This year Susan, Jesse, and Daniel came over on the Saturday after Christmas. We called it Boxing Day because it was Christmastime with food and presents involved, even though any Britisher or Canadian could have told us we were a day late.
The meal consisted entirely of snack food. The most sumptuous item was dates whose pits had been replaced by sticks of parmesan. The dates were wrapped in prosciutto and baked for a few minutes. To counterbalance this excess, I made tofu egg rolls–so healthy that even the frying didn't make them sinful.
We also had a couple of dips, notably artichoke bean dip, and some things to dip in them. My famous parmesan polenta sticks were the first items to disappear–both the chef and the eaters were gratified. Susan brought a bottle of Australian champagne–obviously a finer one, since it came with a real cork.
Oh, and don't let me forget the recession-era crab cakes, so called because they contain no crabmeat. I consider the discovery that crab cakes don't require crab one of the major discoveries of 2008. I'll be happy to share the recipe!
We opened presents over dessert.
Dessert was an apple strudel–made with genuine Texas apples and express-mailed a few days earlier by the Texas Lebens–and a potica made by Susan from a recipe she got ages ago from my Aunt Josephine. They quickly replaced memories of the snacks that had gone before. They don't show up well in the photos –possibly because they were mostly gone by the time Susan shot the picture, but also because they're obscured by wrapping paper and miscellaneous holiday debris.