I hate to associate the Nativity of Our Lord with dairy products. But, it is a FEAST! A feast is the time to pull out all the stops, we have fasted for 40 days, and what better time to break a 40 day long fast than Christ's birth! And oh boy do we feast.
I started my Christmas cooking tonight. So far I have made egg salad for the Nativity celebration Wednesday night/ early Thursday morning. I thought about deviled eggs, but have you ever transported deviled eggs? I would rather just smush it all together and have egg salad! Plus, we'll have deli trays catered (with meat, cheese, and bread) so us [lacto/ovo/pesca] vegetarians will have something other than meat to eat with our bread!
I also prepared a very eggy/cheesy Cheese Strata for Christmas morning. It's a family tradition. It consists of cubed bread soaked overnight (or longer) in an egg, cheese, and milk mixture. This year I added some onions and minced parsley to try something new. I also dairy-ed it up a bit by using half and half. Oh and the butter, there's lots of butter cubed on the top of the strata before it goes into the oven. It tastes rich but almost has the texture of a souffle. I cannot explain how much I love this dish!
I also plan on making my ever present brunch staple... CHEESE GRITS! I'm sure my family will make some bacon, or country ham, or maybe sausage. I could use some smoked salmon with my brunch, maybe I'll pick some up tomorrow. And we'll have coffee, duh! I'll be having mine black.
And I can't forget the candy. We always get candy in our stockings, and yes we eat it with our breakfast. I really love those hazelnut rocher things. When I was a kid I thought their commercials were so elegant, and I insisted on trying them. I think I had pretty refined tastes for a kid! Later I would discover the joys of pure dark chocolate, but I still enjoy the rocher goodies. The love of these little chocolate hazelnut wonders would later result in my Nutella obsession...
See, from the looks of that commercial, you can understand my intense desire as a child to try these. Sheer elegance, in that gaudy 90's sort of way!
Tomorrow is a pretty long day. (Luckily I'll have the day off.) The services will start with the Royal Hours at 7:30 AM. Then there will be a Liturgy at 9:00 AM, but this isn't the big one, not yet. Then at 9:10 tomorrow night Orthros will begin, then around 10:30 the Nativity Liturgy will begin. It's going to be a pretty long day. But completely worth it. I can't wait!!! Talk to you soon, if I don't see you again before Thursday... Merry Christmas!