It’s been a hectic past few days… so rather than missing the season entirely, I figured some quick snapshots of Christmas in the Marketman home would be better than nothing. :) So here’s the season in fast forward. Up top, the annual Christmas tree, with the usual theme of red balls and other ornaments, lots and lots of clear glass and crystal ornaments and a growing collection of Radko and other blown glass and handpainted baubles.
This year, the Teen added this beautiful crystal ice skate to our tree ornaments, a gift for mom and dad. It is stunning. And this annual addition of a special ornament is something we cherish and will look back fondly upon in the decades ahead. Almost always, the annual special ornament is in glass or crystal.
Our one snazzy holiday dinner before Christmas Eve was planned, food and flowers purchased and arranged just before the massive storm that hit in the South. We cut all further dinners and curtailed present giving for family after this event and donated instead to relief efforts in Mindanao.
Table arrangements were made up of large heads of purple hydrangeas, lots of red roses and a bit of statis. Two large low centerpieces anchored a table for 14. Cutlery and crystal was out in full force for a multi-course meal that included homemade gravlox and shrimp bisque to start…
The house is filled with candles and they provide a soft warm glow that is just so festive and warm at the same time. One of our favorite presents is a pine scented candle that provides a nice fragrance to the living area when the windows are closed. Otherwise, we have these balsam fir incense sticks we brought back from Canada and they also provide that log cabin/wood fire ambiance in the middle of a polluted city.
For the snazzy dinner we served a kobe tenderloin with a port and shallot sauce (featured this before), BettyQ’s mushroom pudding again, braised lamb shanks (also featured before) and some small potatoes.
We had a salad course, a cheese course and four home-made desserts, all featured on this blog before — creme brulee, lemon tart, chocolate tart and Sister’s fruitcake.
We cooked dinner, while the guests arranged the wine selection. First up, this SPECTACULAR magnum of Louis Roederer Brut, 1997. One sip and I headed straight to the bar to see it was… truly memorable and a real holiday treat! We also had other bottles of wonderful champagne, white wine and red wine.
Friends whose family own the vineyard, brought these two special bottles of Chateau Siran. Perfect with the beef.
A few hours before the dinner, the Teen, who surprised even me by earlier insisting on doing a small and “simple” gingerbread village this year, finished her creation. I always think that she has outgrown this, but even after 16 years, we can’t seem to get away from the gingerbread. :)
A church and three little homes, it is a Manny Villar type of village, assuming he built them in cold weather. :)
We also made lots of gingerbread cookies that were painstakingly decorated by everyone in the household, but if I had to show just one snapshot, of course I would pick this one of the pink pigs. Hahaha. It was another year of the lechon, after all. :) We also baked cookies, brownies and made pili nut brittle to keep replenishing the candy bar that has, we figure, already provided over 30,000 calories to fatten up friends and family…
I still haven’t posted snapshots from our wonderful and amazing Zubuchon office/crew Christmas party from a few weeks ago in Cebu. And I didn’t take a single snapshot of the Manila crew party that featured a “Minute to Win It” game segment, but I am sure you all get the picture… But I have one last post before we sit down to Christmas Eve dinner, and I hope all of you are in the final preparations for your family get-togethers, noche buena, final midnight mass or whatever you do to celebrate the holidays!