tradition in your home?

Now, about the eggnog. I used to always make my own. My Paula Deen recipe is excellent. The only thing I changed was the alcohol. I always used Cap't Morgan Spiced Rum. And really, it's delicious, but time consuming. The other day at the grocery store I found this: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket And for as good as it is, it's worth it's weight in gold. Buy a few cartons, pour them into a punch bowl and call it a day! You can add some more Southern Comfort, I'm sure. But with all the wine that normally flows through this house on Christmas, it's really not that necessary. Plus the kiddos can have some.

Please share your Christmas traditions. It's never too late to start a new one.

Edited to add: My mom sent me this email this morning and I thought I would share it with you. I honestly don't remember always using a chocolate cake...but maybe we did (and do) and my memory is slipping!

Julie, This is how you should do a Jesus B/D cake. If you remember I had 3 angels (my children) And always the red candles. I never had a star, but that is a good one to add.
Love, Mommy

Round Cake: Make a round cake to represent that Jesus' love has no end.

He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. (John 3:16)

Cake Flavor: The cake should be chocolate or a dark color to show the sins of the world.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23

White Frosting: The white frosting symbolizes Jesus' purity and how He washes away all our sin white as son. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Angel Decoration: Use an angel to represent the bearer of the good tidings, or good news of Jesus' birth and that we can continue to bring that good news to others.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11

Star Decoration
: A star on the cake represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the wisemen to Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the eastwent ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10

: Place twelve red candles on the cake to remind us of the blood that Jesus shed as to forgive our sins, twelve months of the year. Lighting the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Blessing of the day: I'm blessed because I have parents who taught me the true meaning of Christmas!


Karen H. said...

Good Morning Julie,
That table is beautiful. It don't hurt to dream that ours would look like that huh? I have my Christmas dishes on my table as well. It's not as elaborate as the one in your picture, but it's mine. I may just make a birthday cake just for Jesus this year. Since we had a great time this year at my house on Thanksgiving, I'm doing Christmas on Christmas Eve at my house with my parents and sister. This will be a new tradition I suppose. Eggnog, did someone say pass the Eggnog? LOL. I love Eggnog. I don't recall having any homemade Eggnog, but I have bought the Eggnog from the stores plenty of times. I don't think that I've tried the Southern Compfort kind tho. I may have to give it a try. It is raining again here today. It is a chilly 42 degrees. I want snow!!!! I feel the need to make and eat some snow cream. LOL. Me and my Mother will get together later on and decide our Christmas menu. Yours sound delicious. Well, take care my friend and have a great Monday. May God Bless You and Yours.

Karen H.

Mary said...

Yum! Can I come to your house for Christmas dinner? LOL We don't realy have a tradition associated with dinner, but I do get the kids an ornament each year, so they will have their own when they get their own families. I love the idea of a birthday cake for Jesus -- we may do that this year!

restyled home said...

Hi Julie,
I love hearing about your Christmas traditions! You have such a lovely way of sharing stories with us, that I always go away uplifted after reading your blog!

I am marvelling at the holiday menu you have planned! In fact, it has inspired me to comb through some of my recipe books to add a new dish to my holiday repertoire...

Have a great day!
Linda xox

CONNIE W said...

Hi Julie - I'm hosting Christmas for some of our family too so I was thinking just last night that it's time for me to start making plans for the menu. I like the idea of a birthday cake for Jesus. I have six grandchildren coming from ages 9 and under and they would like that. We could even sing together. I'm not an eggnog fan but in our family many of them like mulled cider so sometimes I do that in the crockpot and add the purchased prepared spice mix which tastes really good. Merry Christmas to you.

lori said...

Columbia...that is the Home of the South Carolina Gamecocks..a bad word around here...we were in Clemson...Clemson, South Carolina..on the west side, I think...

I LOVE eggnog,will try I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that your Mom makes a cake and ices it in white...we do the cake...NOW we will ice it in white! LOVE THAT!!
thank you for sharing!!

The coincidences are a little freaky...we will NEED to meet someday...crazy..I went to North Allegheny until I was 10th grade!
The menu looks wonderful...what time should we arrive??:)

oh and hey, it's Monday night...GO STEELERS!!:)
have a fabulous day girl!!
love you,

Donna said...

Hi Julie,
Your Christmas dinner menu sounds divine! It's nice to have the time to plan everything. I must try that eggnog.
The white Christmas cake for Jesus is such a nice tradition. Sounds good! Our tradition in the family is baking Christmas cookies!

T*mmy said...

I've declared it Christmas at my house and at my blog!

OH MY...I dare not send my Hubby to the grocery at this time of year...he comes home with loads of egg nog...he would especially like that!

