Merry Freaking Christmas


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM KIRBY CROW

Merry Freaking Christmas

Search the Internet for Christmas recipes and you’d think it was all about the dinner. Well, it’s not. I don’t have difficulty cooking Christmas dinner or finding recipes for main and side dishes. There was that time I baked the plastic giblet bag inside the turkey, but we don’t talk about that. Nope. Anyway, my big problem during the holidays is putting together that one perfect, magical Christmas breakfast, which will henceforth be called “Christfast”.

Okay, we won’t call it that. That’s really lame and it gives me mental images of Jesus on a skateboard. Massbreak? Feastmass? Christbreakfastmass? Whatev.

Christmas breakfast is fraught with challenges. First you have to compete with the Christmas stocking (full of candy, nuts, chocolates, and fruit, yeeech fruit in my stocking! You might as well put coal in there!), then there’s new toys, parades on TV, arriving relatives, and wrapping paper all over the floor. Have you ever tried to cook with wrapping paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe?

Along with snow falling gently past the bay window and carols playing in the background, this is the kind of image you get when you think about Christmas breakfast.

MFC2

Has this ever happened in my house? Not even close. The closest I ever got to that was when the cat made a crazy-ass leap from the top of the Christmas tree to the screen door and shattered a bulb on my butter dish.

But forget the place-setting, what about the food? One year I tried a chocolate soufflé. It fell and looked like an innertube. Tasted like one, too. Another year I bought emu eggs and made a scramble, but since plain emu eggs taste like nothing, they got the ketchup treatment and weren’t special at all. Is it any wonder I gave up years ago and decided that the perfect Christmas breakfast was the McDonald’s drive-thru?

No more! This year will be different. This year I will find the perfect recipe, lay out all the ingredients on Christmas Eve – if I can find space for them on the one table big enough to wrap presents on, which is also my dining room table – get up super-extra early on Christmas morning (why even go to bed?), and make that perfect holiday breakfast.

But first I have to tackle the issue of issue of, hmm, how do I put this? Volume. That’s it. It’s a math problem. I have to take into consideration just how much room people actually have in their tummies after stuffing it with stocking goodies, because if the Christmas breakfast is too big, they won’t have room for Christmas dinner. Which… technically isn’t dinner since we always eat around lunchtime. If Christmas breakfast is too skimpy, they’ll do a swan dive head-first into their stockings and eat themselves silly or pester you with stupid questions like “When are we going to eat?”, and then you’ll have to say stupid stuff back like “It’ll be ready when it’s ready. Go play with your Xbox!” while you stomp around the kitchen in your slippers and throw wooden spoons at the back door.

Christmas breakfast is doomed, I say. Doooooomed.

Or maybe not. I’ve had good luck with French toast. Just plain old simple white-bread, dipped-in-egg French toast. It’s not fancy, but it works, and there’s the problem: it’s not fancy. I mean come on! I spend about 20 hours planning, buying, and cooking a single meal for Christmas, and the preface is French toast? That’s an insult to French toast. That’s an insult to Christmas. That’s an insult to prefaces.

This will not stand.

So… here is the challenge (challenges, because you can pick any, and don’t talk to me about tenses!): Comment to enter the contest. Alternately, comment with your own Christmas breakfast memories or send me a link to a recipe you think I should try. If you want, post the recipe, or post a pic of yourself eating it. Post your most hated recipe, the stuff you wouldn’t eat even if it meant you could have a talking pony under the tree, or post the disaster Christmas recipe that ran everyone out of the house screaming The kitchen is on fire, run for your life!

Oh wait, that was me. Never mind.

MFC

***

Kirby Crow worked as an entertainment editor and ghostwriter for several years before happily giving it up to bake brownies, read yaoi, play video games, and write her own novels. These days, when she isn’t reading cookbooks, slaying Mirkwood orcs, stabbing evil Templars, or flying an assault cruiser for the glory of the Amarr Empire, Kirby writes game code and works to perfect her digital art and photography skills.

Kirby is a 2010 winner of the Epic Award and a two-time winner of the Rainbow Award for her published works in fiction. She is the author of the bestselling “Scarlet and the White Wolf” series of fantasy novels.

Her published novels are:

Prisoner of the Raven (historical romance, Torquere Press, 2005)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: The Pedlar and the Bandit King (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2006)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: Mariner’s Luck (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2007)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: The Land of Night (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2007)
Angels of the Deep (paranormal/horror, MLR Press, 2009)
Circuit Theory (scifi, Riptide, 2012)

For upcoming news of her future novels and purchase links for any of the above, visit http://kirbycrow.com

She can also be followed on Twitter, Tumblr, or her blog.

