It’s Christmas Eve and I just finished making two Texas Sheet Cakes* to take to dinner at our friends’ house tonight. We will, of course, be eating BBQ. Because we eat BBQ for every special occasion in Texas. I can’t even recall a church dinner that didn’t feature brisket. Not that I’m complaining. It beats the boiled ham and canned corn and store-bought rolls that we ate at all the ward dinners we’ve been to in other states. Brisket is a lovely, lovely thing. I’m very looking forward to tonight.
But I digress.
We are not a Big-Meal-on-Christmas-Eve family. In my family we had our fancy meal on Christmas Day. Mister grew up in a Christmas Eve family and it’s always worked out well. We’d have a big Christmas Eve shindig with his relatives and then a big meal with my family the next day.
For many years we had a replay of Thanksgiving at Christmas with turkey and ham and all that stuff. But a few years ago we collectively decided that we aren’t huge fans of turkey and ham. We would much rather eat our family’s favorite meal: wienerschnitzel.
No. Not hot dogs.
Wien (pronounced “veen”) is the proper German way to say Vienna. Wiener means something from Vienna like, say, a sausage. Wienerschinitzel is a very thin breaded pork or veal cutlet, and was perfected in Vienna. Usually you squeeze a lemon on top. With it we eat spaetzle (pronounced “shpets-leh”), which are a cross between noodles and dumplings. You know in the Sound of Music when they sing about schnitzel with noodles? This is what they’re singing about. I love them enough to sing about them too.
My grandmother was from Vienna and she taught my mother how to make schnitzel. And my mother taught me. So now I get the pleasure of harassing the butcher to cut my pork exactly just so. With a middle name like Hildegard I have no choice but to be a schnitzel maker.
We also will have some sort of really superb salad or side dish and that’s it. We aren’t one of those families that goes crazy with hors d’oeuvres or accompaniments like, oh I don’t know, Mister’s family. We make the few things we love and that’s that.
My family also uses the best china and silver. Mister’s does paper plates and cups. Cute plates and cups, but still not exactly “special meal” ware.
For dessert I’ll do an apple pie and maybe a chocolate pie. I normally have lots of candy in my stocking and I’d really rather eat that. But I am a good wife. And good wives make pie for their husbands who love it. And my apple pie is superb so who am I to deny it to everyone?
What does your family do for the big meal? Are you busy cooking right now or are you taking a break til tomorrow night? Lurkers, let’s hear from you too!
Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Eating!
*I may have put the cakes out to cool on the back porch and a bird may have walked across one. And I may have covered the tracks up with extra pecans. Or maybe not. I’ll never admit to anything.