|Florence Simon's Van Cliburn Shrimp Mold|
For most people Christmas is all about gifts and connecting with the baby Jesus on Christmas Day. For me Christmas is all about cooking a fabulous table full of food and drinking lots of wine and connecting with old and new friends.
I had my best Christmas ever this year. Due to big snow on Thursday that closed both I-40 and I-25, my brother Billy my sister-in-law Elaine and their daughter (my niece) Rebecca drove to Albuquerque in a tortuous two day drive from Dallas to Las Cruces and then to Albuquerque, arriving around 12:30 and immediately starting to cook their portion of the food. Willy was home from
and, with his friends, put out the approximately 300 luminarias (brown paper bags, partially filled with sand and a lit candle) needed to encircle our house in a double row of lights. Vancouver
Around our first guests, who had a commitment, arrived and by other folks started dropping in. The most important of whom were Michele Varner and her husband Ed Johnson. Michele and Ed have an apartment in the Park Plaza but Michel spends most of her time on their farm in Mississippi, about sixty miles east of New Orleans, where she forages for mushrooms in the forest and raises vegetables for sale to fine New Orleans restaurants, when she is not cooking or taking care of the farm and their animals. Ed is a works for the government and currently is living in
. Santiago, Chile
The final menu and who cooked each dish is as follows:
Tapa - artichoke hearts, English peas, ham, pimiento and saffron (Suzette)
Desserts on side board
Red Spanish wines
We must have had over 75 persons show up, if we count Willy’s friends 15 to 20 friends.