All works available in print and digital format from Amazon, Riptide, Torquere Books, Barnes & Noble, and all online book retailers. You can also request them from any bookstore.

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Advent Calendar Giveaway!

Kirby will be giving away one e-book of any of her back catalogue to one lucky commenter, so don’t be shy, get commenting!

The BONUS BUMPER PRIZE QUESTION (don’t answer this - just save them up for Christmas Eve.)

12. In which direction should you always stir mincemeat?

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31 Responses

  1. Christmas breakfast? Buck’s fizz, homemade croissants with marmalade and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, of course.

    Naaaaah, I’m pulling your leg. :D by christmas morning I’m too stressed and knackered to bother with breakfast. I have a mug of builders tea to wake me up at around 5 am then stuff the turkey. It’s not a ‘fun’ day – it’s a day for doing all the stuff you MUST do. Christmas Day is the day you work like a pit pony in order to enjoy Boxing Day when you can curl up with the pile of books you unwrapped the day before and say “There’s plenty of leftovers in the kitchen, now push off I’m reading!” Pure joy! :)

    • Come to us for Christmas, hun. Himself cooks dinner so I just have to wash up (works for me). We have games and quizzes and lots of fun.

    • >Naaaaah, I’m pulling your leg

      I was jealous for a moment! I can never seem to get it together for Xmas brekkie. I’m too focused on the dinner and all the work, I think. Plus, you know, MY NOO TOYZ! :)

  2. Has to be plain – cereal and milk or yoghurt, to gird up your tummy’s metaphorical loins for the day ahead…

    • I’m rather fond of croissants. I keep intending to bake those crescent rolls that come in a tube for breakfast, but that’s… um… work. :)

      • The trick with croissants is to find a bakery that does an all-butter version. Shortening just isn’t the same.

        I’ve made them from scratch. I used to do batches of 36, all-butter, with… four successive folds? Charged accordingly, too. They were very popular. So popular that I gave myself tendinitis. We could really have done with a dough sheeter!

  3. We always want Christmas to be perfect in all respects but it rarely works out like that, does it? 😀 Christmas morning it’s a big mug of tea and a slice of toast and marmalade.
    Never mind, there’s always next year.
    Great post. Thank you.

  4. Oh how I wish my table looked so lovely! Christmas breakfast for us is a snatched slice of toast while present opening. I don’t even bother trying anymore. no one has time to eat anything and the kids are so full of chocolate…sigh. It’s also a waste of time making Christmas pudding. Everyone is too stuffed to eat it. I do make it though.

    • Oh man, Christmas pudding. Just like the Mrs. Cratchit made!

      I can’t tell you how many years I’ve intended to make a Christmas pudding, but never did. It does seem like a great deal of work. I’d love to see a pic of the dish if you have any. :)

  5. For decades I was too hungover to understand the real meaning of Christmas, all I wanted to sleep it off or else keep on drinking. Sure am glad I eventually got sober. Merry Ho Ho Ho to all!

  6. Salmon & cream cheese. With fresh dill if possible. And maybe a glass of bubbly after the coffee.

  7. Since I love baking, my ideal Christmas breakfast is a big slice of whatever pie or cake I could sneak off the table on Christmas Eve, accompanied by whipped cream and a latte.

    • I’m with you on the latte, but the idea of sugar that early in the morning just … uggggghhhhh…

      I think I made myself sick one too many times on stocking candy Xmas morning. Now I can’t deal with sugar until lunch. :)

  8. I’ve realised in recent years that my family (whose traditions I’ve enforced on my husband!) are a little different to most.

    Christmas breakfast is the simplest meal of the year:
    Take 1 grapefruit (pink or red for preference, unless you like the sharp taste of white grapefruit)
    Slice in half (across the equator)
    Put each half in a separate bowl and hand to two members of the family, along with a spoon (teaspoon is best)
    They can add sugar to taste

    The best part of this is not so much the minimal preparation and washing up, but that it’s actually really fun trying to dig out the segments – as kids we rarely ate much of the fruit but would compete as to who could extract the flesh the quickest, or neatest, or who ended up with the most juice in their bowl at the end…

    I think it’s also that it’s light & refreshing and reminds you that summer will come around again. Just the smell of grapefruit makes me look forward to Christmas lunch (which in my family is consumed before the present opening!)

