The food at our first Christmas Open House today was simple: baked goods and a few savoury bites that our guests could eat without plates or cutlery. There was coffee, red and white wine and mulled cider on tap. The focus of the event was on sharing the spirit of the holiday with friends, family and colleagues. Big thanks to Jenn and Mere for helping out, and to the Little and Littler Misses for being charmingly entertaining, even if they kept us all on our toes!
Just over 40 people came and went between one and five o’clock, and it was such a pleasure to hear the buzz of conversation and laughter as people visited with friends and made new ones. My mother, aunt and uncle came from back home and it was lovely to see them enjoy meeting people from our circle of acquaintance here in London.
I wanted to quickly share some photos of what we served. I started baking two weeks ago, so the work was spread out. I froze some cookies baked, some were refrigerated (depending on timing) and some doughs were shaped and frozen raw, to be baked this morning. I’ll be sharing recipes in the posts to come, but here is a list of what I made, with links to recipes I’ve found on other sites or that I’ve already blogged about.
Fruitcake Bathed in Rum
(*from the beautiful blog, Just a Smidgen)
Elfin Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream
Glazed Nut Diamonds
Leuken (a Belgian treat made by my mother)
Old White Cheddar & Crackers with Sweet Horseradish Jam
We had a wonderful time today, and are already talking about next year’s open house. Is there anything I would do differently? Well, I would definitely have more savoury offerings. More and more people are cutting back on sweets these days, and we were out of all the savoury bites by the end of the party, which tells me that had there been more they would have been eaten! I was also surprised that only one person had coffee (so much for the 36-cup urn I rented) so next year I’ll definitely be brewing in my own pot.
What else did I learn? Today was a good reminder of how many good friends we have, both old and new, and the tremendous pleasure to be had in gathering together people for a time of mingling and conviviality, especially during the holiday season.
From my kitchen to yours, best wishes for the happiest of holidays.