Ginger snaps, wassail, ham, squash & apple casserole, baked sweet potatoes, and cheesy cornbread.

I know I’m a few days late posting this, but I was rather proud of my culinary achievements for Christmas, and I really wanted to share. :-)

Ginger snaps!

First of all, I have to say that I was a little disappointed in how the fudge turned out last Friday. It was good, but it was a lot less similar to my grandfather’s than it had been the year before. I think I overcooked it a bit. However, I followed that up with a delicious batch of ginger snaps the very next morning; I used the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe found here.

Studding the orange with cloves.

For Christmas Day, I really wanted to make a big batch of Wassail to share with the family. I’d never made Wassail before, so I found a promising recipe here and went with it. My mother and my husband both helped me make the Wassail; studding an orange with whole cloves is dangerous work! It was delicious; everyone enjoyed it, and I probably drank my weight in Wassail before the day was out. One of my favorite memories from this Christmas is my house full of family all talking, laughing, and drinking Wassail; I think I might have created a new, personalized definition of the term “Wassailing” this year. :-)

Christmas Dinner:

Honey Ham: thanks to my company for providing this for me; just had to warm it up in the oven!
Butternut Squash & Apple Casserole: from
Baked Sweet Potatoes: from
Cheesy Southern Corn Bread: from (*Substituted canned green chilies in place of onions)
Paired with: 2009 Entwine Pinot Grigio

Christmas dinner was actually highly amusing (as well as delicious!) It had been a long time since I’d made cornbread, and I tried to use a new cast-iron skillet that had a mold of separate cornbread pieces. I forgot, however, that cornbread rises, and filled each cornbread slice to the brim with batter. It didn’t take long for the bread to rise and erupt over the edges of the skillet, dripping down to the bottom of the oven and smoking up the kitchen! It was still really delicious cornbread even if it resembled the aftermath of Mt. St. Helens somewhat in appearance.

The second amusing thing was my inability to read labels. I’d picked up this bottle of wine at the store specifically because I’d read the brand as “Ent Wine.” I figured if giant talking trees from the Lord of the Rings created the wine, then it had to be good! Of course, when I attempted to explain this decision to my husband, he just laughed because, obviously, this label is simply the word “entwine” — a possibility that had not even entered my mind. I can be a little odd sometimes. :-)

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