Friday, December 18, 2009

Rut or Tradition?

Last week, I turned to my husband and sighed. I had recently been told by an enthusiastic friend about her plans to serve a "dry-aged prime rib" for Christmas dinner. Evidently, it sits in the refrigerator for two weeks wrapped in cheesecloth, which is changed every day. The meat breaks down or something, and is absolutely delicious and tender after roasting. I've been making the same Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember: a big ham with scalloped potatoes as the main side dish.

"Should I make something different this year?" I asked my husband, already knowing what his answer would be. "You make it, I'll eat it." He's not picky. I continued any way. "Prime rib? Maybe I should make a fancy prime rib. Brisket? You like brisket. Or we could do something like crab legs. What about a goose or duck? That's Christmas-y." He grunted noncommittally, then muttered, "If we don't have ham, you won't be able to make ham-potato bake with the leftovers. I like that." Hrumph. I decided in my mind that I was going to make a luscious prime rib AND crab legs. I'm going all Martha Stewart on my family's heinies this year.

A few days later, out of the blue, my 11-year-old daughter pipes up from the back seat of the minivan, "I can't WAIT for Christmas dinner, Mom! It's my favorite meal of the year! HAM! And SCALLOPED POTATOES!" She was practically giddy. "Oh, honey. I was just talking to Dad about that. I think I'm going to make something different this year." "Nooooooo!" she wailed. "I look forward to this dinner all year. Pleeeeease, Mom."

How could I resist? It's the ONE meal she looks forward to ALL YEAR. So it's ham and scalloped potatoes for Christmas dinner again. Somehow, I don't think anyone will mind one bit.

Dinner last night: Santa Fe chicken strips


Katherine said...

We're in the process of making our own traditions. For the last 8 years, we've split holidays between my husband's family and my family, so we eat whatever they cook. This year, spending Christmas at home, away from our families, I have to create tradition from scratch. We are actually going to be having ham, just like you, but it's a first for us, so we are excited.

Karen M. Peterson said...

We usually do turkey.

Except a couple of years ago when my mom's husband decided he wanted to do prime rib, but waited to long to get one and all he could find was a roast.

Yup. We had pot roast for Christmas dinner. Oh, and he burned it.

Helene said...

That's so sweet that it's the one meal they look forward to all year!! It's like a tradition!

We usually have ham too!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Ham and scalloped potatoes! Life is good ; )