Last night we hosted our Sunday School class Christmas Party. We're part of the Committed Couples class at Trinity Baptist Church. When we bought our house last spring, we hoped to use it as a place of fellowship and friendship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God has blessed us with a spacious home and we wanted to bless others in return.
Problem was, the party was scheduled on the same day as the SEC championship football game. And Alabama was playing Florida in a rematch of last year's championship. And you know that here in the South, football is a VERY serious part of life. I'm a football fan myself, though the West Virginia Mountaineers are my favorite team, since I was born and raised up a holler in the mountains. So I can understand dedication to one's team.
Anyway, it looked like the party might be a wash. But the game was scheduled for 3 pm local time, so we decided to go ahead with the date and planned to eat around 7 pm. It all worked out wonderfully, especially since Alabama won! Roll, Tide!!! We ended up having 42 people here, including us. It was a little cozy at times but the food and fellowship were so enjoyable.
I prepared 3 pork roasts in my crockpots and electric roaster and another sweet lady brought some turkey. There was more than enough meat! Everything was delicious, from side dishes, salads to desserts. It was wonderful.
I decided to leave the pork unseasoned and let our guests choose their own sauces. I got some sweet, some spicy, some vinegary.
But using those bottles would be messy, so I stole an idea from a local BBQ restaurant. I got squeeze bottles and put the sauce in them. I used Christmas labels to identify the sauces.
It was so NOT messy! I found the squeeze bottles at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $1.99 each. That might not seem frugal, $8 for 4 plastic bottles. But these babies will get plenty of use in the future, believe me. I'll be able to frost cookies and cupcakes like a pro. And who knows how many BBQ's will see these handy helpers being pulled out? Not to mention, I'll be able to give flair and flourish to the fancy dishes I'm thinking about learning how to make someday. Wink, wink!
I also made one of my easy appetizers which I'll share with you. Take a bottle of chili sauce (you'll find it with the ketchup and BBQ sauces in the grocery store) and a 12 oz. jar of grape jelly. Combine them in your crockpot. Dump in two packages of cocktail weiners, cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Easy as can be.
I made some wassail, too. Again, very easy. Here's the recipe if you want it.
1 bottle (96 oz) apple juice
1/2 can pineapple juice (the can is 46 oz but just use half)
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
12 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
Combine ingredients in a large crockpot. Set on low for 3-4 hours. Add some ground cinnamon if you need more flavor. The cinnamon sticks I used were leftover from last year and didn't have as much cinnamony aroma or flavor in them as I wanted.
Isn't that pretty? I doubled the recipe so I could use up the 1/2 can of pineapple juice and simmered it on my stovetop for a few hours. Yummy!
Christmas parties are so much fun! Such a blessing to spend time with other believers and celebrate the reason for the season, our Saviour!