27 Dec2016

The setting for our Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends.

The table was covered in a festive red tablecloth, the centerpiece(s) included pine cones, pine cone candles, candy canes and foil wrapped sweets.

The gingerbread church in the background.

Stems of stargazer lilies simply arranged in vases joined masses of poinsettias as the floral tribute to the holidays.

The appetizer selection was mostly vegetarian friendly with three kinds of hummus (plain, basil and beet), pistachios, pecans and macadamias, crudités and a selection of cheese that included brie, chèvre and a to die for cheddar with black truffles, all served with a selection of whole grain crackers. Pica-pica was enjoyed with several bottles of bubbly brought by guests.

Just before sitting down to dinner, the pine cone candles were lit…

…special champagne was poured for a special Christmas Eve toast…

…and if you had sharp eyes you would have noticed how miserly the waiter was being with the champagne, he had to circle the table once more to add a bit more. And in the photo above, did you notice that we forgot to put salt in the salt cellars?! :) Appetizers included home-made salmon gravlax, shrimp remoulade (a HUGE success it seems) and a caesar kale salad. Set out on the buffet, guests could take whatever they liked and as much of it as they desired.

Two kinds of steak, very thick cowboy and tomahawks for the beef lovers…

…sliced Southern ham from Tennessee that I brought back in my luggage after Thanksgiving…

…two kinds of roasted potatoes, one with goose fat, and another with butter for vegetarian (not vegan) guests that evening. The one with goose fat was much better, in my opinion. :)

Asparagus roasted in the oven. We also had roasted cauliflower steaks but I forgot to take a photograph.

The centerpiece of the dessert buffet was a pavlova that I have featured before, here.

Also on offer were an apple cake, carrot and banana/muscovado/chocolate cakes, fruitcake from Sister, tortas with rum soaked golden raisins, cheesecake, brownies and a sans rival that was brought by a guest. the selection seems a bit bizarre, but with the daughter home from university, we were trying to cover several requests for favorites hence the smorgasbord approach. Also nearby was a table with cookies and sweets like homemade brittle and all kinds of chocolate.



  1. Dragon says:

    Fat always tastes better.

    Fat is good.

    Hail fat!

    Merry Christmas MM! More love, laughter, blessings and kindness…

    Dec 27, 2016 | 10:39 pm


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  3. Natie says:

    As ever, superb! The meat is so perfectly done, I could taste them. the dessert selection is not at all bizarre. It’s Christmas. It should be a feast!

    Dec 28, 2016 | 1:23 am

  4. Thel from Florida says:

    As always, such a classy setting and delicious foods. Thanks for the info about Clifty ham. I will sure buy one next time. Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

    Dec 28, 2016 | 8:09 am

  5. Khew says:

    The thing about champagne is that it’s so frothy that you’re forced to stop pouring too soon to avoid overflow. Obviously then, when the froth subsides, what’s left looks miserly. The trick is to preferably gather the flutes together, pour a little into each before filling them normally. Done this way, the froth somehow behaves.

    Dec 28, 2016 | 12:12 pm

  6. joe jj says:

    Bottle looks like Dom P magnum? Happy holidays!

    Dec 28, 2016 | 8:39 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    joe jj, sharp eyes, though it’s a single bottle, not a magnum. :) Khew you are absolutely correct, will remember that next time.

    Dec 29, 2016 | 6:25 am

  8. lee says:

    Malipayon nga Paskwa sa imo Marketman, sa imo pamilya, sa imo crew, sa mga taga Zubuchon, kag sa tanan nga naga basa kag parokyano sang Marketmanila halin pa sang una. Malipayon nga Paskwa man sa mga nakilala ko diri sa Marketmanila kag nangin abyan kag na upod sa masadya nga mga kinaon kag linugayawon.

    Dec 29, 2016 | 1:34 pm

  9. kurzhaar says:

    Actually, one should pour champagne with the glass at an angle (exactly like pouring beer). This minimises the premature loss of effervescence (and loss of flavour with it). Champagne makers work hard to put those bubbles in the bottle–it is a shame to waste them!

    Dec 30, 2016 | 2:13 pm

  10. Joey says:

    Any leftover fruitcake, MM? :-)

    Dec 30, 2016 | 7:10 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Joey, yup, there is, and it will only get better with age… :)

    Jan 2, 2017 | 7:58 am

  12. Beneva Wiegabd says:

    I have been reading Marketmanila for more than 10 years now. I very much enjoy everything you write. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your blessings with your readers. I live in Northern California and work in Silicon Valley. You help me overcome my homesickness for the Philippines.

    Mar 3, 2017 | 8:52 am


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