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A Simple Christmas Dinner

A Simple Christmas Dinner

Time flies so fast and I never really noticed that it is Christmas already. Last year was so memorable due to the bull run. The memories are still fresh and seems like yesterday. Well this year we spent the afternoon preparing our Christmas dinner. Nothing extravagant, but just a simple dinner that we usually have here in the Philippines during Christmas Eve. Come join us today in our kitchen and see what my family is cooking for dinner.

A Simple Christmas Dinner

Work had me choked up in the office for weeks now due to the closing of the year. One reason behind why I have not been able to create any content lately. Finally vacation has arrived and I have two full weeks to enjoy the Holidays. The kids are also on vacation and each one is helping out to prepare our Christmas dinner.

To start things of my wife is preparing creamy Carbonara. Pasta with tons of bacon, ham and cream. This is my favorite when it comes to pasta especially when my wife cooks it.

Below is half a kilo of bacon which will be sliced. We buy our bacon from a local convenient store and it costs 280 pesos a kilo which is around $5.28. Honey cured bacon at a cheap price is not bad and I could have bacon for breakfast everyday.

This is sliced sweet ham from our local market and is sold per kilo. My daughter already sliced the ham along with the bacon.

My wife also adds button mushrooms and one small can would do. Fresh mushrooms can also be bought from our local market, but she usually buys those in cans.

To add to the creaminess of the Carbonara, grated cheese will be added.

While the ingredients are being prepared. The pasta is almost ready and will be set aside for later.

The ham a bacon has been fried with butter until crisp. I couldn’t help myself from taking some cheap shots of the crispy bacon. Until my wife caught me red handed.

With the melted butter and oil from the bacon. Garlic is fried which gave out a delicious aroma in the kitchen.

Next some chopped onions are also added.

Time to make the sauce, the fried garlic and onions are transferred to a pot. My wife will be preparing more sauce as we will also be sharing the pasta with my aunties.

The fried ham a bacon are added into the mix and mixed thoroughly.

Two cups of all purpose cream is then added but it wouldn’t hurt if you would add some more.

One can of evaporated milk is used to increase the volume of the sauce without compromising the taste. I am not sure if fresh milk will give out the same result. But I strongly suggest to use evaporated milk if you could find any.

The grated cheese goes in next to add more creaminess and it melts quickly once stirred in the sauce.

Once the sauce thickens it is ready and will be set aside to cool down. We are done with our first menu, next my daughter will be preparing graham cake for the dessert.

This is a sweet yummy treat and best eaten frozen. My daughter loves preparing this dessert and I swear it almost tastes like ice cream.

Two cups of all purpose cream and mixed with two cans of sweetened condensed milk is used.

She will also be adding mixed fruit cocktail. This adds a festive twist to the Graham Cake which is perfect for Christmas.

There will be three layers of graham crackers. At the very bottom the crackers are laid then covered with the mixed fruits. Once fully covered the cream is poured on the layer of mixed fruits.

Repeat the process until you have the third layer of the graham crackers. Again it is topped with the mixed fruits. For the last step just place inside the freezer until it is frozen.

This is called the Jamon the Bola which is very popular in our country during Christmas. Sweet ham which is affordable the cost is 530 pesos which is almost $10.00. There is a cheaper variety which I do not like that has a texture which is like Spam. Nothing against spam in fact I love Spam, but when it comes to ham I love those that has a real meaty texture.

This ham is already cooked and sweetened, but we always cook it again to sweeten the deal. This is a technique which I learned from my aunt.

The ham is sliced and cut into four pieces.

The fatty part is what I love most as most of the flavor is there.

We will pour in a can of pineapple juice until the pieces of ham are fully covered.

We will then add brown sugar and we will be using a lot.

That was around five spoon fulls and it would depend on you how sweet you would like it to be.

Maybe I would add just another spoon full.

Fire up the stove and we would need to place it in low heat. We would not want to burn the sugar, but slowly cook and caramelize.

Cover your pot and check every 15 minutes.

Once it has thickened which is an indication that the sugar has caramelized. Our Christmas ham is ready to be served.

 

Earlier, we forgot to buy some baguette to match our pasta and ham. Unfortunately, the only bread that was left is white loaf bread. Well, I guess that would do and we all know that the most important part is being together with the family this Christmas Eve.

Our creamy Carbonara pasta sprinkled with more crispy bacon on top.

More sauce for the pasta if you would like to add more.

Our sweet glistening ham which is what we call the Star of the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) feast. Left overs of course will be eaten for breakfast along with fried rice.

This is what we call Tamales made from peanut, mixed with hard boiled eggs and meat slices. This was given to us by my aunt for our dinner. It is best eaten with bread, but I am not very fond of tamales, although my wife loves it.

Time to get a plate and enjoy our Christmas dinner together.

Thank you for joining us in our humble meal in this Holiday. This is how a Christmas table looks like in our country for most families. No matter what food you have on the table during Christmas as long as you are around the people that you love. It is a time of sharing, hope and the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

 

Happy Holidays to everyone and may you all have a blessed year to come ahead.

 

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens and Sigma 50 mm