Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Morning for Seven

An Informal Christmas Brunch

Our "Christmas" morning gathering, always on the 26th so our kids can go to their in-laws on the 25th, has shrunk considerably.  This year we hosted only our youngest, his wife, and three kids, making us 7 for brunch.

The cloth is a vintage holiday themed one with big poinsettia blossoms, gold ribbon and candles.  This cloths are surprisingly durable.  This one is probably 50 years old, used and washed who-knows-how-many times, but still has no stains or holes.  You can find holiday ones easier in larger than normal sizes.  I assume the makers knew you would be having more than the normal number of diners.

I chose to use my Lenox "Holiday" pattern china that I began collecting in the 1970's.  I used it for every Christmas dinner when the kids were growing up.

I made the napkins years ago, blanket-stitching different shapes of Christmas trees onto plain red, cotton napkins using flannel quilting fabric and adding decorative buttons here and there on some.

The glasses are an inexpensive goblet I also got in the 70's, I think at a Dillard's department store in Harlingen, Texas.  I guess, since they're about 35 years old, they could be considered vintage, but when you're three-fourths of the way through your 60's, like I am, things from the 1970's don't seem that old!

 I used my everyday flatware, "Dresden Rose" by Reed and Barton, Ca 1953.  It's fairly simple but has enough curve appeal to suit my Southern taste.

 Since young Grandkids would be eating, I used sets of Christmas novelty salt and pepper shakers.  The green trees are probably from the 1950's, Mr. and Mrs. Claus from the 80's, and the Santa heads fairly recent additions.

I used one more napkin for the bread basket that held our pretzel buns that we spooned our creamed eggs and ham onto.

Fruit Salad was served in this Lenox bowl in a companion pattern to Holiday.

The creamed eggs and ham were self-serve from the stove.  I collect vintage tea towels that I get from Michelle Piccolo, the same lady I get all my vintage tablecloths from at the Red Barn venue at the Round Top antiques show.

This place setting, using an 8" salad plate, vintage silverplate youth-size knife, and Dresden Rose salad fork was for our 5 year old Grandson.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and has a happy, healthy 2014!  Pam and Family

Recipe for "Christmas Eggs"

I have made this every Christmas morning since my oldest kids were teenagers, maybe even before that, but for at least 25 years!  This recipe serves 8.

6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
4 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp dry mustard
Apx. 2 1/2 lbs boneless, unsliced good quality fully cooked ham such as Hormel's Cure 81, cut into 1/2" cubes
8 large eggs, hard boiled and cut into 1/2" chunks

Melt butter in large saucepan.  Stir flour into butter with wooden spoon and cook over medium-high heat 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in mustard.  Pour in milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly until all is added.  Continue to whisk constantly over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.  Cook 1 minute more.  Add ham.*  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes back to a boil.  Add eggs and heat just long enough to warm through.  Serve ladled over toasted English muffins or pretzel rolls.

*If using a ham that states on the label it has "water added" you will need to start with 8 Tbsp each butter and flour to make up for the extra liquid which would otherwise leave the sauce too thin.