The firelight glowing, the dust stirring, and Christmas music surrounding us with delight. I like to have the Christmas decorations up before the ornaments find their place on a twinkling evergreen. However, because I like to have the tree decorated around the first of December, everything usually comes out all at the same time. This year my mom gave me her old Christmas china. Though I have searched around, the hexagon dishes of my childhood were my ideal. This year they will grace my table. A tree sits in the center and opened toys surrounds the bottom. I do hope to share some holiday treats with y’all on these dishes this season.
This past weekend was the family holiday celebration. Due to my job, I will be spending my official Christmas with T and my doggie. A quiet Christmas is lovely indeed. I did enjoy seeing all of the family with laughter ringing out and rich foods in our bellies. The love hugged us all like a thick blanket; I will treasure it until I am able to see them all again. Several of us prepared for the “big” dinner during entire morning. I helped with the table decorations. We placed oranges on top of magnolia leaves and twigs of rosemary. Then cranberries were scattered around to add color. In the beginning I did not think all the materials we had would amount to anything, but I was wrong. The centerpiece turned out beautiful, and I like it as much as something bought. The natural ingredients gave a relaxed and down to earth-feel. The newly purchased antique silver added such elegance. Make one of your centerpieces this holiday season from natural ingredients. See what you can create. I loved tweaking the oranges into my masterpiece.
With all the food, I made a gravy to serve with the mashed potatoes and turkey. When we did not have pan drippings or turkey broth, I remembered a recipe I read in Cooking Light. The gravy contained mushrooms, which are a festive food in my book. I read through it before entering the kitchen and making the gravy. The product was a silky brown gravy with small morsels of mushroom. I hope you enjoy it.
Mushroom Pan Gravy
When I was making this, I was running back and forth from the computer to the kitchen. Finally I gave up trying to follow the recipe, and added ingredients that sounded good. I hope you enjoy. My family did.
2 tablespoons butter
½ chopped yellow onion
2 packages of dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
3 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
Salt and pepper
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter and sweat the onions. Meanwhile, pour the hot water over the porcini mushrooms and let stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the mushrooms and add to the pan. SAVE THE LIQUID. Saute the mushrooms and onions until the onions are softened and slightly browned. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.
Add the mushroom liquid and chicken broth. Turn up the heat, and boil the broth mixture until it has reduced to half. Usually takes about 10 minutes. Make a surly by mixing the flour and water together. Reduce the heat to medium heat. Add the surly slowly and stir to incorporate. Allow to thicken to desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add the last tablespoon butter and Italian seasonings. Season to taste.