A Very Merry Brown Christmas – 12/25

The holidays have come and gone and I for one am very happy that KOST 103.5 has stopped playing Christmas music! I’m no Ebenezer Scrooge, but working in retail/fashion tends to ruin the “magic” of this time of year. Luckily, my family makes Christmas (a day we don’t believe in but do celebrate) quite possibly the most entertaining day of the year.

From the made-from-scratch gourmet menu to a White Elephant game with as many rules as Chess to the much awaited Lakers game in HD, it was ten hours of pure celebration and togetherness. We’re brown so we don’t have a Christmas ham being made by our mothers in the kitchen. Our moms do cook, but it’s mostly traditional East Indian cuisine while my cousin Alpa and her brother Maulin churn out a secret menu full of surprises.

White Elephant aftermath: 1 hour, lots of rule-enforcing & many stealing of gifts later.

Sourdough w/ a garlic butter glaze & fresh basil-sun dried tomato bruschetta spread.

Homemade pizza dough w/ spinach & artichoke topping.

Gluten-free, nut-free pesto pasta w/ cherry tomatoes.

Spinach & artichoke dip garnished with layers of cheeses.

Ginger garlic fish baked in parchment paper. My first fish entree ever. Good job, Alpa!

Relatives got to this before I could snap away: Masala Pulao(Gujarati-style rice dish).

Same result here: Gujarati Shaak(Mixed vegetables w/ spices that are stir fried)

Homemade fruit medley, marinated in mint & fresh lemon juice. I wanted a mojito so bad after eating this.

Fresh glazed macaroons.

The best chocolate dipped anything I’ve ever had, part 1: pink peppermint & dark chocolate and almond shavings.

Gingerbread cookies w/ an orange zest & cinnamon glaze.

The best chocolate dipped anything I’ve ever had, part 2: milk chocolate & melted black/white kisses over milk chocolate.

From scratch multi-layered fudge brownies, simply amazing.

Paradise Bakery‘s Mango Mousse Cake.

Gujarati Shrikhand(strained yogurt w/ saffron, cardamom & sugar). Usually not sold in restaurants, but it’s a delicacy! Ask your friends to whip you up a batch.

Even though the Lakers lost to the Miami Heat, the night followed its usual route with some political debate, lots of catching up and a first for our family: knitting! My cousin’s girlfriend was knitting a scarf and for some reason the trend caught like wildfire amongst me and my cousins/family friends. My brother took no part in it, rather he snapped photos on his Blackberry and questioned our sanity. My conclusion: albeit unusual and smaller than normal, our Very Merry Brown Christmas was a success.

The chef of the evening, my cousin Alpa, popping out the delicious brownie squares. I dedicate this post to her and to the sous chef, Maulin.

’til next year! Happy Holidays & here’s to a new decade! Happy New Years everyone!

Check out the rest of our pictures here: A Very Merry Brown Christmas (also on the sidebar).

-gmangoman a.k.a. hemang


About gmangoman

I'm a college graduate with a keen sense of finding all things fun, food-related and free around Los Angeles and Orange County...and beyond!
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