Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 26, 2007 at 1:46pm

Merry Christmas Day! We spent the occasion at my Aunt Mary and Uncle Bruce’s lovely farm outside Kerkhoven, Minnesota, as we have for the last several years, lucky us. As always, it was picture perfect – twinkly-sparkly festive and the definition of Christmas-y as we all sat around the gorgeous, gigantic table they set up for the holiday each year. Truly a sight to behold. We shared a toast with a delicious red prosecco, then tucked into prime rib, mashed potatoes, beets with sour cream, buttery green beans with morel mushrooms, and roasted carrots and cipollini onions. Tender challah and crusty no-knead bread (my meager contribution). And my Aunt Marge’s killer creamycheese cake with strawberries. Oh yes, quite a meal!

And then, we just sat enjoying the candlelit table, in that charming old farmhouse in the country, chatting and telling stories and reading letters and verses and half-laughing, half-crying through it all. I am so very lucky to have an incredibly cool and fun extended family, my dad’s sisters Marge and Mary and their families. So thanks to them, and their fabulous husbands Jim and Bruce, as well as Kim, Kelly, Jomo, Michael, Amanda, and Craig for such a great day. And to Stacey & Cooper for driving John, Nathan, and me out and back (long drive!). And to Dad, Susanna, David, and Etta for making the day complete and completely perfect.

And oh! We feasted the night before as well, of course, Christmas Eve. Stacey, Cooper, Bowen, and my mom were here for gifts and a big fire and a quiet, simple dinner. The crab cakes and Julia Child’s chocolate mousse were big hits (recipe for mousse posted in comments, below).

So. I can’t decided if it’s going to be a great relief or incredibly disappointing to return to Normal Eating. Probably a little of both. I’ll let you know when I get there, cuz it sure ain’t yet!

And oh again! Because it’s adorable, and I’m perfectly unashamed to spice up my food-obsessed blog with a bit of Cooper Cuteness, here’s a little video clip, below… Merry Christmas Auntie Etta!

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  1. By Stephanie on January 7, 2008 at 8:30AM

    Chocolate Mousse (Mousseline au Chocolat)
    From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, Bertholle & Beck
    Serves 6

    An electric beater is handy for this recipe, but not necessary.

    4 egg yolks
    ¾ c. granulated sugar
    ¼ c. orange liqueur (I substituted ¼ c. strong coffee with good result)
    6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
    4 Tbsp. strong coffee
    1 ½ sticks (12 Tbsp.) softened butter
    4 egg whites (cold)
    pinch of salt
    1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

    garnish: 2 c. lightly sweetened whipped cream

    Heat a pan of water to not-quite-simmering. Also, fill a basin with a few inches of cold water. In a metal bowl that will fit over the pan, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the orange liqueur (or coffee). Then set mixing bowl over the not-quite-simmering water and continue beating for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger. Then beat over the basin of cold water for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of (a homemade) mayonnaise. Set aside.

    Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the butter a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream. Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.

    Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Stir ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest.

    Turn into serving dish, dessert cups, or small wine glasses. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Pass the whipped cream separately.