But then, they'll have a get together after Turkey Day with lots of fun snacky foods for their friends.
This is my SECOND holiday season in my furever home and I'm loving it. I'll probably have to be baby gated in Mom's office again while the food is out, but I have a nice comfy bed in there and Mom said she'd bring me snackies while people can give me pets over the baby gate.
Mom gets the buffet cleared off a bit so there's room for the glasses for the adult beverages while I patrol to make sure she didn't drop any crumbs.
Before the sun was even up, Mom put up the 60's retro aluminum Christmas tree that goes up in the front room with a original, rotating color wheel (come on, some of you remember having one of these as a kid).
Cream Cheese topped with Jalapeno Jelly (a dip combination you have to try) with crackers and veggies.
Mom's famous Hot Sweet Onion Dip, for which the recipe was requested by everyone, served with wedges of fresh Pita bread and paw-tato chips.
2 cups chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup 2% sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon hot smoked Hungarian Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Heavy Metal Hot hot sauce (from Scoville Brothers in Indiana)
1 cup mayo (not non-fat)
dash of pepper
Mix and top with 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan and a dash of more smoked, hot paprika
Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until bubbling.
The humans usually lick the bowl clean of this stuff.
The crock pot will get set up for Mom's party meatballs. These are vegetarian ones that EVERYONE loves. Start with 3 packages of Gardein veggie meat balls and prepare as directed. Then in a pan, over medium heat, mix the following ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, adding a couple Tablespoons of water in if you like a thinner sauce. Pour over cooked meatballs and keep warm in the crockpot with toothpicks to spear them. Double the recipe if you're going to have a crowd. (makes 3 dozen meatballs).
2 cups tomato sauce
1 and 1/2 cup honey (substitute 2 cups of brown sugar if your guests are vegans)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons plus two teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely grated shallot
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of crushed red pepper
1 and 3/4 teaspoon Jane's Crazy Mixed up Salt (a low sodium herb blend), or 1 and 1/4 teaspoon regular salt)
(1) goat cheese and sauteed veggies and herbs, then broiled
(2) steak marinated in vermouth then rubbed with espresso salt and chipotle and seared, on top of pepper jack, also broiled
Plus herb encrusted pork with garlic mayo and Gruyere served on sourdough toasts
Bacon wrapped dates ready to go in the oven to bake.
Chips, fresh veggies and sliced fruit. MMM. There's Dad's caramel apple dip.
Of course there were toys, you can't have a house full of geeks without toys. Radio Controlled helicopters, board games and of course, the stuff in the shop. The hosts and designated drivers got to play with the lathe in the Bat Cave. (I think the camera crew for this one got some spiked eggnog but you get the somewhat blurry idea).
It's was a fun time, even as the food disappeared, no limbs were lost in the Bat Cave and there was only one or two near mid airs with the RC helicopters. Time to open the White Elephant Gifts, which some of the group brought to share last year.
Before heading home, with everyone getting leftovers to take, there was dessert.
Dad will make trifle with butter rum pound cake, whipping cream and berries. Mom will make several chocolate rolled cakes with fluffy cream cheese frosting and freeze them in the weeks prior to the party. She will then thaw them and serve with some homemade peppermint bark. Mom makes up a little plate of the leftover sweets and takes them to the older next door neighbors who just LOVE that each year, especially the leftover cake.
There was no big screen TV, no fuss other than food, just lots of conversation and laughter, card games and quips, and remembrances of parties past when Barkley was still with them (one year there were marshmallow guns). As always, there's big fun watching Dad with a butane torch, finishing off the classic touch to the evening, fresh creme brule' to go with a cup of coffee before everyone heads home.
And of course - even though everyone is stuffed, Mom puts out a plate of her deep fried rosettes, dusted with powdered sugar and some little plastic containers so everyone can take a few home.
Dad looked so handsome in his bow tie and it was good to see so many friends we'd not seen all year.