Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Christmas Party

I can't believe I actually pulled it off!

We had a dinner party with 14 people last night (6 adults, 8 children). It was a lot of fun! And all of it, except for the interventions by my Favorite Husband (grrrr), was entirely milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free.

Crown roast of pork
Apple-apricot wheat stuffing

Mashed sweet potatoes
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie

Behind my back FH asked one of our guests, his best friend and his new bride, to bring a platter of summer sausage and cheese, because I'd already told FH that I wouldn't serve a platter like that at the party. FH also brought home a ginormous tub of ice cream and some yogurt and cheese. This upset me because then I had to spend the entire meal being the Milk Police. FH seems to think that if he puts milk products out and wishes really hard, that Knuckles will not experience any negative effects, and that if he puts the platter up high after all the kids have raided it, that Knuckles won't get any cheese. It's like he has no clue that there's a reason (other than my nonexistent desire to be a Cheese Nazi) behind my wanting to rid the house of dairy products. I ended up having to pick up little pieces of cheese and milk-containing crackers off the floor, put up the plates of other children so that Knuckles wouldn't get ahold of their cheese and crackers, etc. when I would have really loved to spend more time sitting down with our guests. It's bad enough I have to spend every day of the year snarfing down my food so that I can tend to everyone else's needs during dinner. I just wish Christmas could have been an exception.

The other guests were our neighbors, the family of Princess' best friend. I had asked them to bring a salad, but they brought Jell-O. I'd been thinking of a green salad, but I forgot that in Utah, Jell-O is considered a salad. It was all right because the Jell-O was a big hit with the kids.

The crown roast of pork with apricot-apple stuffing is one of my party specialties. I got the recipe out of a now very old book that my aunt gave my family for Christmas one year. That book was my Christmas Bible for many years. I don't remember the title anymore though, but I've made half the crafts in it. My parents probably got rid of it when they pared down their library after their basement flooded.

The apple pie was just the standard apple pie off the back of the Minute Tapioca box. I used Wal-Mart's house brand pie crusts because they're cheap and don't contain milk like some higher-quality crusts do.

The pumpkin pie was the recipe I made before as Pie #2 in this post. They begged me to make Pie #1 but I just didn't want to hassle with trying to figure out how much cornstarch it would really take to make it set. It did taste better this time, however, because I realized that while the recipe calls for 8 ounces of tofu, tofu comes in 1 pound tubs. So this time I made two pies and they tasted much better. I used Marie Callender crusts because they were the only ones that Macey's grocery store carried that didn't have milk in them, and I only had time for one errand, and the roast had been ordered at Macey's, so it had to be Macey's.

The baklava was made according to a standard baklava recipe, with sunflower seeds substituted for the walnuts. I also added 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cloves, and a generous dash of cardamom to the sunflower seeds. I like my baklava with that kind of spice combo. I also added about a tablespoon of lemon juice to the syrup. But I forgot to make extra syrup, so I had to make a second batch, which I made without the lemon juice. I actually had to make the second batch twice, because the first time I tried to make it FH was upset from not being able to find the camera, and I had to get the kids into a different room from him before he started taking his frustration out on them by threatening to break their Christmas toys, and that meant I left the pot unattended and ended up with a saucepan filled to overflowing with carbon. I'd had an idea, though, that I might try in the future: adding a shot of Torani syrup to the sugar syrup. I thought maybe cherry or caramel.

The mashed sweet potatoes were just standard mashed potatoes, only made with sweet potatoes. Instead of the traditional cream, I added milk-free Nucoa margarine and a bit of brown sugar.