Every year, we have a Geek Christmas, in which I cook a lot of food and we play video games.

This year, I decided I was tired of the normal selection of main dishes, e.g., turkey or ham.  But I’ve made pork for GC before, and I don’t like to repeat myself.  After a great deal more thought than was really healthy for me, I decided to make pork anyway, but with The Spicy Mushroom Sauce (that Almost Killed Me the First Time I Made It).

Which cried out for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  I’ve made those before, but I like them so much that I didn’t mind.

After that, I ran aground.

Surely, it would be foolish to attempt the Shrimp Bisque we had at Nosh a few weeks ago.  I’ve never made bisque before!  And to make it on Christmas while I was making so many other things would be foolish!  But I tend to leap where angels fear to tread anyway, and it turned out to be pretty easy.

Then I started flipping through magazines for ideas.

I’d been eying several things from the Dec 09 Bon Appetit, so I selected green beans with pepitas and rosemary and the grapefruit-fennel salad, because I needed something sour.  I pulled out the crab remoulade recipe, too. The green beans with rosemary turned out to be excellent, even though the pepitas didn’t stand out.

For dessert – a dessert bread braid that Lee bought from a school fundraiser and Eggnog Rum Raisin Ice Cream.

As a strategy, I decided to cook in spurts, that is, working on a few dishes for a half hour, then playing games with everyone else for an hour or so.  I set out the crab remoulade and some french onion dip with crackers for snacks, and served the food about 5 p.m., which worked out pretty well.  The guys needed a break by then.

I live for the praise of my cooking, and I wasn’t stinted.  Lee often wonders how I can spend so much time cooking and have it eaten so quickly; he thinks it isn’t fair.  I beg to differ.  I get to eat good food that I made myself, and cooking takes me out of my head, inside which I spend altogether too much time.  And on top of that, I make people be happy.  I have so much power over them that they will hurt themselves through overeating!  MUAHAHAHA!

Ahem.  You should perhaps think twice before eating at my house.  I may discover a mind-control spice at some point and somehow be able to keep myself from announcing it over the Internets.  Ha!

The final menu:

  • Pork loin with spicy mushroom sauce (recipe later)

  • Green beans with rosemary and pepitas (recipe in Bon Appetit Dec 09)
  • Garlic mashed potatoes (recipe later)
  • Fennel-grapefruit salad (recipe in Bon Appetit Dec 09)
  • Crab remoulade (recipe later, for my own archives)
  • Shrimp bisque (recipe later)
  • Dessert bread
  • Eggnog rum raisin ice cream (recipe later)

I didn’t serve wine – I’m not much good at picking it out, and I was tired of shopping by the time I planned to pick some up. Rob brought some Glenfiddich and some brown ale, but I forget what kind of ale it was. I was getting pretty comatose by the end there.