Tag Archives: christmas eve

Christmas Preparations

I can’t believe that it’s December 22!  Tomorrow is my last day of school before vacation.  I just spent half an hour making an edible soil model to bring in for my environmental science students.  Imagine “Dirt Cake” but actually designed to represent the soil horizons, with different kinds of pudding, crushed cookies, and cool whip dyed green.  I’m sure my students will love it tomorrow, and I love sneaking learning in with a treat!

The weekend was spent preparing for the holidays.  While I finished up shopping on Saturday, Ed was so kind to clean up the house, even vacuuming the whole house.  That’s big, he doesn’t clean often.  On Sunday morning, in the slush, we went to the grocery store to pick up everything we would need for Christmas Eve Supper.  Again, Ed doesn’t usually go shopping with me (I can’t remember a time he went since before we were married!).  I wonder if he’s trying to make up for the fact that he hasn’t bought me a present yet…

I haven’t wrapped any presents yet.  They’re spread out throughout the floor in the office, and I have to yell at guests (like our brothers) not to look at the pile.  I’ll most likely do that on Christmas Eve.

We’re having my family over for Christmas Eve supper, so I have to make that.  I’m making prime rib, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots,  and peach raspberry crumb pie.  Fortunately I froze peach-raspberry pie filling over the summer, using our own peaches and raspberries, so that will be easy and won’t involve any peeling!  My mom’s bringing her famous cheesecake and Caesar salad, and Mema’s bringing her famous dinner rolls and cream cheese cookies.  And Duke‘s just bringing himself.

We’ll head to Ed’s parents’ house on Christmas to spend time with them.  I don’t have to cook anything for that… but I do have to finish making a couple of homemade gifts by then…

The next few days will be crazy but fun, and the almost two weeks that I have off of school for vacation are going to be great!!!



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Christmas Eve Prime Rib

rib roast

I used to be really intimidated and think that prime rib was very difficult to make.  When I finally made it, I was so surprised by how easy it was.  Now, this is our traditional meal for Christmas Eve, when we celebrate with my parents, brothers, and grandmother Mema.  Technically, this is a beef rib roast, as the “prime” cuts all go to restaurants and we buy “choice” from the butcher, but we call it prime rib anyway.  I figured I’d post the recipe a little early, since people might want to try it for the holidays, and since I wanted to refresh my memory of how to cook it for when I go shopping this weekend.  A rule of thumb will be one rib to feed two people, but I know the big guys in my family like a rib each, so I bought a 5 rib roast last year.  There were plenty of leftovers and the dogs loved the bones.  (A good rule is to not give them more than one.  Last year the dogs were sick all over our very new house on Christmas Eve).

Beef Rib Roast

  • a 3 or 4 rib roast, 6-8 lbs
  • 5 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 halved garlic heads
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 2 parsnips, cut in large chunks
  • 1 halved red onion

Lay the beef, bone side down, in a large roasting pan.  The bones will act as a rack as it roasts.  Mash together the garlic, salt, pepper, horseradish and oil.  Rub this mixture all over the roast.  Scatter the garlic heads, carrots, parsnips, and red onion all around the roast.  Roast at 350°F for 20 minutes per pound until the internal temperature is 125 in the middle for medium rare.  Remove the roast to a large cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

To carve, you can cut off all of the ribs and slice, or slice and serve with the bone.  This roast is especially nice served with horseradish sauce (combine equal parts sour cream and prepared horseradish), sauteed mushrooms, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.  This makes a very special meal for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any other special occasion.

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