Tuesday, December 25

Whew! It's Over.

Our Christmas celebrations were likely over by the time you started yours. Our family has met for many years on Christmas Eve, to exchange presents and have our dinner, so that our children can go back to their respective homes to get ready for the arrival of Santa Claus. This year, one of the in-laws requested that they have dinner on Christmas Eve, so that their grandchildren could be present before they go off to be with their mother for a week. That meant if we were to keep our Christmas celebrations on the same day, I had to prepare a meal for sixteen people, by 1pm. I overshot that mark a little - we sat down to eat at 1:50.

That cartoon above is fairly representative, except it was cats and children waiting by the oven door, and the meal was beef tenderloin instead of turkey. The crazed cook was me, though. (not crazy....LOL...but definitely crazed!) How I wish we had a much larger kitchen or that it had been possible to ban everyone from that room until after dinner. I had to check the tenderloin every 10-15 minutes, and opening the oven door with all those kids nearby can be scary, to say the least.

I had prepared make-ahead mashed potatoes on the 23rd, and I got up at 6:30 am on the 24th to make devilled eggs and saute mushrooms for the tenderloin sauce. My daughters and daughter-in-law were bringing vegetables and other additions, as well as desserts and snacks. We also had shrimp to start the meal - so it was a veritable feast - and a departure from our typical turkey with all the trimmings. The tenderloin was excellent (Costco) and the cook did a good job of getting it to rare and medium-rare, without going over the line to nuked (if I do say so myself)! I have to give perks to Renn for posting Paula Dean's recipe for tenderloin several weeks ago. I saved it and used that very simple method to cook mine, and you simply cannot go wrong with it! I can't find her post with that recipe, so I'm writing it for you:
one 4-5 pound beef tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
freshly ground black pepper
Allow the beef to stand at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven to 425* F. Place the tenderloin in a 13 by 9" glass baking pan and rub it with soy sauce, then rub with a generous amount of black pepper.
Roast the tenderloin for 45-50 minutes, using a meat thermometer. 125 degrees is rare, 135 degrees is medium rare and 140 degrees is medium.
Remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest for fifteen minutes before slicing.

I used aluminum baking pans instead of glass, since that tenderloin was way too long for my 9x13 glass dish. I cut it in half before cooking and used 2 pans. Paula's recipe included the idea that you could buy a whole tenderloin when it was on sale and cut it in half to save for another meal. That would make it more economical, since it was $11.79 per pound at Costco, and $11.59 at Sam's.
Today was spent reclining, mostly, and fielding phone calls from family and friends. We are truly blessed. I hope that your celebrations were similarly excellent, in both the gathering of people and the feast!


Chancy said...

Merry Christmas

I am tired but it is a good feeling as we had 4 grand children and their parents over for Christmas at out townhouse.

We have a brunch type lunch but this year we included a tenderloin from Costco and it was delicious like yours. the only hitch was, Costo does not trim the Tenderloin and we had never attempted that. My poor husband struggled with it for about an hour. I don't think our knife was sharp enough. Did you trim yours and if so how did it work out?

Blonde Goddess said...

I too spent the last two days cooking and cleaning up. It was chaos and I am tired of cooking. I believe we will eat left overs for the next couple of days.
It sounds like your family was treated to quite a feast!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Hale McKay said...

mmmmm ... sounds like an absolutely delicious feast.

Merry Christmas and a happy upcoming New Year, Judy.

BreadBox said...

We had a similarly good feast --- 15 of us in total, five children, nine adults eating, plus one person sitting with a glass of wine but no food (he was having dinner later with his family).

Trimming the tenderloin: you want not just a sharp knife, but one with a narrow flexible blade for best results: a filleting knife works well. But sharpness is the key factor.

As for opening the oven ever few minutes, a nice tool is a probe thermometer on a cord which sits inside the roast, with the cord plugged into a box on the counter: it will beep when the roast is ready (that way you don't keep cooling the oven by 20-50 degrees every time you open the oven door!)

Next up, a happy new year for you all! And you deserve it:-)


BreadBox said...

Oh, and this time Michele sent me!

kenju said...

Thanks to Breadbox for the tip about trimming the fat on the tenderloin. I used a serrated knife blade and it took me about 20minutes to trim all the fat from the meat. I should have used a filleting knife, as Breadbox said. My knife was sharp, but it was too broad a blade for ease of cutting. Next time, I will ask the butcher to trim it!!

Seamus said...

Dinner sounds wonderful!

We had our big meal on Christmas Eve and mostly chilled out today and went to see "The Water Horse"!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you! We always have Christmas dinner and opening of presents on Christmas Eve. And then, usually have the leftovers, often quite a lot (!) on Christmas day.
That recipe looks yummy. I'll have to try it.
Claude from Blogging in Paris

Marty said...

