The Irish Laundry

By Heather Toner

So yeah, yeah, Christmas has come and gone.  I know it’s time to move on to bigger and better 2014 kind of things, but I simply had to share a little bit of our big Christmas Day cooking.  The boy and I volunteered to do all the cooking for Christmas Day and had worked out a complete menu for breakfast, appetizers, cocktails and dinner.  We called our dining experience The Irish Laundry – A play on Thomas Keller’s  The French Laundry restaurant, the fact that we’re Irish and that we also were actually doing our laundry on Christmas Day!  
We served champagne, french toast, eggs benedict, fresh berries, and eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Followed by  aperitifs’ of apple pie brandy and peppermint white russians.  We also made shrimpy dumplings, truffled cream cheese with chive, and aubergine caviar with breadsticks to tide everyone over till dinner.  At which time we served a delicious roasted turkey, caramelized cranberry and apple sauce, brussel sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts, and roasted potatoes with parsnips.  For dessert we served a sweet lemon tart along with my mom’s famous apple and pecan pies.  
The whole affair took a lot of planning (and a lot of hard work) but it was altogether so much fun that I actually cannot wait to try it all again.  It was so nice to be in the kitchen on Christmas Day, cooking alongside the boy, while the sounds of my family’s laughter filtered in from the living room.  I think in a way, cooking dinner for everyone was the best gift I got for Christmas!  

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