Christmas Breakfast


The delicious, fix-ahead, holiday, give-your-poor-tired-parents-a-break, …

Christmas Eve is often a busy day for parents with a million things to do to make the holiday pleasant for every one. Mom and Dad usually fall into bed late that night, totally exhausted.

So, how about helping out by fixing Christmas morning breakfast? Everything can be prepared ahead and heated just before serving. With a little creativity and using what you have around the house, you can make the table look festive as well.

Check over the ingredients in these recipes and make sure that they are available at home. With a little preparation, like a trip to the store for ingredients early on Christmas Eve day, everything can be done in advance.

Here are a few ideas to create a little surprise for your family.

Sweet Roll Christmas Tree

Buy frozen dinner rolls and follow the directions for thawing and raising. After greasing a baking sheet, arrange the frozen rolls flat on the pan in a pyramid or Christmas tree shape. Add two rolls centered below the widest part of the pyramid to look like a tree trunk.

Place rolls close enough together so they will touch as they raise. You may have to start working on this Christmas tree in the morning of the 24th, so the rolls have time to raise and be baked before that evening.

After the rolls have raised, bake according to the instructions on the frozen dough package. When the tree is light brown, remove from the oven and let cool. While the rolls are still slightly warm (but not hot), drizzle powdered sugar icing over the whole thing.

Powdered Sugar Icing

1 cup powdered (icing) sugar

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1/4 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Blend with a fork. Add enough milk (a few drops at a time) to make icing slightly runny.

Spread icing evenly and decorate tree with small slices of red and green gumdrops or with pieces of red and green dried fruit.

After tree has completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap until Christmas morning. Remove plastic wrap and warm in the oven before serving.

Hot Wassail

2 cups sugar

1 quart water

Add:

3 cups orange juice

2 cups lemonade

10–15 whole cloves

10–15 whole allspice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix sugar and water together in a pan and boil five minutes. Remove from heat.

Mix, cover, and refrigerate until the next morning. Remove wassail mixture from refrigerator and pour into a large pan. Add 1/2 gallon of apple juice and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.

Homemade Fruit Cocktail

Mix:

one can of sliced peaches, with juice

two bananas, sliced

one apple, peeled and cut into small chunks

one orange, peeled, sectioned, with each section cut in half

one cup of red grapes, cut in half and seeded

Pour enough orange juice over the fruit mixture to cover. The orange juice keeps the bananas and apples from discoloring. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. One recipe will serve 4 to 6. If necessary, add more fruit and orange juice until you have enough to serve the whole family. Serve in small bowls.

Now that you have prepared the food for your surprise breakfast, let’s add a few festive touches to the table.

Roll the napkins (either paper or cloth) and tie with ribbon as napkin holders.

For the center of the table, take some shiny red apples, core them, and insert tall candles. Trim the bottoms of the apples if they won’t sit level. Place the apple candle holders among some greenery. Use some of the branches trimmed from your Christmas tree if they aren’t too dry or improvise with artificial greenery or cut some from bushes outside. You can add a few ornaments left over from decorating the tree to your centerpiece.

On Christmas morning, warm the Christmas sweet rolls, heat the wassail, dish up the fruit cocktail, light the candles, and call everyone to breakfast. And be prepared for some surprised (but pleased) looks from your family.

[photos] Photography by Steve Bunderson