My family’s holiday traditions generally involve a lot of food and a lot of friends, but for Christmas Eve we usually have just ourselves and possible one or two friends. Though we’re usually all off work, it isn’t a holiday by itself and we don’t travel or have any extra activities, so the trick is to make the day go by quickly but still feel special.
I can’t remember exactly when we started doing candlelit dinners and international feasts, but over the last ten years or so, that has become our family tradition. Each year I pick a cuisine and spend a few days in the week before Christmas reading through cookbooks and devising a menu. Then we spend a good portion of Christmas Eve in the kitchen making it come together, which I think is fun and makes the time go by faster.
The menus I can remember or find photos for:
Thai – Panang Chicken Pizzas, Fried Rice
Italian – Sausage Stuffed Pork Loin, Homemade Herb-Cheese Ravioli in Sage Butter, Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna, Salad
Thai – Coconut-Tamarind Chicken Soup, Pad Thai, Orange-Coconut Salad,
(we went international for Christmas Eve & Christmas dinner this year)
Korean – Royal Hot Pot (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Tofu, and Pork Meatballs)
Greek & Moroccan – Fish & Potato Soup, Lima Bean Tagine, Pita with Za’atar
This year for Christmas Eve we’re planning a Welsh menu – since we’ve just been looking at cookbooks and not actually shopping yet, some of these may get dropped if we think it’s too much trouble to find all the ingredients or decide they’ll take too long. But picking lots of recipes gives us options!
Cheese, Leek, and Bacon Puffs
- Herb Watercress Salad with Honey Vinagrette
- Smoked Fish & Cockle Pie
- Spiced Roasted Pumpkin
- Onion-Potato Cake
- Stuffed Onions with Ham & Cheese
- Lamb with Rosemary, Honey, and Cider
- Monmouth Meringue Pudding
- Whinberry Apple Tart
Update: we did not make the lamb, but did do the rest: