The Christmas Miracle

It’s a good thing we didn’t have company come for Christmas dinner this year. I ruined the meal.

It all began when I over-trimmed the fat from the beef rib roast. Fat is good for some things, like keeping the meat moist while it cooks. Oops.

Then there was the salad. I was born in the wrong era. I’m really a 1950s housewife living in a millennial world. Every holiday meal in our house comes with a congealed salad of some kind. The kids usually get to pick the flavor. This year, with my head elsewhere, I forgot to buy the ingredients for a congealed salad.

That’s when you stand in front of the cupboard and just stare are the cans as if with enough mental telepathy they would transform into exactly what you needed for your favorite salad. No go. So I improvised. The congealed salad turned out okay, but nothing to write home about. The flavors were too subtle to stand up to mashed rutabaga, turnips and potatoes; Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, onions and garlic; and roast beef with a horseradish sauce.

But the pièce de résistance was my steamed pudding. How many years have I been making steamed pudding for Christmas dessert? And what happens this year? I burnt it. Not just a little too brown around the edge. Nope, I had to do it regally. The entire bottom, which is actually the top when it’s inverted on a plate, was black. And hard. We’re talking charcoal hard. And the sides too. I’ll bet I cut off more than half of my pudding. The whiskey sauce couldn’t cut through the ashy flavor. Neither could the port.

But my kids were angels. They all remarked at how good it was. And they all finished their pieces. Miracles do happen. Especially at Christmas.


  1. The birthday cake that I made for Marissa looked like crap (tasted good though). Marissa kept saying: "it's ok mom!!"

  2. You are an angel too. Merry Christmas.

  3. Steamed pudding? Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar? And you say you're from Alabama? hahahaha....

  4. Maybe you can just write off this Christmas. I know you'd probably like to. And your girls know it. They're just trying to help by telling you it's all fine. Hope it hasn't been to painful this year, my friend..I think it sounds like an awesome dinner..

  5. Well, all things considered, having a slightly burned or tasteless meal is the LEAST of concerns. If you get my meaning....

    I think the thing to remember is that you shared your time and effort with your family. Your kids won't remember the best meal EVER... but they'll remember the one that failed and retell it year after year. What seemed like a failure to you will become a cherished memory in years to come. Ya know?

  6. Now, see, if you had invited me, I wouldn't have known whether the pudding was burned or not- especially if I had the whiskey sauce first :-P