Holiday Cookies
Miss Erika's Holiday Bread Pudding

The Makings of Christmas Eve Dinner

looks like Santa has already visited our Christmas stockings...

I don't usually head out to the market on Christmas Eve. But this year, with it falling on a Monday, and our week's grocery shopping having been done the prior Wednesday, it just hadn't felt right to buy everything that far in advance. And thus, I ended up on the 1 California bus, along with a few dozen senior citizens and 4 parents schlepping their brood of children off to somewhere closer to downtown from our end of the Avenues.

My destination? Bryan's. A small fancy neighborhood market in Laurel Village, about  two miles from my place. When I first moved out here, Bryan's used to have a standalone meat shop in the same block as their grocery store. It was a wonderous place-- with every conceivable cut of meat for which you might ever read a recipe. A few years back, they consolidated the butcher shop into the store, but it's still the first place I think of in my neighborhood when I want to go find a nice cut of meat to build a dinner around.

Although the place was packed with last minute shoppers like myself, it had a happy hum. Neighbors we're exchanging Merry Chistmases and hugs in the dairy aisle. Strangers were smiling at each other and giving unsolicited advice on produce. I even got into a conversation with a stranger while waitng to check out, which pretty much never happens at any other grocery store.

I'd entered with the thought of making lamb, but the whole pork tenderloins just looked so amazing I went with that instead.I'll roast it in a peach marinade I picked up there, and serve with roasted yukon gold potatoes and apples, and fancy greenbeans (with bacon+onions.) And we'll have a teeny bread pudding as a preview of the one we're bringing to christmas dinner tomorrow. Inspired by the pork rillettes and spanish chorizo, I'm doing a charcuterie and cheese plate as our starter. And it will all be accompanied by champagne, naturally.

Recipes and photos of the final dishes to come!