Busy time here at the Sandhill Crane Bed and Breakfast. Decorating, baking and taking care of guests is keeping me busy! Yesterday we put up our live tree – the artificial tree has been up in our entrance hall since the day after Thanksgiving. I love putting up the tree. It is decorated with ornaments given to us by friends and family so no two ornaments are the same – with the exception of the small glass ball ornaments that we bought for our very first Christmas tree – 41 years ago. I also made the dough for my gingerbread cookies.
This morning, while the guests were finishing breakfast (orange french toast with a blackberry sauce made with fresh berries, sausages, poached pears and blueberry muffins) I rolled out the gingerbread dough, cut and baked the gingerbread men and women. They are ready for frosting. While I was doing the baking, George was putting up our wooden reindeer inside our adobe wall. He made these life-size reindeer years ago. They get big red bows and are lit at night. They look great in the yard with the farolitas in the background.
After I got my baking done I helped finish decorating the outdoor spaces. I wired together some of the boughs that George cut off the bottom of our fresh tree before putting it in the stand. I hung these on our gates and topped them with a big bow. I think they look very festive. Our guests seem to love them!
Tonight we have our Gourmet Group dinner. Our hostess is Jewish so our dinner, we have been told, will feature some traditional Hanukkah dishes. I am doing the appetizer – our hostess selected a salmon appetizer made with mashed potatoes, canned salmon and parsley. You mix together the mashed potatoes, salmon and minced parsley with an egg and form the mixture into small balls. These balls are then rolled in flour, then dipped in egg then rolled in corn flake crumbs. They are fried until golden brown – Hanukkah is all about fried foods. They are served with a cocktail sauce. The mashed potatoes are made and the salmon drained. I made the cocktail sauce from scratch – starting with fresh horseradish root. I mixed 2 tbl of freshly grated horseradish with 1 cup of catsup, 2 tbl of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. It is pretty spicy. The rest of the grated horseradish I turned into prepared horseradish by adding some white vinegar, a little water and some salt. Should be great on the roast beef we’re having Christmas Day!