Lisa Fischer

Christmas Day recipes

"Food, glorious food. Oh, how we all love it." That's a song from a musical that many won't remember but the concept is timeless. We love food and we can easily remember those significant meals in our lives. I am posting the meal I am preparing for Christmas lunch that we will eat, take a nap, and then plan on a Christmas Day movie (Will Ferrell is in a new movie which is a must-see requirement for me).

The entree is beef; it's what's for lunch. I picked up this one from the Pioneer Woman and the Food Network. The second recipe is also from Ree but it was posted before she was a TV star. Let's start with the first recipe. It's a peppercorn roasted beef tenderloin. Here's the link.

Her mushroom recipe is here. It's a nine-hour recipe so I'll start it the day before and do the last three hours of cooking on Christmas Day. I'm whipping up mashed potatoes where I boil the russet potatoes in salted water and drain the water and add a can of evaporated milk, a stick of butter and salt and pepper and whip 'em, whip 'em good. I'll use the juices from the meats and even from the mushrooms to make an au jus gravy. If you need actual instructions, here are some to guide you.

My other side dish is beautiful and so flavorful. It is roasted tomatoes with pesto. They are red tomatoes with green pesto! It's a Christmas food miracle!

I will make this bread. It is so easy and only rises once.

And finally, for dessert, I will make the Fischer family favorite: apricot pie. I order my dried apricots from Apricot King because the ones you buy in the grocery store aren't tart enough for me. This, too, is easy. Cook down a couple of cups of chopped dried apricots. Cover them with water. They will need maybe 45 minutes to cook down to the point where they are soft. They will burn. I know this all too well. The high sugar content makes them ripe for burning easily. Then add maybe a cup of sugar. I'm sorry but this is how Kris Fischer's MeMaw told me how to make it. She never used a recipe and just dictated to me how to do it. Then put this deliciousness in an uncooked pie crust. Top it with another pie crust. Make the fancy edges and all but cover them with foil when you cook the pie. That, too, can burn. Again, I know this all too well. I put slits in the top and bake it at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then another 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Let it rest about 15 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream. This is such a good tart dessert.

If you're wondering how I magically have more time than you to prepare this meal on Christmas Day-know this: I'm an empty-nester with adult children who will be here but are no trouble. I will do much of the prep the night before (the pesto and pie for example). Then the other things don't take long. We might not eat until 1:00pm that day but everything will be fine. It will be a great second Christmas for our adorable granddaughter so all is right with the world.