This is the famous Christmas Jell-O, without which Christmas cannot happen. See, lots of other people have the mistaken impression that Santa coming down your chimney with a sack full of gifts is what makes Christmas happen, but they are all just flat-out wrong. It's the Jell-O, people.
I have never made this Jell-O before, which will explain its somewhat rustic look. That middle layer, made of cream cheese and whipped cream? It's supposed to be like a satiny ribbon of white between the red and green parts. But there were circumstances beyond my control that kept that from happening.
Anyway, the festive Jell-O was just one part of our happy dinner, and I'm glad to say that everything turned out very well. Here's the list -- I tried a couple of new things that were so good, they deserve to have recipe postings -- and it was very good and very merry.
1. Spiral-sliced ham (pre-cooked) in the nine pound size that fits into my slow-cooker. I like to heat a pre-cooked ham up in the slow-cooker because it saves so much oven space. I used a really easy cherry glaze on the ham that was new to me and it was just delicious, a definite keeper.
2. Broccoli and cheese casserole, a tried-and-true dish that is sooooo good and rich and full of things that are bad for you, we only have it a couple of times a year.
3. Cornbread-sausage dressing, which was the new recipe from Thanksgiving. It turned out well again, all crisp and golden on the top and bottom, steamy in the middle.
4. Cream gravy for the dressing, which was just, well....decadent. I have a way with gravy. It's one of those things I don't need a recipe for. I make it by feel.
5. Christmas Jell-O, which I ate happily and everyone else kind of picked at to humor me.
We were supposed to have dinner rolls, but I didn't have enough time to let them rise, so we decided we'd save them for later in the week.
The second-best part of the whole dinner is that I made TONS: we have delectable leftovers ahead of us for days on end and I can hardly wait for lunch tomorrow.
The best part of our Christmas dinner? Making good food for the three people I love the best in the whole world. It was a blessing to be around our dining room table, talking over the events of the day and laughing together, enjoying the last few hours of the happiest Christmas we've known in years.
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