I come from a food family. That means every holiday, celebration, or vacation centers around a menu (or restaurant) that’s extensively planned and meticulously executed. The kitchen gets hot and crowded, and everyone complains, but that’s part of the fun. Usually the men are in charge of the meat while the women prepare a smorgasbord of sides (or “fixins” where we come from).
My dad and brother are both Eggheads. The Big Green Egg is a ceramic Japanese-style grill that produces some of the most succulent meat I’ve ever tasted. Dad marinated the pork butt overnight, then put it in the Egg at midnight so it could smoke for a full 12-14 hours before the meal at 4:00. My brother Adam’s contribution to the meal was turkey legs wrapped in Serrano ham. The turkey legs were brined overnight, then he sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with Chachere’s. They went on the grill for a couple of hours, and when they were almost finished he draped paper-thin slices of Serrano ham on top. Then he cooked them to completion. They were a huge hit- just like something you’d get at Disney World.
But of course, that wasn’t all the meat. My family is a bit obsessed with nice ham- especially my Mom. She was dubbed “the hambassador” on our trip to Spain. For Christmas this year, my Dad got her an entire Serrano ham. It’s been waiting in the freezer for an occasion like this. We nibbled on the plain shavings while we cooked, and added it to several of the dishes.
My mom and other brother collaborated on the side dishes. They made green beans, cole slaw, and mac and cheese. They also made my famous cookie dough brownies- a huge hit of course.
We invited over some family friends who brought the most amazing biscuits and corn bread I’ve ever tasted. It was a proper Southern Sunday dinner! We ate and drank and chatted and passed the baby like a delicate football. Being all together is such a rare and precious thing, it felt like Christmas without the presents!