Sunday, December 26, 2010

No tree - no problem and Christmas Eve Supper

When my husband brought in the boxes of decorations from the tool shed and I gazed on that stack for about half a day, I finally told him to put them back from whence they came.  I opted for a no tree Christmas and guess what?  We were just fine. We have a live evergreen on the buffet gifted to us by a friend and it was more than sufficient.

Late afternoon supper was enlivened by the presence of some home-baked French baguettes.  I used the recipe from Beth Hensperger's book, "Baking Bread - Old and New Traditions", now sadly out of print. There are plenty of used copies available at Amazon and I highly recommend this book.

There are many great recipes online and I plan to try different variations.  When adding the flour I lost count of the number of cups of flour already doled out.  Note to self:  pre-measure the flour and put in bowl.  Duh! 

I spread one of the loaves with a mixture of garlic infused olive oil, chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and a sprinkle of Parmesan before rolling up.  It came out quite good and certainly looked lovely.

While the crust was quite good, I was hoping for a better appearance.  Next time I'm going to use my baking stone and remember to add some water (in the form of ice cubes or a small pan of boiling water) to the oven.

  • Crudites (around here it's called a plate of sliced vegetables) with bread and herb infused olive oil dipping sauce
  • Baked Ziti
  • Italian Sausage
  • Candied nuts and fudge for desert
Now we look forward to the visit of the Magi on January 6 when Our Lord and Savior will be revealed to the world.

Hope your Christmas festivities were wonderful...

I don't have this book but I'm planning on ordering a used copy from Amazon...


Anonymous said...

Adrienne, we had 30 people over for Christmas and no one even noticed that we didn't have a Christmas Tree! Yea!!! The trees are indeed beautiful, but so glad that my decorations were few and far between, just little touches of greenery and berries spread throughout the house. It will take five minutes to pack back into the storage container and no big mess. We did decorate a bit more outside where it was seen in the neighborhood, but will wait until the snow clears to put away. Again -- no lights and nothing difficult.

Your bread looks wonderful. I like the idea of cooking NEW foods, and the funny thing is -- I LOSE COUNT TOO!!! I laughed when I read you did the same.

Susan said...

Hi Adrienne...Wow, I think your bread looks fabulous. Your additions sounded great, too.
Hope your day today is good, too. Susan

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I was so tempted to skip a tree this year, but got Grands coming next weekend.
Your bread looks good - especially the one with the extra touches.

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrienne! I hope your Christmas was great. I put up 5 trees, and now I'm dreading the task of taking them down. Ugh! I laughed when I read that you lost count of the cups of flour. I've lost count of teaspoons, cups, etc., too. Your bread looks scrumptious!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Oh...this bread looks yummy. I have the Williams Sonoma book, but not the other one. Sometimes I loose track of counting the flour too and like you always mean to measure it out ahead...but I never really do.(-: