December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

We had 25 guests last night for our traditional Lithuanian Christmas Eve dinner. Somehow, we were able to fit everyone at the same table, ( secret-it took two tables).

My kitchen plant window, a little weak on white cyclamen and to be honest, I ran out of energy so I had to stick with some orchids, begonias and a few measly paperwhites that I found at Walmart - (it's official - Walmart paperwhites are indeed the measliest in the paperwhite kingdom). That fabulous wreath that looks as if it was made from Aloe leaves? Target, thank you very much! And it's made from dried seed pods. Clearly I wasn't very clever this year.

At least I could splurge on camellias! In the greenhouse, as large tree of Camellia 'Charlotte de Rothschild' that I planted into the ground of the greenhouse, provided a couple of dozen of its large, single white blossoms for our Christmas table.

This year we served  boneless Prime Rib of beef (we had two of these boneless racks, which  I had the butcher prepare, trim and tie, since I knew I would be busy with other things). Along with simple, Mashed Potatoes ( yet not so light with  cream and butter), winter vegetables and plenty of deserts, no one left any lighter than when they arrived.

My poor, pathetic cutting of the Christmas Cactus known as 'Aspen', a highly sought after fringed form, bloomed with three flowers this year. I call it 'pathetic' because I almost lost it this spring, when it rotted away to almost nothing in a damp corner of the greenhouse, yet I should call it my miracle plant, as it re-rooted in a new pot, and I re-discovered it last week in another cold corner (see a pattern here?), but this time with a few buds.

I had lots of guests bring desert,  as I wanted to focus on the meal ( and Joe, on cocktails), but I wanted to share this one with you - a Japanese sponge cake with strawberries and cream by my good friend and cake designer, Jessica Rosenkranz. Nothing like taking on a difficult task! She admits that it was her first time trying Japanese sponge, but I think it came out pretty sweet. And it tasted good, too, filled with berries and cream.

Joe topping off glasses, ensuring constant joy.

My older brother Bruce, in the center, and my nice Lyndsey and her Husband Davis on the right ( they just celebrated their first wedding anniversary two weeks ago).


  1. hopflower10:07 AM

    A Very Happy Christmas week to all of you. It is a beautiful table and what joy around it. Of course, I wish you the best of the New year, too.

  2. Lovely. Thanks for sharing your Christmas Matt. I think your arrangement was pretty doggone clever my friend. It looks like a lovely meal. I love your painting/print? of Mary and child in the corner of the dining room. Made me smile. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.~~Dee

  3. Looks lovely - and clever!

  4. I love this a Japanese sponge cake with strawberries and cream and I love your painting/print? of Mary and child in the corner of the dining room.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!


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