Oh, what a Christmas

I can’t remember a Christmas with such unrelenting weather, especially in Kansas, which rarely, rarely produced a white Christmas during my childhood. But on our way down we got rain, followed by fog, followed by an absolute downpour during the most high-traffic part of the trip.

By Christmas eve the rain had turned to ice pellets, which gave us a treacherous drive downtown for lunch with my bff and her fiance (and some last-minute pickups at the grocery store). I have to tell you, though, that icy walk was so worth it. We had lunch at Dempsey’s, which is a bar that serves gourmet burgers. Thankfully, they have veggie options, too.

I had the Romesco burger, a lentil patty topped with feta cheese, marinated green beans, nuts and some kind of lovely red pepper sauce.

Mike had the falafel burger with a whole pile of yummy on top. We both had the sweet potato fries, which are reason enough to eat lunch there.

And that was just the beginning of our holiday gorging. Just as the ice was turning into snow, we headed to my dad’s for Christmas eve dinner of poached salmon, green bean casserole and my dad’s amazing mashed potatoes. (Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of this part – doh!) We had just enough time to throw back a few cheesecake bites before we realized my car was very close to not being able to back out of the hilly driveway.

So off we went, back to my mom’s to prepare our Christmas tradition, bubble bread. I know some people call it Monkey Bread (frozen rolls, rolled in butter and dipped in sugar and cinnamon, set atop more butter and nuts) but it will always be bubble bread to me. This is why!

It gets HUGE overnight, and then you bake it for 30 minutes in the morning. We have ours with veggie sausage patties and mimosas.

But wait! There was more cooking to do. We had to frost the rest of the sugar cookies that I didn’t make it to.

Mike handed me this little heart with my name on it (awwww) so I had to make one for him in return.

Thankfully it wasn’t this one, which cracked in transit.

Then we got ready for one more dinner at my aunt’s house in KC. Grandma grated potatoes for her famous gourmet potatoes, Mike chopped veggies, Darrell scrubbed pans, and Charlotte relaxed in her new Snuggie. (Oh yes I did!)

By this point we weren’t sure we were actually going to make it to KC because that snow turned into a blizzard warning. We could barely open the front door.

Thank goodness for a lot of shoveling and sheer force of will because we did make it. Mike made the most fabulous eggplant parmesan, which several people pronounced the best they ever had, and I got to hang out with my cousins and their adorable dog, Lucy.

So much fun, so much food, and waaaayyy too much white knuckle driving is how I’ll remember this year. Thankfully we made it back safe and picked up our doggies. Now I’m ready for a little bit of normal. You?