I’m a huge fan of holiday traditions. Even though Christmas is not technically “my holiday,” I take a lot of comfort in creating traditions with Evan and that I know we will one day share with our children. Ever since I started cooking, probably a year into our relationship, those traditions revolve around food. I spend all day on Christmas eve cooking a feast for him and me.
In choosing the Christmas meal, I look for classic comfort food. I always roast a chicken and vegetables. Also, in the last 2 years I’ve taken to making challah bread as a nod to my heritage and because it tastes great. Then, because it’s Evan’s favorite dessert ever, I make a chocolate cake, which we then eat every day until new years (and I wonder why I gain weight during the holidays!).
This year was made even more exciting when, during the roasting of the chicken, our apartment filled up with smoke and our smoke detector went off every five minutes. It definitely frayed my nerves a bit before sitting down for dinner, which I could have done without. In the end, it was a great meal. I used Michael Symon’s recipe for roasted chicken, because I trust pretty much everything he does when it comes to meat. I accompanied that with Ted Allen’s duck fat roasted potatoes. Frankly, I think the duck fat is just so we can call it fancy. It makes the potatoes a little bit richer, I guess, but I think olive oil roasted potatoes would have tasted just as good.
After dinner we opened presents. We started opening presents on Christmas eve a few years ago when Christmas and Hannukah overlapped. Now it’s just something we do. I have a feeling when we have kids there will be a bigger deal made of Christmas morning, but I like our long Christmas eves. Evan got me a book about novel writing and one about cake decorating (after a disasterous cake decorating experience a few days ago that I chose not to share because I was embarrassed… It was really bad). Also, a cake decorating class which I’ll definitely write about. Maybe when I decorate a cake to perfection I’ll share my disaster with you. Then we ate the chocolate cake, which every year I swear is not my thing and then I basically bathe in the frosting, so whatever.
It was a great night and I love spending Christmas eve in my home with my husband. I also love having an excuse to spend a whole day in the kitchen.
Michael Symon’s Recipe
Best Challah Bread
Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
Hersheys (because why mess with the best?!)