You knew it was going to happen. As holiday merriment ensues and last minute errands multiply, entire days disappear. In my case, nearly a week.
We have a couple of culinary traditions at Christmas that I just can't imagine living without. Christmas Eve is celebrated at my Grandmother's. We never do a sit down dinner, instead it's an array of appetizers and munchies. We are a grazing family and can often be found standing around the turkey at Thanksgiving fighting over skin well before it's time to sit down (at which point we are all full), so we fully embrace this characteristic for Christmas.
It's always a challenge to save room for dessert when you can just pick at cheese, shrimp, meatballs and other goodies all night, but it's imperative. We always have a cheesecake from the nuns of New Skete and Cranberry Ice Cream from Dobert's Dairy in Glens Falls. I'm typically forcing myself to eat dessert, but how do you NOT have cheesecake made by nuns on Christmas? It's just disrespectful. And the cranberry ice cream is such a once-a-year thing that you also can't pass it up.
My other Christmas weakness is my Mom's bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. They're super easy - wrap water chestnuts in bacon, skewer with a toothpick, and cook until the bacon is cooked. (I'd say... at 350, and you can do this in advance) The sauce is 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup cocktail or chili sauce and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mix it up, dump over water chestnuts and toss in the microwave until everything is warm again.