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I can't stress enough that you don't have to have the best of everything to have an enjoyable meal during the holidays. I remember my first Holidays on my own, not a lot of the dishes matched, nor did the chairs. The food as I recall wasn't the best either but the friends (when available) that came over and what decorations were there made it such a pleasant environment for all those who were present or in the event no one came over, it was still a pleasant time just for me.
Do the best with what you have.
Merry Christmas.



Christmas Table Image


Activities For The Kids


A Cup Of Tea

1 3/4 cup tea; instant (no sugar or lemon)
2 cup orange flavored tang
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pkg lemonade mix; small size, no sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Put into a food processor and blend well.
To Serve: Put 2 to 3 tsp. of mix into a cup. Pour boiling water over and stir.
Notes: This recipe is great to give as gifts at Christmastime. Put into a small jelly jar. Take several colors of very thin ribbon and tie a bow around the jar lid or use pinking shears to cut a circle of decorative fabric to put over the top of the jar. Then tie with the ribbons or a gold cord.

Alabama Chocolate-Pecan Jumbo Christmas Fudge Pie

1 1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup butter; melted
1/2 cup butter; softened
3/4 cup sugar, brown
3 egg
12 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
2 teaspoon coffee, instant
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans; coarsely chopped
whipped cream, sweetened
chocolate syrup
maraschino cherries with stems
mint sprigs

Combine chocolate wafer crumbs and 1/3 cup melted butter; firmly press on bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan or pie plate. Bake at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes.
Cream 1/2 cup softened butter; gradually add brown sugar with the electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, instant coffee granules, vanilla extract, flour and chopped pecans. Pour into the prepared crust. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.
Before serving, pipe sweetened whipped cream on each piece and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Garnish with cherries and/or mint if desired.
Recipe From: Christmas With Southern Living 1990

Berry Jam

3 cup fresh cranberries
1 medium seedles orange; peeled and quartered
1 pkg frozen sliced strawberries; slightly thawed
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

In a food processor, combin the cranberries and orane; process until coarsely chopped. Add strewberries, cloves and cinnamon. Process until mixture is finely chopped. In a heavy large saucepan, combine fruit mixture, sugar and water intil well blended. Stirring constantly over low heat, cook 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in liquid pectin. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil again and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Pour into heat resistant jars with lids. Store in refrigerator.

Bohemian Christmas Crunch Cookie

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips; frozen
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Freeze the grinder and the chocolate chips before using.
Using the medium blade of an old-fashioned meat grinder, grind nuts and chocolate chips together. To make grinding easier, put some nuts in first, then the chocolate chips. Repeat this process, until all the nuts and chocolate chips are ground. Buy putting the nuts in the grinder first, they help oil the meat grinder, making the chocolate chips grind with a little less effort. Refrigerate this mixture.
In a separate bowl, cut the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until it looks like pie dough. Cut in the salt, flour and vanilla. Last, add the chocolate and nut mixture. Blend just enough with a fork. Do not cream this mixture and do not over mix this dough. You should be able to see tiny ground up lumps of butter, chocolate and pecans.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, fill-up a scoop of dough and drop it onto a cookie sheet, and using the base of your thumb, flatten the cookie ball to about 1/4-inch thickness. Keep the cookies about 3-inches apart on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate the flattened cookies on the cookie sheets for at least 30 minutes before baking them.
Bake at 250°F. for 40 to 45 minutes. Do Not Ooverbake These Cookies! They should not be too soft and not too hard or well-browned on the bottom. They get a certain sheen to them on the tops. Let cook, remove from cookie sheets and store in air-tight tins. If cookies become too hard due to over baking, place a slice of white bread in the tin. The cookies should still have a crunch.
Note: If you use a food processor to grind the pecans and chips. The cookies taste good, but the coloring becomes very light and bland looking. They do not have the very dark and rich coloring that comes from using the meat grinder.

Cranberry Relish

1 can (16 oz) jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup (8 oz.) orange marmalade
1 cup (8 oz.) chopped walnut meats
1/4 cup (2 0z.) lemon juice

Mix all together and store in the refrigerator.
Is tastier after it sets awhile in the fridge.

Christmas Margaritas

1 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup (6 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries; rinsed
3/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange flavor liqueur
3 cup coarsley crushed ice

Pour 1/4 cup of the cranberry juice into a shallow bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons sugar into a flat plate. Dip the rims of 4 to 6 widemouthed glasses (6 to 8 oz size, suitable for margaritas) into juice, then into sugar. Set the glasses aside. Reserve 12 cranberries. In a blender, whirl until smooth and slushy the remaining cranberries, cranberry juice, sugar, lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and ice. If necessary, blend in 2 batches, then mix. Fill glasses; garnish by floating 3 reserved cranberries (grouped together) in the center of each glass. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe From: Sunset Magazine
Please Drink Responsibly, The Cooking Inn

Ovenbaked Christmas Ham (Ugnsbakad Julskinka)

1 3-5 kg (6-11 lb) lightly salted ham

Glaze:
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon prepared swedish mustard
3 tablespoon fine dry breadcrumbs

Place the ham, rind up, on a rack in a roasting pan lined with aluminium foil. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the ham. Bake in a 150 Centigrade (oven for 60-75 minutes/kg or til the thermometer reads 75 Centigrade. Remove the rind and brush the top of the ham with the egg yolk, sugar and mustard stirred together. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in 225 Centigrade until golden brown. Garnish with kale, prunes and an apple or orange. Serve cold cut in slices. The ham might be baked wrapped in aluminium foil, then use a 175 Centigrade oven. Lightly smoked ham might be prepared the same way.