Have a great Monday!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely guitar instrumental. Since my mother is from Germany, we always celebrated on Christmas eve, saving a gift or two for Christmas morning, so we'd feel a part of the American holiday, too. Everyone dressed up when it was just dark; then, we would turn out all of the lights, except of course for the tree and all of the other twinkle lights, hold hands as we stood before the tree and with Silent Night playing in the background, we would sing together. Once finished, everyone hugs and kisses, wishing each other a Merry Christmas...and most of us cry because at that moment we realize how truly blessed we are that we made it to another Christmas and still have one another. And we continue this tradition. Funny, I cannot remember when it started, but it is very, very special.

Anonymous said...

I'm leaving your blog up while I get ready for work because the music is so pretty. :)

FarmHouse Style said...

Julie the menu sounds delicious! I love the birthday cake tradition. I think I will start that one in my house...thanks for the idea.


Rosie's Whimsy said...

Your menu is wonderful. I just ate breakfast and now I am ready to eat again :-)

From the Doghouse said...

So, what time should we all show up? ;)

We do the cake at our house too, but we've never done the white icing; I like that idea.

Alice said...

Your menu sounds great, Julie. I've started planning mine too but I've only gotten as far as ham.

I've never even had so much as a sip of eggnog. My mother, before I was born, drank too much one year and got sick. She had bad things to say about it ever since and scared me away from it. Silly, I know.

Nan said...

Your menu sounds delicious. I've never had ham gravy. Do you make it just like other gravy? The Jesus cake is a wonderful idea. And the eggnog couldn't be easier!
Good ideas.

PAT said...

Your menu sounds delicious, Julie.

We do homemade Clam Chowder and various appetizers for Christmas. Our daughters are at their Dad's and inlaws Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year, they'll be at our house the 23rd. They have come to expect the chowder and appetizers. If I veered away from the norm, they would be disappointed. Christmas menu planning is so very easy for me.:-)


BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Julie...I make the Birthday Cake for Jesus too!! I have been making it all white with white frosting but now that you have shared that little tidbit I may have to make chocolate this year!

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Julie,

I love hearing about all of your family traditions. The warmth just seeps through and it's so inviting and touching. I wish I lived closer to you and could stop by for a visit :)


bj said...

Well, Julie, I sat here reading about Jesus Cake and squalled my eyes out. Such a wonderful reminder of all HE means to us. I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO MAKE MY FIRST JESUS BIRTHDAY CAKE, sharing all you and your mom have written, with my entire family. I am so excited to do this. Be sure to post a picture when you make yours and I will do the same. Thanks forever for sharing this with us.

bj said...

Oh...I got so carried away with the beautiful cake idea I forgot to mention that we always have egg nog, too. My dad used to make it from scratch and it was so, we use the store bought kind, poured into my punch bowl, adding whipped cream and a touch of vanilla, stiring gently and a little "nog", as well. We every one look forward to it. I always make a small bowl without "nog" for the kids and they love it, too. We sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg on top and savor every drop!
GOOD I'm starving for a cup of it!!!!! :)

willzmom said...

Everything sounds so good-when do we eat? I guess it is time to start thinking about planning our meal too! You've inspired me to get going on that. Have a great day.

Terri and Bob said...

Beautiful table, yours or not!

We do eggnog too, but our recipe is so easy that we decided to keep it again, we use raw eggs, but they are pasteurized.

I love the idea of a birthday cake for Jesus. I think I will start that tradition when I have grandkids!

Back Through Time said...

What a sweet idea to make a birthday cake for Jesus! A wonderful tradition! I always love reading what you plan for your holidays.
Hope you are having a nice Monday:-)

mayberry said...

Asparagus bundles! YUM! I love doing the green bean bundles. Got to make some for hubby soon - they're some of his favorites.

Bought a new Christmas CD to listen to in the car. Nothing gets me in the spirit of the season like the music. Mary, Did You Know is one of my favorites.

Nancy said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate THE Birthday. That is such a special thing for you to carry on through your family. Your mother must be a very special person.

Scrappy Moments said...

What a Wonderful Cake Recipe, I love it. I have always wondered how to make one. I just might do that this year. I love the symbolism. I am going to print this out, I think this would be a nice thing to stuffin Christmas Cards too, I still ned to get those out :) & finish my decorating. I bet your house looks Beautiful Julie.


Mary Isabella said...

Thany you for sharing your mom's note with us. What good ideas to do for our children or those we teach in church. Thanks Mary

Sandy said...

Hi Julie! Happy Holidays :)
Love your menu - looks like you are organized and ready to go!
Eggnog is loved in our home too.
No menu planned here yet ... but we're wondering if you could add 5 people to your table? hee hee.