  9. Basically, my family never ate a formal Christmas breakfast. We grab whatever was available in the kitchen, such as cereal etc. My mother was always too busy with making the big meal of the day which ended up being a late lunch.

    • Sounds like my house! On Christmas morning, it’s catch as catch can in most households, I think. Me, I wind up stuffed by mid-morning from tasting the dishes. Just to make sure they’re seasoned properly, you understand. Mmhmm. :)

  10. I’m afraid my family has never celebrated Christmas in an elegant, refined way—we’re peasants! So, no very fancy table settings, though I do at least get out the good silver and china for Christmas dinner.

    As a rule I also have crackers at hand for Christmas dinner, with the rule being you HAVE to wear your paper crown during the entire meal. But now that my niece and nephews are growing up, it’s more difficult to get them to agree to this!

    (Oh, a PS for Kirby—-a friend and I are eagerly awaiting the release of the fourth Scarlet book—-pleeeeeeeeeease tell us it will be coming out soon!)

    • Okay, someone is SO wearing a paper crown at the table this year! :) that’s so cool.

      As for SatWW 4, the draft is done (hurrah!) and I’m in editing mode. I don’t yet have it signed to a publisher, but stuff is in the works and some wheels have been turning. I’ll be making an announcement about it after Christmas. :) Thank you for asking!

  11. How about either Eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon?

  12. Sorry no breakfast on Christmas day, nobody wanted to get up. Christmas dinner is a horse of another color. Tales of that would easily fill the National Archives. Yes, the giblet package has gotten cooked in the turkey. The pie filling that was so runny, no one could catch it. My sister crying because she had a pimple, no wait, that was every day. The dog taking the roast off the table. we salvaged half. The there was my dear Mom to drunk to cook. You get the picture. Still I love Christmas.

    • Welcome to the club. :) Pull up a chair!

      There was one year that I defrosted the turkey for 5 days. Pulled it out to cook at 4AM Christmas morning…. frozen solid. I mean like a brick solid. So I fill the sink with cold water, put the bird in, and fall asleep on the couch to catch a couple hours sleep before everyone else piles in. I wake up hearing this weird banging, so I walk into the kitchen and my mother is hitting the frozen bird with a hammer. I ask her what she’s doing.

      “I’m trying to get the giblet bag unstuck.”

      Apparently, she could get her hand around the end of the bag but it was stuck somewhere near the neck, so she thought if she just beat it about the head, that might knock it loose. The turkey breast had HUGE hammer-dents, but it tasted just fine. XD

  13. Hilarious post! Emu eggs, lol! Kirby, I’m waiting like a stalker for the next Scarlet book. Okay, I won’t eat bananas, not even on Christmas. Sorry. Lox, bagels, cream cheese and gourmet coffee is just right. Full of sodium and flavor, leaves room for dinner! Thank you.

    • You’re the second person to mention lox and bagels. Mmmmm! I have seriously got to buy some this year.

      The draft of the next Scarlet book is finished and in editing. I’ll be making some kind of announcement for it after New Years. Sorry to keep you all waiting so long! I know I’ve missed a few deadlines getting it to you, so I hope it will be worth the wait. :) Thanks for asking! <3

  14. Breakfast was always the same, it was brunch. Breakfast was completely forgotten as presents were opened and played with and pictures taken. Then as it got closer to lunch, Mom hauled out the old steel waffle maker while Dad started frying up bacon and sausages. Then came a huge batch of fluffy scrambled eggs (Mom makes the best with whole milk) and tons of peanut butter toast. And we ate and laughed amid mountains of torn paper and bows everywhere.

    My parents are in their 80’s, their grandchildren in college. And every year we gather at the farm. We rip into the packages like crazied kindergarteners and as it gets towards lunch time, out comes the very same waffle iron (damn they made them great in those days), and the bacon, eggs and sausages. And we eat now as we did all those days ago, in our old clothes, with new ones and bows scattered everywhere.

  15. My housemate is not especially Christmasy, and has gladly adopted my own Jewish tradition of Chinese-Food-And-A-Movie, but there’s one thing she insists on: Christmas breakfast has to be cinnamon buns. She says I can make them from scratch if I insist (I did, after all, work as a pastry chef), but she really likes the ones from the can. The big ones. With the gooey icing.

    I’ve got a can sitting in my fridge even now.

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