Merry Christmas from Blue Kitchen

by Terry B on December 25, 2013


A TV dinner and a hula girl. How much more Christmasy can you get? Somehow another year has flown by. And while other food bloggers were busy sharing holiday recipes and gift ideas, I was, well, not. Partly, it’s because I was settling into a new job and we were traveling to see our older daughter graduate summa cum laude, both really wonderful things.

But mostly, it’s because I am perhaps one of the most accomplished procrastinators on the planet. I frequently amaze even myself with my abilities in this arena. So instead of all the ideas I should have been giving you to make your holidays brighter, cooler, funner, tastier, I’ll just tell you a little bit about how we’re enjoying ours.

For many years now, a Chinese dinner has been our tradition on Christmas Eve. Usually, it’s at some restaurant in Chinatown. This year, we ventured a little further south, to Ed’s Potsticker House in the Bridgeport neighborhood. We did swing through Chinatown after, though, for the barbecued pork buns from Feida Bakery that will be our Christmas morning breakfast.

For Christmas dinner, we forgo traditional slow-cooked hams and roasts to accommodate running out to see the traditional Christmas day movie. This year, the leading contender is Dallas Buyers Club (we also don’t tend to seek out the “feel good movie of the year”). Dinner will get even less traditional than usual this year. The menu features Marion’s wonderful Korean Kimchi Pancake. The traditional part is that we will be with family and friends. However you celebrate, I hope you are too.

Happy holidays, everyone. See you next year with more recipes and stories.


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

[email protected] Riffs December 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

Sounds like a delightful Christmas! Love the TV dinner ornament — that’s my kind of class! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Marion.

Terry B December 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

John, our tree is a mix of the beautiful and the novel, collected over the years. And that’s the way we like it. Happy holidays to you and your bride!

Susie December 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

I love the TV dinner ornament! I had traditional Jewish food last night (Chinese) also. Merry Christmas to you and Marion!

Terry B December 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Thanks, Susie! Hope you’re having a lovely day.

Roger C December 26, 2013 at 12:07 am

Is that a blowfish ornament on the right side of the photo? Merry Christmas to Marion & you.

Terry B December 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

It is a blowfish, Roger. Just behind the TV dinner is an astronaut. Other ornaments include a cocktail shaker, two dirigibles, an electric guitar, a tricycle, a pickle, this farmer pig and a Rolleiflex camera. Our tree topper is the pink, disembodied head of a toy dog, a leftover from our girls’ past that we affectionately call the dead dog head. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely bride Bobbie.

Anita December 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

Because my birthday is so close to Christmas, the extended family holiday celebration was at my parents’ home every year since I was born. I eventually took over the preparation – which absolutely had to include kiszka. I don’t know how or why that tradition started, but it was mandatory. My cousins and I all hated the stuff, until, one by one, we didn’t. The conversion came by age – oldest cousin first, and down the line until even I looked forward to it, at least on that one day. I now live far from Chicago, and almost all of the original kiszka-loving relatives have passed… but you made me think of the visits to Andy’s deli on Milwaukee Ave. a day or two before the 25th. Very long wait, the numbers yelled out in Polish (which I don’t understand), and the clerks were always a bit surprised when someone who didn’t speak the language walked out with a goodly amount of their kiszka inventory. (p.s. My tree is also eclectic – with a coin purse made out of an actual dried cane toad always tucked in there for the kids to look for. Again, not sure how that started…) In any case, Merry Christmas to you, and thank you so much for all you’ve done for me – I really have improved as a cook thanks to you guys!

Terry B December 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thanks so much, Anita. What a wonderful story (or set of stories, counting the dried cane toad coin purse). Sometimes I think about the foods I didn’t like as a kid and now do. That’s why I generally will try things that were on my former DO NOT EAT list, just to se if my taste buds have caught up with them.

Barbara L December 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm

We usually drive into Manhattan, stop at Rockefeller Center to eye the tree, tour all the great windows, Macy’s, Bendel’s, Lord & Taylors etc, , lunch along the way from one or another food cart – yesterday it was schwarma sandwiches with hummus drizzled over them (amazingly good). We then catch whatever is showing at the Jewish Museum – this year it was the Chagall exhibit – and follow it with a trip down to Chinatown, first to wander through the various markets as almost all the shops are open and then finally to dinner. A long and wonderful day.

[email protected] December 27, 2013 at 7:59 am

You are probably so smart. I freak out trying to figure out how to cook and go to church Christmas Eve, how to get ready for Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner and company and then how to feed any child in between that gets hungry. Your way is so much simpler. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.
P.S. I didn’t have a lot of blog posts myself this Christmas, and I’m always amazed at those who can belt so many out.

Terry B December 27, 2013 at 9:25 am

Barbara, that sounds like a wonderful way to spend Christmas! And regarding the Jewish Museum, we’re hoping to get to New York in time to catch the Art Spiegleman retrospective.

Angela, yours sounds like a rich, if hectic, way to spend the holiday. It really does. The only advice I would offer, which I’m sure you already do, is to incorporate as many make ahead dishes as possible. And maybe assign people dishes to bring to dinner—desserts often travel well. Happy New Year to you too!

altadenahiker December 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Happy New Year, Terry and Marion. This year, I’m finally ready to try your black-eyed peas recipe. Can’t wait.

[email protected] Creekside Cook December 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

I love those ornaments – so kitschy and cute. All the very best to you in the New Year! [just found your blog, but I will be checking back often!]

Terry B December 29, 2013 at 10:16 am

Altadenahiker, when I searched black-eyed peas on the blog, I was surprised to see how many things we’ve actually cooked with them. Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy it. And happy new year to you!

Welcome to Blue Kitchen, Donalyn!

randi December 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

Merry Christmas to you and Marion!
Love, love, love your ornaments! That is what makes a real Christmas tree full of memories. Many of us in Toronto had to cancel Christmas dinner due to the ice storm. As of this morning there were still 725 households still without power since the 21st. Those poor frozen souls should be up today. I heard lots of stories about borrowing leftovers from those who were able to cook to be able to have Christmas dinner. People really came together at this time. So nice to see. And many thanks to all the power companies from the US and other provinces that postponed their holidays to help us and provinces east of us. That said, thank you so much. I enjoy reading your site and for giving me some really great ideas and new things to try. I wish all the best for your family in 2014.

Terry B January 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

Randi, I hope you’ve recovered from the ice storm—how awful! And now it’s being followed by a snowstorm from the US Midwest to New England. Looks like it might include Toronto. Let’s all hunker down and stay warm and safe. We always look forward to your comments here. Happy new year to you and your family.

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