Spicey Chrismas Beef

1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon powdered mace
1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed black peppers
1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
225 gm moist dark brown sugar
1 piece beef (silverside; (2.3 kg.) flank, top rump
225 gm sea salt
15 gm salt petre
6 dried bay leaves
12 juniper berries; crushed
1 bouquet garni
2 carrots; chopped
2 sticks celery; chopped
1 onion; chopped
2 wine glasses port
575 ml beef stock
15 gm gelatin
1 large bunch parsley; finely chopped

* Mix powdered and crushed spices, and the thyme. Mix half the mixture with the sugar. Cover the meat with it in a shallow earthenware dish, and leave to stand for 24 hours. Now add the salt, salt petre, bay leaves and crushed juniper berries, rubbing them into the meat and let it steep in the mixture for a week, rubbing and turning it daily. * When ready to cook the meat, rinse it and soak for 1 hour in cold water. Dry it well, spread the reserved spices over the inside of the beef, roll it up tightly and tie with a string. * Put it into a heavy iron casserole which just fits it. Surround it with the bouquet of herbs and the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Pour on the 2 glasses of port and the stock and cover tightly with its lid. Cook for 4 - - 5 hours very, very slowly with the liquid quietly plupping, turning the meat occasionally, or braise it in a very low oven, 300°F. for 4 - 5 hours until very tender. Eat hot or cold, allow to cool to lukewarm in the cooking liquid then take it out and put it between two boards with a 450 g weight on top. * Leave it overnight. The next day eat it plain or coat it with a jelly. To make the jelly: * Remove the fat from the top of the cooled cooking liquid. Strain, skim and taste it. If it tastes too strong and salty dilute it with red wine or weak stock. * Measure 575 ml. of the liquid. Put the gelatin in a cup with 3 - 4 tablespoons of the liquid, heated, and place it in a shallow pan of hot water, over a moderate heat, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Add it and the chopped parsley to the measured amount of liquid and put it in the refrigerator, stirring it occasionally until it becomes thick and syrupy. Put the beef to chill at the same time. * As soon as the gelatin becomes thick, syrupy and almost set, remove the string from the beef and spoon the glaze over it. Chill and repeat this, giving two more coats so that the beef has a nice thick glaze with green parsley embedded in it. * Pour the rest of the jelly into a shallow pan, allow to set in the refrgerator. Then when it has set, cut it into squares and pile around the beef on its serving dish. * Serve, sliced with pickles, and plenty of mustard.

Swedish Crescents

1 cup butter
2 tablespoon almonds -- ground
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla, salt & ground almonds. Gradually blend in flour. Shape dough into crescents using a rounded teaspoonful for each. sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture & bake on ungreased cookie sheets in 325°F. oven 15-18 minutes.
Recipe From: Old Fashioned Christmas Recipes

Swedish Christmas Sausage

6 yards hog casings
salt
water
2 cup mashed potatoes; (not seasoned)
3 medium onions; finely chopped
3 lb lean beef -and-
3 lb lean pork; ground together
2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper; (seasoned pepper is good)
1 pinch bay leaves; chopped
1 pinch oregano
1 pinch powdered cloves
2 1/2 cup beef or pork stock or 2 1/2 c. scal; ded milk, cooled
crisco
1/2 cup water

Items Needed Before Beginning: kitchen grinder with spout or sausage machine scissors heavy thread or light twine
Get hog casings from your butcher. You may need to order them ahead of time. Pick up casings the day before you make the sausage and soak them overnight in a mild salt brine in your refrigerator. Rinse with cold water before using. Make mashed potatoes (packaged are fine). Chop onions finely and saute in a little Crisco. Do not let brown. Cool. Mix very thoroughly meat, mashed potatoes, onions, allspice, salt, pepper, bay leaves, oregano, powdered cloves and stock. Put a little vegetable oil on spout of grinder or sausage machine. Fry a pinch of mixture in Crisco to test the flavor. Add more seasonings if you need them. Flavor of allspice is important but should be subtle. Mixture should be light. Add more stock if needed. Rinse casings in cold water and cut into 16-inch pieces (approximately). Tie one end of each section. Fill grinder or sausage machine with meat mixture. Ease end of casing (about 2 inches) onto spout. Turn handle slowly. Stop turning 1 1/2 inches from end of casing. Don't pack sausage casing too tightly. Remove from spout and tie second end. Put in Baggies and freeze or refrigerate in a mild salt brine with Saltpeter, not more than 4 or 5 days. To cook, defrost and set oven at 250°F. In an open shallow pan, put 2 tablespoons of Crisco and 1/2 cup water (or just 1/2 cup water). Place sausages in pan and cook for 45 minutes. Turn once to brown evenly. At the end of 45 minutes, if not completely browned, turn heat to 350°F, but watch sausages so as not to burn them. For dinner, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces. Serve warm. A side dish of cranberries goes well. They are great as one dish for a buffet. For hors d'oeuvres, cut in 1/2-inch pieces and serve warm, using cocktail picks.
Variations: You may use all pork with the mashed potatoes. You may use 4 pounds of ground beef and 2 pounds of pork, ground together. Instead of mashed potatoes, take 2 cups of barley and stir in hot water. Cook as you would a hot cereal until tender (about 30 minutes). Let cool before adding to meat. These sausages are delicious and ready for company.


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