As always, we made our annual delicious meal of Pasticcio for our Christmas Eve meal. Paula’s Dad and his wife Donna joined us for the meal like they have been doing for many years. Paula’s dad made the meatballs. Theodore and I made the ragu for the sauce that goes in the dish. I made the pastry crust since Paula was sleeping. When Ron and Donna arrived around 2 in the afternoon, we put the entire thing together and popped it in the oven so that it would cook while we attended Christmas Eve mass. Over the years, we have made some adjustments to this dish. For example, we only put the pastry crust on the top instead of encasing the entire dish in the crust. We also do not make our own tortellini since we don’t have the time…although Paula wants to do that in the future. (Perhaps after I retire!) This dish is such a treat! We have been making it for over 10 years – every since Paula and I saw Mario Batali make it on one of his Food Network shoes – and it has truly become one of our own family traditions.

On Christmas Day, our three Karen girls/family/friends came over to celebrate the holiday with us. After they arrived, we opened gifts. This year we did a “Secret Santa” with them and so it was fun to see what everyone got for their person. Before the girls arrived, I had prepared our meal. We had decided to have pot roast. I chopped up potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onions and put them on the bottom of the slow cooker. Paula seared the pot roast in the cast iron skillet and then we placed the meat on top of the vegetables. I made 4 cups of beef broth and poured this over the meat and vegetables along with a cup of dry red wine and a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Most of the recipes called for cooking everything for about 1o hours on low heat. We got started late so I just cooked it for about 4 hours on high heat. It seemed to work. Everyone enjoyed the meal. It was really delicious. I made more than we needed so Paula and I will have pot roast for dinner tonight. It will make a good meal of leftovers!

All in all, it was a delicious holiday in the Brown house. Everyone ate well but most of all, we were able to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. That always makes it better!