Cottage Contessa said...

Julie your menu sounds like it will be totally delicious! Thank you sharing about the birthday cake for Jesus. I know my daughter will love this story and she will really enjoy making the cake with me!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Robyn said...

Yummy when is dinner? lol!

jo ~ said...

Hey you sweet lady u.... thank you for what you said on my blog... you are the best... made my icky day better


Anita said...

Sounds like a wonderful menu!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Yum, Julie! That menu sounds delicious..I'm coming to your house. I like eggnog, but usually don't get any. I've only had the unspiked version anyway. I do like the taste though.

Happy Christmas decorating!


Rosemary said...

Hi Julie,
Sounds like a great menu!
I like the birtday cake idea.
Have a great day!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Julie, Make that 21 people at your yummy Christmas dinner. :)) I started working on my Christmas menu today too. I think this year I am going to stray from tradition a bit. And I love the Jesus birthday cake tradition. One tradition we have is making Screws, Nuts & Bolts. It wouldn't be Christmas without it. And I make tons of it. Thank you for asking about my DIL. She sees an oncologist tomorrow. ~ Lynn

jo ~ said...

Hey again,

I came back to tell you that I loved the story you wrote today... and the Jesus cake... what a wonderful idea...

then saw it was edited to show all the meaning behind it and wow what a fabulous family you have...

I am speechless


ShabbyInTheCity said...

Sounds yummy! I have never had oranges with olive oil that a greek custom?
The symbolic birthday cake is a great idea :)

Me said...

that is a great idea!

Flea Market Queen said...

Julie...Your menu sounds delightful! And the eggnog is a must...

ohiofarmgirl said...

I haven't even had time to think of a menu but your is sounding rather wonderful. I wonder, will you be sharing your recipes? Dianntha

joan said...

Hi Julie,

Okay, I want to come to your house for dinner. It all sounds so good. I have to plan my menu soon also. Since we have a Christmas open house, it's always good to have appetizers and things llike that. This year we are going to do a Southern Christmas theme so I have to do some homework. LOL Love the idea of the Jesus bd cake. Have a good week.

Bethany Hissong said...

I love your mom... how great is that that she made this wonderful cake every year?!! I'm adding that to our traditions!!! And your menu looks so delicious. I might have to "borrow" those ideas too! :)

We decorated for Christmas on Sunday so the Hissong Christmas season has officially begun!!

Sandi said...

Careful ... after sampling a menu like that, they may not want to leave!
Julie, you have such a good heart. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

Counting Your Blessings said...

You are indeed blessed to have those parents! We're having a Jesus birthday party on Saturday at the church. It's also our son's birthday. You have a such a wonderful ability for making the message of Christ almost poetic! I love that. Blessings... Polly

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I love the cake for Jesus, and the significance of all the parts...that is such a sweet reminder of what we are really celebrating.

BellaColle said...

Very lovely! Your meal sounds sooo yummy..wish I could stop by too!
I love the cake tradition too!

Anonymous said...

What a very nice post. That is such a sweet idea.
My friend was raised that the tree was Jesus cake and each year they decorated and put light like candles. I thought that was sweet and teached little ones how to add Jesus even to the tree.

Naturegirl said...

Julie what a lovely family tradition with the cake!! YOU are so organized!
Your meal planned already!!!!hugs NG

Linda said...

Hi Julie, your menu sounds delicious...I love ham, how do you make ham gravy?
A birthday cake for Jesus is beautiful and a tradition I would like to adopt. I love your blog you have such wonderful stories and traditions...I always feel good when I visit you. Thank you Linda

Michelle said...

Your menu sounds delicious and it looks like you've thought of everything. Michelle

Kimmie said...

Hi Julie

My mother in law has always done a Jesus cake for us for Christmas...though it doesn't have all the details of your moms. (her note to you is precious, thank you so much for sharing it.)

I am amazed at how many friends you have made in are one sweet girl that is a certain.!

Does that eggnog you bought have alcohol in it? I am wondering how they sell it with regular dairy items if it does?? I bet it will be yummy!

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Anonymous said...

That Christmas menu looks delicious. Thank you for sharing.

I especially like the idea of the Jesus' birthday cake.

Emiline said...

Oh, your menu sounds so good! I think I'm going to go read it again. ;)

I buy that eggnog, too. I can back your up- It's really good! I like to add it to my coffee.

I think the Happy Birthday Jesus cake is a good idea, too. And it sounds quite tasty.

Cris said...

Julie, that's sweet that your mom always thougth of the birthday boy! And your menu is divine!

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