So, this post was written back in December, but as I have mentioned before, and will mention time and time again, I am a serious procrastinator. I was pretty happy with the post, but it was too long at almost 2000 words. So I had the daunting task of splitting it up into two posts to make it more readable for you folks. (You’re welcome.) And of course there’s the pictures and the editing and all that jazz. But I persevered and got it done. I hope you like it. Oh, and if you do, be sure to read part two once it’s published! So, without further ado, I give you Part One of The Heartwarming Holiday Hipster Brunch of 2011.
We had some of Chris’s family over on Saturday for Holiday brunch ( such the hipsters, we are). His sister, her hubs and their girls, his Gram and Gramps, and of course, our motley crew of gremlins. It made for an alright time. I talked to his sister, Jen, before we made official plans for the gathering, to figure out what we should do. Gram usually has gatherings at her house, but this year, everyone is going to be away for the holiday and she had plans to cook for a group of her friends on Sunday, so she wasn’t up to cooking for us on Saturday, too. So, Jen and I decided we could totally handle it and we decided to have everyone over our house, since Jen’s house is a bit smaller than ours. We decided on a menu and went forth into planning mode, hoping it would all come together on Saturday. We very rarely host at our house. Not sure why, but it’s probably a combination of the fact that I’m not Betty Crocker, and that Chris and I seriously suck at planning things. I’m surprised our wedding went as well as it did with us planning it and all… (dang. I still need to write about our wedding!)
I was nervous, to say the least, about hosting a family meal at our house. Especially since Gram would be there and she’s the one who typically hosts and does a fantastic, Betty Crockerish job when she does. She’s a great cook (of course!) and is the type of Gram who does all the holiday decorating and goes way out with the table cloths and matching place settings and decorations and all that. Nothing fancy or pretentious, mind you. Just perfect and picturesque. I felt a lot of pressure to make things not only taste great, but to look great, too! GAH! So, Jen and I agreed that she would try her hand at making some quiche and she’d also bring some clementines, and I would make my somewhat famous mac n’ cheese (the very same mac n’ cheese that I made for our wedding reception) and cook a half ton of bacon. Easy enough. I also decided that I wanted to bake a blackberry pie. This would be my first blackberry pie, and only my third pie ever. *fingers crossed* So, Friday night, I get to making the mac n’ cheese and I end up making WAY TOO MUCH (AS IF that’s even possible. HA!) Not that this is a problem, because it is HELLA delicious, but I ended up having to use a large casserole dish andtwo smaller ones (leftovers, yay!). I tried to get as much done that night as I could, so Saturday would run as smoothly as possible. Chris also helped in the preparation as much as he could by cleaning up his piles of stuff and doing a few other manly things. Saturday morning comes and all is going great. I clean the kitchen AGAIN (is this a never-ending chore in anyone else’s house?!) and I make my pie. Then at about 10:30, I start feeling pressed for time, and the stress starts getting to me when I realize with one hour to go, that there’s still a LOT to do, but I’m the only one doing any of it. Chris is watching a movie all snuggly with the kids, and I am running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. So. Not. Cool. (what’s even less cool is how I handled the situation…) I say something sarcastic to Chris to try to get him to help, and it backfires. WHAT? Why? Sarcasm is obviously the way to get what you want. Right? (See what I did there?)
He immediately gets upset with me (rightfully so), and makes some comment about how if I had things to get done then I shouldn’t have used that time to make a pie that didn’t need to be made. And then he said, “This was your idea anyway.” I thought he was referring to the gathering at our house with HIS family, and I retaliated and we got into a fight that eventually ended with him explaining to me that he was just talking about the pie and I apologized for being such a huge bitch to him just because I was stressed. We kissed and made up and got back on task. All was well in the hippie-nerd household. The family was supposed to get here between 11:30 and noon, and it was about 11:21 when I finally got in the shower (procrastination is my middle name, folks) and I was out by 11:26. (Yes, a woman can take a 5 minute shower. Don’t let her tell you otherwise.) So there we were with 3 squeaky-clean kids, a shit-ton of artery-clogging mac n’ cheese all warm and toasty in the oven, bacon cooking on the griddle, fresh blackberry pie in all its glory sittin’ on the counter top, and Chris was just now getting in the shower at about 11:50. Haha! We’re two peas in a pod. For real.
Like clockwork, Gram and Gramps arrived just before noon bearing gifts and smiles. Not 2 minutes later, Jen and family got here, and the house was suddenly full of joy and warmth and love. Good stuff, folks. I can’t make this up. Chris made his appearance, also all squeaky-clean, about 2 minutes after that, and the visiting began. The boys love spending time with their cousin, Kaylee. This girl is pure sugar and charm, I tell ya. She’s 4, so she’s the youngest of the group, but she can definitely hold her own, since she’s an Amazon Woman in the making. Her daddy is a giant. True story. The oldest cousin, Ciara, is a tween and she pretty much keeps to herself and is almost always reading. I love that girl. I feel such a kinship with her, as she reminds me of myself when I was her age.
The kids played a bit, the grown-ups (it still feels weird to be in that category, and I’m 35.) talked and the tween read her book while I finished cooking the bacon and set the tables. At about 12:30, it was time to eat. Bring on the food, y’all!
Be sure to read Part Two of The Heartwarming Holiday Hipster Brunch, in which we eat and chat and engage in other family-related holiday festivities! Coming soon to a blog post near you!
Thanks for reading! ~Karin