The perfect number of guests is 10-14

Organizing a big dinner, as a Christmas dinner is allowed to be, is one of my favorite activities. First thinking and then cooking is an important rule.

Since a few years my mother accepts that her daughter and granddaughters cook the Christmas dinner in her holy kitchen. This year we will be 13 p around the table. A lot of them have already had a Christmas eve dinner with often the traditional ingredients. This is an advantage for our menu, knowing that we have to consider non-meat-eaters among the guests.

My experience of the past tells me what will be appreciated and what will be less appreciated by the most picky eaters. So after looking in books, magazines (not all of course ;-)) and on pinterest (thanks, Lisbet) the menu of this year is…….

As starters (mini portions while wrapping the presents) : -savory tiramisu

-feta cheese and tapenade in fillo dough

-avocado and shrimps

-paté of smoked salmon, served with celery

Grandma’s soup (I would serve this in little cups as starter, but my mother prefers the traditional way). This recipe is the one and only tomato soup made with home made passata. In my try- out the soup is spicy pumpkin soup in a cup.

As main course : Salmon in puff pastry, a recipe of Jamie Oliver, Chrismas dinner.

Dessert, panna cotta, affogata or with a couli of forest fruit.

Once I’m sure about my recipes, I make two shopping lists. First I check my stock, and almost a week before I buy everything which can be stored (list 1), and the day before the dinner all the fresh stuff (list 2) is purchased.

My brother Ivan will take care of the drinks, my brother Jan will take care of the decoration, my aunt tante Mieke will take care of the fresh green salad. Knowing that we have to travel from Italy to Belgium, my dear father in law Michel will take care of the shopping of all the fresh ingredients. My mother will take care of the soup and the table (while we will make a mess in her kitchen ;-)).

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