In the fall of 2007, we undertook a “gut” renovation of our kitchen. It was scheduled to be completed before the holidays, but you all know how that went! As Christmas approached, the kitchen wasn’t even close to done.
How we started our most cherished Christmas tradition!
When Patti and I got married in 2005, we had decided to start a new tradition of hosting a Christmas dinner for our two families. At the time, it was the two of us, two kids each, and “serious” boy/girlfriends. This had been well received and we knew we had to do something. But how to handle the lack of our kitchen (which also included the dining table)?
When we started the renovation, we had moved a couple of the old base cabinets and the refrigerator into the garage, along with basic pots and pans, dishes, utensils, etc. We set up a two-burner camp stove on the plywood we installed as a countertop. What could we cook on a camp stove, and no oven? Someone came up with the idea we could set a large pot on both burners, and a further idea came to steam lobsters. So a plan was hatched. We outsourced the side dishes to each kid (all in their 30’s then). I cooked my specialty “Boston Clam Chowder” ahead. We moved furniture around and set up the dining table in the living room.
The day arrived and everything went swimmingly! The kids loved the food. The real fan was Patti, who had virtually nothing to do in the kitchen and could relax for the first time ever before a Christmas dinner. (I was the lobster steamer!) And so a tradition was born! We have done the lobster Christmas Dinner every year since. People started giving us Santa/lobster gifts and decorations (see photo above). One year we gave everyone in attendance “lobster Pjs,” that were worn for the gift exchange. Lobster slippers next year, etc. Since marriages and children have followed, we now are us, the four kids, three spouses and seven grandchildren. This year, since we won’t be able to host a dinner that size, we’re till working out how to “split” the event, if we can have it at all.
Happy Holidays to all!