It was different, it was calm, it was white but it was still a wonderful Christmas. While I missed the crazy three location California family Christmas I’m normally accustomed to, PC and I did our best to make our holiday special.
PC had all of Christmas Eve off of “work”, which was wonderful. In Germany, the 24th is the most important celebration day because Jesus was born on that night. Of course, Jesus was not born in December at all- but no matter. Chronological accuracy aside, it was fun to see the town shut down at 1 pm on Friday. Meanwhile, I was alerted to JC Penny’s shop till midnight on the 24th promotion back in the US. Really JCPenny? Really? Back in Unterhaching…PC and I managed a quick sauna session, watched “A Christmas Story” and then threw on our fancy duds for our special Christmas Eve meal.
Every year I petition for my mother to make succulent beef wellington for Christmas Eve. Oh my. It’s delicious. My mom prepares a whole beef tenderloin surrounded in mushroom duxelles(we don’t add the traditional pâté, there’s really no need) all wrapped up in flaky puff pastry. She then whips up a cabernet bearnaise sauce to die for. I am crazy for this wellington. I had to have it, but I was terrified of ruining the dish I lust for 364 days a year. With PC’s encouragement, we forged ahead. As we were cooking for two, we prepared it with two massive fillets instead of a whole tenderloin. Instead of a bearnaise sauce, which requires more equipment and time than I had available, I made a peppercorn sauce. Served with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and green beans it was…Perfect! If you haven’t had beef wellington in your life you need to fix this issue immediately.
Christmas morning arrived with plenty of gifts under the tree and a few in the care of DHL. With the unruly weather in Europe, there is a massive backlog of parcels to be delivered, and a few of ours are caught up in the fun. This means that we’ll be enjoying a Chanukkah-style Christmas as presents trickle in for the next few days. The gifts we were able to open on the actual morning were amazing, thoughtful and…basically we are spoiled.
I hope you all had a beautiful holiday.