Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Blessings for the season and a dish to share

There are two weeks and two days left of this year.  And what a year it has been so far, and it's not done yet.  Who would have guessed two years ago we'd be in the position we are today.  Divided due to circumstances, beliefs, and social and political matters.  Let me be clear - I don't have to agree with you to like you.  I don't have to like you to love you.  Is that a strange way of thinking?  If so, then you didn't grow up with a large family like mine.  Because during the holidays, we are supposed to put all of our differences aside and celebrate the things we all share - that we're family and human at the core (okay so maybe we add a few animals in there too).

It's been over 10 years since my large family all gathered for Christmas Eve together.  We've all gone in different directions since we lost our matriarch - and had been slowly changing even before that.  Traditions change, they evolve - kids take on roles of hosting for parents, aunts, uncles - and parents have become grandparents who spoil everyone this time of year.  For those of us without kids, we too get to spoil the other's kids - and ourselves a bit too.   I know the socially distanced Christmas of 2020 will become nothing more than a memory in due time.  So, we'll make the best of this year and all the years to come, however many we are blessed with in our lifetimes.

There are so many moments I can recall about Christmases of the past.  Laughter is the most prevelant.   The energy of just being together.  Grandmas's fattigman, no one eating "caca" bread (what we called julekake), uncles bringing beer, oranges, chocolate covered cherries, birthday cake for my dad, and sometimes a visit from the California branch of the family.  

Every year I try and think of a recipe I would have made for this rowdy bunch.  We always had a green salad, fruit salad, bread, a main dish (full turkey dinner went the way of lasagna a long time ago), and desserts.   Grammy and I would bake for two days just in preperation.  I think she'd be proud of the dishe's I've put forth.  She always wanted me to go to culinary school but I never wanted it to be a job - it was a love first and always.

I'm feeling a bit nostaglic this morning, as I do every year when we get close to Christmas and 
New Years.  Here's a recipe I think would have been a HIT for the holidays in my family.

Crescent Roll Ring of Philly Cheesesteak.

One day I was browsing pintrest for ideas, and I came across some random video clip of this being made.  It looked easy (of course they make it look easy) and I instantly had a craving!

2 tubes of premade refridgerated cresent rolls **
1/2 lb of roast beef lunchmeat (the good stuff, not the cheap stuff)
1 cup sliced green and red onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
sliced cheese mix:  pepperjack, swiss, provolone (I cut into strips like the meat)
1 Egg, beaten with a splash of milk
2 TBSP diced mix of green and red onion
1 TBSP diced green onion

Bring rolls to room temp.  
Chop the onions and peppers, set aside.  
Cut lunchmeat into 1 inch wide strips.   
On a large cookie sheet, lay a piece of parchment paper down (i have large pieces that fit my baking sheet perfectly).
Put a bowl, about 6" across in the center, upside down.,
Unroll the crescent rolls and lay with the long edge around the bowl and the top of the triangle hanging over the sheet if need be.  don't crowd the bowl as you'll remove it before baking.
Overlap the cresent rolls as needed until you've gone all the way around.  I never got a picture of this step - so this is where you'll just have to get creative if need be.  I had two extra rolls - so if you have extra, you're doing great!
Once you have them all arranged, you'll add toppings to the 4" closest to the bowl in this order:  Peppers, onions.  then lay the roast beef in strips all around, then the cheese.
Remove the bowl.
Pull the tops of the crescent roll over, stretching it if need be to reach into the center.
If you have large gaps -  use the extra rolls to close them.
Brush with egg wash, and top with the diced peppers and green onions
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  check the ring and brush with egg wash again (so yummy), and bake until crescents are golden and cheese is bubbly.
Cool, then slice and serve warm!  YUM!

You can put any kind of topping / filing and use this method.   Pizza toppings, hamburger & cheese, taco, chicken alfredo, pulled pork & bbq sauce.   Also, think dessert -apple pie or breakfast sausage, bacon, ham & cheeese!   The options are only limited by your imagination.   
** I used premade rolls, but if you made your own - this would be SUPER fabulous.**

So there you have it.  Something I'm sure my family would have enjoyed.   If you're reading this family - give it a go and let me know how it turned out!

Until we see eachother again, blessings be on you.

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