Christmas is almost here and dinner will hopefully be stress-free
It’s almost Christmas. Cards are addressed and sent. “Nanna candy” is made. If presents aren’t bought, at least I know what I’m going to get and where to buy it.
Some of the children will participate in performing “The Christmas Story” Christmas Eve at 4:30 at one of our churches, after which the children and grandchildren who live in central Ohio will have their gift exchanges at their homes.
Christmas Day, everybody will be at our house for the opening of gifts, a whole lot of togetherness, and Christmas dinner. After rain off and on all week, the forecast is for a chilly, partly sunny day on Christmas — I’ll take it.
My children asked for a laid back Christmas dinner this year, so here’s what we have so far: Jenny will make one of her big, killer salads; Heather’s making lobster mac ‘n’ cheese; we’re good for Mom Smith’s smoked ham, beef tenderloin, potato rolls and lemon squares.
The idea is for nobody to have to stress and work ceaselessly to put dinner on the table this year — from this page to God’s ear.
It’s too late for you to order and bake a whole smoked ham, but if some of the elements of our dinner sound really good to you, you can make it happen at your house rather quickly.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup homemade mashed potatoes
1 1/2 packages granulated yeast
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5-6 cups flour
In a large bowl, mix salt, eggs, sugar, oil and potatoes. Add dry milk and water; mix well. Sprinkle dry yeast over and mix well. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add flour a little at a time until dough forms a ball. Cover and rest in refrigerator. Flour and knead down when dough rises to double size.
Grease cookie sheets. Form and allow rolls to rise until about doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
Makes about four dozen rolls.
SUMMIT LEMON SQUARES
For the pastry:
2 sticks softened butter (I use salted)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix butter, flour and sugar and press into a 10 by 14 inch pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Leave oven on at 325.
For the filling:
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pecan pieces, optional
In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar and lemon juice; in another bowl, mix flour and baking powder; combine. Pour on top of pastry.
Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from heat and sprinkle top with additional confectioner’s sugar.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes; slice into bars. (If there are any left, store in an airtight tin.)
Makes about 50 bars (more or less depending on the size you want).
I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.