I love Christmas. The sights, the smells, the $1,264 electric bill to keep the Christmas lights up until January to remind our neighbors, the Rosenbergs, what a real festival of lights looks like. However, it takes a skilled hostess to keep the peace at the table. My secret? Incredible side dishes guaranteed to bring the whole family together. Dishes that say, “Sorry we don’t talk as much as we should,” or, “I’m so blessed to spend this joyous occasion with you,” or, “Please do not address that a family member has once again brought home a ghost as a romantic partner.”
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Glazed Carrots with Mint
Glazed carrots bring a pop of color to any dish. They also perfectly complement the glazed-over look in grandma’s eyes while my niece, Janet, attempts to show off an invisible 24 karat ring. Janet told us all about how her phantom-fiancé, Obadiah, popped the question. Speaking of “karat,” you’ll need to cook down 24 baby carrots in butter. A dash of mint can help keep things fresh and keep Nana’s mind off of the fact that another one of her grandchildren has pledged their love to a non-human entity. We’ve worked very hard to forget cousin Nicholas’ Real Doll™ plus one episode at Thanksgiving 2012.
Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps
These one bite wonders make a great side dish or cocktail hour treat, as they don’t require forks and an entire serving can be thrust into a guest’s mouth to keep them from asking Janet how she met her betrothed. I’ve learned it’s better to use baby portobellos over white button mushrooms, which are small enough to allow someone to choke out a question, resulting in Janet waxing romantically about how she met Obadiah after purchasing a haunted spittoon at a Civil War auction. If you’re lucky, the crab and cheese stuffing may trigger anaphylactic shock in one of your guests. Talk about a welcome change of topic!
Green Bean Amandine
The crunchy snap of these green beans can almost deafen the sound of Janet going upstairs to have loud, upsetting spectral sex with Obadiah in the guest room. Plus, the dish can be tossed together in a pinch—like as soon as you realize your niece is getting reamed by that damned Confederate wraith. Speaking of which, can ghosts pass on sexually transmitted diseases? Can you test for haunted HPV by peeing on a Ouija board? Can ghosts make babies? Also, don’t forget to add the almonds.
Merry Christmas, everyone!