Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year because it combines two of my favorite things in the world, family and food, and yesterday certainly had plenty of both. I’ll tell you all about it. For as long as I can remember, on Christmas morning when I’ve been at my mom’s house, we’ve always had a big christmas brunch. Now, there’s nothing inherently christmas themed about the brunch, but I call it a christmas brunch because of the day on which that meal occurs. Moving on. Yesterday after waking up and exchanging and opening gifts with my mom, grandmother, wife, and two younger brothers, plus a stocking for my mom’s dog, coach, which was kind of odd because Santa didn’t fill a stocking for our dogs, Jack and Mocha, maybe because they’ve been bad dogs this year, we all settled around the table to enjoy brunch. As many pictures as I take, I know you will find this surprising, but for whatever reason, I didn’t snap any of the breakfast food, but you can take my word for it, everything looked delicious, except of course for the poppyseed muffins, that only my brother Logan eats, despite the fact that that is one of the worst and most vile tasting foods I’ve ever tasted.
The spread was huge and I loaded my plate with breakfast casserole, a delicious blend of sausage, egg, and cheese baked to perfection, biscuits and gravy, a blueberry muffin, as well as sausage and some bacon. Everything was really good, and if you’ve never had breakfast casserole, try it sometime, because when you’re having a terrible awful no good very bad day, you can take solace in knowing that there is something as amazing as breakfast casserole in this world, a thought that should brighten your day instantly. My plate was so full that I didn’t have room to put any cinnamon roll on my plate, so I went to get some of that, and figured while I was up there I might as well get some more bacon and another muffin as well. It was a great decision, possibly the best I’ve ever made. The cinnamon roll that my mom makes is easily the best I’ve ever had, with a sweet icing and pecans on top for a nice, soft crunch.
After eating brunch at my mom’s in Searcy, Arkansas, my wife and I hit the road and got back to Memphis in time for christmas dinner at my grandparents house last night with my dad, aunt Kathryn, uncle Jimmy, and cousin, Bailey. Again, there was nothing christmas themed about the dinner, and I only called it that because of the day on which we ate. I’m not going to explain this anymore. If you can’t figure it out for yourself from now on, get off my blog! Anyway, that spread, like the brunch in Arkansas, was enormous, and it too looked delicious, which you can see for yourself since I did remember to take a picture at dinner. For the second time that day I loaded up my plate, but instead of breakfast casserole and biscuits, I filled it with green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, ham, and last but certainly not least, a dinner roll. My cousin Bailey (which when said aloud reminds me of the great movie titled “My Cousin Vinny”) made the sweet potato and green bean casseroles, and she, a reader of my blogs where I sometimes write food reviews, asked me to give an honest opinion of those two dishes, so I did.
My first bite was of the sweet potatoes and they were delicious, my exact words, I believe, were “so good.” Next I put a bite of green beans in my mouth, and for some reason, I hesitated and failed to give a response with as much gusto as I had for the previous bite, so she thought I didn’t like them. I actually did enjoy the green bean casserole, but as much as I tried to convince the audience of people around the table of this fact, it didn’t seem to sink in. I messed it up even worse for myself later in the dinner, when it came back up again, and again I tried to explain the hesitation. I started by saying, “normally green bean casserole is my favorite dish” and would have continued to say that the hesitation was because I was judging it against others I’ve had so I could give an honest answer about what I thought of it, but I didn’t get a chance, because my wording made it seem like I was saying “normally green bean casserole is my favorite dish but this is horrible.” It was all in fun, but for the record, Bailey, I did think your green bean casserole was good, and I actually ate some leftovers from lunch today (not pictured).
The mac and cheese and mashed potatoes were really good. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the mashed red potatoes but it was a nice change from the traditional mashed potatoes and I really enjoyed them. Some people spend lots of time cooking turkey or ham for christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it seems like a wasted effort when you could get a ham as delicious as the one we had last night which my dad got from One and Only BBQ in Memphis. You could taste the smoky flavor in each bite, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that that pig came from a barbecue restaurant. I haven’t been to One and Only yet, but I’ve heard good things, and if their barbecue is anything like they’re ham, I’m going to love it. Yesterday was a full day, full of lots of fun with the family and lots of really good food. It’s a good thing Christmas only comes once a year, because I’m going to need a solid 365 days to work off the weight I likely gained yesterday.