This Christmas is going to pot (roast)


‘It’s high time to bring back that classic.’

As I wrote in my sort-of-whiny and somewhat-navel-gazing post last week, I’ve practiced a rather opt-out attitude toward the Holidays in the past few years.

Some years my “decorating” consisted of switching the turkey napkins for the reindeer ones

I remember only too fondly and well the famous Marilyn Christmasses celebrated at my late great Gramma Peterson’s when I was a kid. Nat King Cole on the stereo. Gumdrop tree on the table. A luxurious evergreen so bushy and tall Aunt M would often have to crop it so it’d fit in the living room. (We believed her when she told us the top, complete with angel, was in the bedroom overhead.) 

A Marilyn Christmas Classic: The Cousin Lineup

After that, during Dude Man and my Early Married Years, there were the amazing Aunt Eleanor Christmasses: lobster, shrimp and, if you saved room, an incredible roast beef dinner complete with popovers. Gramma Whitmore, who made it till a week before her hundredth birthday, would hold court while Eleanor cooked, champagne glass in hand.

Festive Whitmores live it up at an Eleanor Christmas

Then, when The Child entered our lives, we marked the Season with our Tree Trim Party. (See “(N)o Tannenbaum”) Where, like Tom Sawyer, I tricked my friends into doing something I didn’t enjoy (substitute tree decorating for fence painting), then rewarded them with a pot roast dinner with all the trimmings. This Seasonal Highlight was repeated for nigh on 15 years.

Christmas Crackers were deployed — and crowns worn — at Tree Trim

Time, as is its wont (a favorite word, “wont”) marches on. And those Christmasses are gone. With all those wonderful traditions haunting my memories, it’s hard to muster the proper spirit to establish a new one. So, instead, we’ve focussed on Thanksgiving, and sort of glossed over Christmas. Some years Dude Man and I even fled the country.

In a rare year that we did not flee the country, we got Chinese Takeout for Christmas Dinner

Last year, though, I managed to rustle up some pot roast for The Child and the BF (now The Beau, praise the Lord) before we left for Christmas on the Amazon. I hadn’t made pot roast in years — had to call my Mom to remind me how to do it. But it turned out so well that The Beau begged me to make it again when they (safely; pandemic precautions having been made) visited this summer. Me: “Sorry; I adore you, but pot roast is just not happening in August.

Last Christmas, when we had a tiny tree and a large pot roast

In fact, The Beau loved the pot roast so much that I “gifted” him my cast iron pot roast pot. (I just had to say “gifted,” a term I find vaguely hilarious. Why not just say “gave,” a perfectly good word that already exists?) He likes to cook, and, besides, we were downsizing. Now, ironically, that same cast-iron pot, after having been lugged to Boston in a backpack on a train, got lugged right back here this summer and stored in our attic for the time when The Affianced Couple is no longer living in an RV. (See “Her Personal Truck” for cozy details.)

Before the pot roast pot got stored in our attic, it did pandemic duty as a no-knead-bread pot

Incidentally, The Child just texted me wanting my pot roast recipe. She’s up in Canada chez Beau’s Clan after having successfully quarantined and I guess she wants to impress them. Fingers crossed she can locate a suitable pot. The one in the attic is way too heavy to ship.

Meanwhile, guess what I picked up at the IGA just this morning? Yup, a nice chuck roast that I plan to “pot.” I decided it was high time to resurrect that Holiday Classic. Who cares if it’s just the two of us? The leftovers taste mighty fine. If we have any, that is.

We will certainly have no leftovers of this

Amagansett, New York. December 2020



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18 thoughts on “This Christmas is going to pot (roast)

  1. Merry Christmas, Alice & Wayne! I hope your pot roast turns out perfect; I’ll be hamming it up down here in Jersey. PS don’t forget to grab a glass of bubbly on the 31st for our Panama tradition that never happened, hanging out on the balcony and listening to about 4 gazillion fireworks. well, it was a tradition started by at least ONE of us… Ringle Jingle!

    • Hey you! I wish we could go up on a roof together right now — why wait for New a year’s Eve? Thanks for triggering memories of that memorable trip. Maybe someday we’ll be back at it again. Meanwhile, here’s hoping your days are merry and bright and your ham is delicious! (My pot roast is in the oven even as we “speak”)

  2. kary d peterson

    “The Cousin Lineup” is great pic Alice! Brings back some great memories’! I have on that greenish Naru(sp) shirt, I think that was the same year as the Monkees” TV show and I wanted to look like them! Thanks for all your great posts! Kary Peterson

    • I remember that jacket, Kary — even without the aid of the Cousin Lineup photo! I thought it was cool back then, and I think it’s even cooler now! That was a good year, since we had every cousin available for lining up. It was hard to get everyone after the Colorado Move. I wonder who took the picture?

  3. Elizabeth H Sierzega

    We did the cousin line up in my family too, Alice! Thanks for the reminder of a happy memory. Have a good Christmas!

    • Thank you, Jim. Merry Christmas to you and Isabella as well. Great cartoon, BTW. The one with the teen Santa dropping his laundry down the chimney. I can relate only too well!

    • So glad you had a chance to connect with Mom. We “see” her every week via FaceTime. It’s wonderful, but not the same as a hug. Merry Christmas to you and Harold and your whole clan xoxo

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