When the kids were little we judged the success of our Christmas by how much they were crying by the end of the day. If the laughter and antics had dissolved into tears and exhaustion, it must have been great.

Now if WE are tired, close to tears of joy and love and exhaustion, surrounded by delicious left over food stacked all over the kitchen we shoo everyone out the door with hugs and kisses, and high-five each other as we enjoy watching the tail lights leave the driveway. Then we sit numbly, looking at the mess and decide Christmas was a total success.

Anonymous said...

home fitness

Overall it sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Paula Deene may not be known for healthy food, but in a pinch her recipes are always good and simple to make.

gautami tripathy said...

It sounds so wonderful. We have similar feasts during Diwali. It is a bif festival for Indians. One starts preparing for it weeks ahead. And it goes away in no time!

Michele sent me you way today.

craziequeen said...

Hi Judy - when I read reports like this I am so glad we only have an intimate Christmas (just the two of us)....my family will probably now never be in the same room ever again...

Michele sent me while MB watches Moonraker :-) Bond is a Christmas institution here.

Merry Christmas my dear friend, Judy and my very best regards to Mr Kenju (who is, I hope, still improving).

Beverly said...

Sarah and I had a quiet meal together. Since we had Christmas earlier in the month with Ella, it seemed like it was already over. I liked it in a way. It gave me lots of time for reflection during the days before Christmas.

I cooked for a crowd last year, and this year it was nice to sit down to a dinner for two.

I hope you survive the next days with your weddings and stuff.

Dianne said...

We had a very similar feast Christmas Eve - including the giant tenderloin. Every thermometer at my brother's house was broken so the evening's entertainment was the endless discussions of "is it ready yet" -

It was a wonderful holiday.

tiff said...

Happy Boxing Day Judy!

I woudl have gone apoplectic at the thought of buying meat for nearly 12 bucks a pound, but now my mouth is watering. Yum.

Changes in the wind is said...

Thanks for the recipe...will give it a try another day:)

colleen said...

As I was clipping the ends of string beans, I was feeling grateful to all the women in my life who worked so hard over the holidays cooking for others. Happily the green beans are all I made, which were added to the potluck meal, but I did have an open house Christmas Eve party that I still have to clean up from!

rennratt said...

Dawn over at Belle of the Blog should get props for the recipe.

She posted it on HER site, and I stole it.

It's delicious, isn't it?

Beverly said...

Sounds like a nice Christmas celebration. I know with all that cooking, your little feet enjoyed the reclining.
Happy New Year!!!!

gemma said...

Our Christmas Eve was on Sunday this year to accomodate the nurses in the fam who had to work on Christmas Eve and Day. My husband is the grand chef and he chose a prime rib this year too. I just stand back and wait to be told what to do. The recipe he used sounds very much like yours and he had a probe thermometer to eliminate the opening and closing of the oven door.

The celbration was joyous, the food abundant and the 12 family members around the table were greatly loved. It was a wonderful Christmas. God Bless us everyone!!

moon said...

Joyeux Noël to you from french Canada!
We celebrate xmas eve ..We had 4 young 17-18 yr olds here along with my boarders, my husband, my ex brother in law and a baby lol..I just served up a cold buffet with lots of choices for all and it was taken out twice during the evening. Once early on and once after midnight after all the gifts were opened...since we wait till midnight to open everything, we are all up till the wee hours...I finally went to bed close to 4 am, but the kids lasted abit longer lol, Thankfully everyone sleep in xmas morning!
A great time was had by all!

rosemary said...

Sounds like you had a good holiday....ours was quiet, with way too much food and cats everywhere.

terrilynn said...

That sounds like a wonderful meal. I hope you and Mr. Kenju have a wonderful holiday season and a bright and HEALTHY new year.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Its all over but the relaxin'

Hopefully you will get some relaxin' time.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds absolutely DEE-Licious, Judy...But I think you were amazing to take on Dinner For 16....!
I hope you can get a bit of rest before the next wave....LOL!

My Christmas was lovely! I was able to go to Betty's for our annual Christmas Warmth....and it was, as always, special! Relaxed and fun and warm, warm, warm, with love....! You can't ask for more than that!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Judy! I'm sending lots of love and wishes for a peaceful and more healthy new year for you and Mr. Kenju. Thanks for your friendship- that's one of the blessings I count.

Kristi said...

Merry Christmas, Judy! I hope your family appreciated all your efforts to make that wonderful meal for them.

Things are just getting back to normal at my house after a crazy few family-and-fun-filled days. Hope the last few days have been relaxing for you and Mr. Kenju.

PI said...

Well done Judy. You clever girl!