A Cook's Diary

We Prepped Christmas Eve Dinner in Just Over An Hour

Christmas eve dinner was no extravagant affair, as usual. We had a “menu” in mind and we had shopped accordingly. But, unlike most Filipino families, we did not spend days cooking. In fact, we prepped everything in just over an hour. That’s the advantage of having every family member that is well-versed in cooking. It wasn’t just me flying around and tearing my hair in panic. We all did our part in the preparation and that made the work a lot easier.

For the cold platter, we had cold meat, cheese, fruits and nuts. For the hot dishes, we grilled shrimps and tuna served with cauliflower and broccoli "fried rice".

For the cold platter, we had cold meat, cheese, fruits and nuts. For the hot dishes, we had two-mushroom miso soup, grilled shrimps and tuna served with cauliflower and broccoli “fried rice” and grilled sweet potatoes.

Two-mushroom miso soup? Yes, it’s just basic miso soup with more wakame than usual and with lots of shimeji and wood ears.

For the cold platter, we had cold meat, cheese, fruits and nuts. For the hot dishes, we grilled shrimps and tuna served with cauliflower and broccoli "fried rice".

The herbed butter—mixed, piped and chilled for 30 minutes—went with both cold and hot dishes. We spread it on bread…

For the cold platter, we had cold meat, cheese, fruits and nuts. For the hot dishes, we grilled shrimps and tuna served with cauliflower and broccoli "fried rice".

And we dotted the tuna and shrimps with it during and after grilling.

To go with everything, there was white wine.

For the cold platter, we had cold meat, cheese, fruits and nuts. For the hot dishes, we grilled shrimps and tuna served with cauliflower and broccoli "fried rice".

It was fun. We took lots of photos. Well, except Speedy who was too focused on the food. I’m not sure how it happened but Sam managed to drop melted cheese on her iPhone. No damage done, thankfully.

On Christmas day, we cooked nothing. We had enough leftovers from the Christmas eve dinner to tide us over. And we made sure to finish as much of the leftovers as we could because the day after Christmas, we went shopping for everything we’ll need until New Year’s Day.

Shopping so early? Yes, we beat the crowds. Or, at least, we tried to. The grocery was packed today, December 26, but we know from experience that it’s going to get a lot more crowded. Filipinos tend to spend more on food for New Year’s Eve than Christmas Eve.

And just what will New Year’s Eve dinner be at CASA Veneracion? A hot pot meal.

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