Christmas at the Cafe

Molly’s Cafe became famous for its Christmas dinners over its years of existence. We served turkey with bread dressing, cranberry sauce (the last one made from dried cranberries), several kilos of mashed potatoes, winter vegetables, salad, apple pie, pumpkin pie (made from the green skinned Turkish pumpkins), and mince pie (mince usually imported. The one time I made it it was not very good). After some experience, I learned to include drinks, which were usually wine for those who drank it. For Christmas Eve, I made homemade egg nog (recipe below) and I had Christmas cookies. We served dinner family style, so people who did not know each other met and celebrated together in our traditional way. Truthfully, I do not miss cooking for 20 or 30 or 50 people, but I am glad I was able to do it for a few years for those who were far from home at this holiday. Below, I have pasted photos from the four locations of Molly’s Cafe.

Eggnog

6 eggs

2 ½ cups (325 ml) heavy cream

2 cups (500 ml) milk

1 cup (200 gr) sugar

½ cup (125 ml) brandy

½ cup (125 ml) rum

½ tsp (3 ml) vanilla

½ tsp (2 ml) grated nutmeg

Beat the eggs until very frothy. Add sugar and continue beating. Sprinkle in nutmeg and vanilla. Continue beating. A little at a time, add the whipping cream, continuing to beat. A little at a time, beat in the milk. Beat in the rum and brandy.

These are from the first Christmas dinner at the first cafe.

DEC 30 08 067

this German couple wandered in. it was their wedding anniversary too

DEC 30 08 066

DEC 30 08 049

Clifford Endres became Oscar’s new best friend before dinner

DEC 30 08 081

oscar’s first Christmas

DEC 30 08 053

Cliff Endres and John Ash, a well known British poet

DEC 30 08 059

Carter’s new calling as a waiter

DEC 30 08 056

artist Stefanie Rose was in town just in time to entertain Oscar while making salad dressing

DEC 30 08 061

molly and carter

   DEC 30 08 065

Another recipe:

Pumpkin Pie

I have always made my own pumpkin rather than using canned pumpkin. It is easy to do and tastes better.

Cooked Pumpkin

Heat 1 inch (2cm) water to boiling. Cut pumpkin into 1 inch (2 cm) pieces. For 8 inch pie, you need about 1 ¼ lb / ½ kilo pumpkin. For 9 inch pie, 2 lb / 1 kilo. Add pumpkin to boiling water. Cook until tender, about 30 min. drain and cool. Cut off skin and mash until no lumps remain.

Preheat oven to 425 deg.

8 inch (20 cm) pie

pastry for 8 inch (20 cm) one-crust pie

1 egg

1 ¼ cups (300 ml) cooked pumpkin

2/3 cup (130 gr) sugar

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¾ tsp (4 ml) cinnamon

¼ tsp (1 ml) ground ginger

1/8 tsp (.5 ml) ground cloves

1 cup (250 ml) milk (you may have to add an extra egg).

9 inch (22 cm) pie

pastry for 9 inch (22 cm) one-crust pie

2 eggs

2 cups (500 ml) cooked pumpkin

3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon

1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger

1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves

1 ½ cup *325 ml) regular milk (you may have to add an extra egg).

Beat eggs slightly. Beat in remaining ingredients. Place pie on oven rack and then pour in filling.

Bake 15 min. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F (180 C) deg. Bake until knife inserted in centre comes out clean– 8 inch (20 cm) pie 35 min longer, 9 inch (22 cm) pie 45 min longer. Cool.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

Photos from the second cafe:

SL371454   SL371455  SL371451  SL370555  SL371453

One more recipe:

Chicken or Turkey pot pie

This is a good way to use up turkey meat when you are tired of making turkey sandwiches. You can use the leftover vegetables here too, but they may need to be chopped to be smaller.

Pastry for two-crust pie

4 tbsp (60 gr) butter or margarine, divided

1 small onion, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tsp oregano

salt and pepper to taste

2 cubes chicken bouillon (optional)

2 cups water

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey

3 tbsp flour

½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Roll out pastry. Place bottom crust in 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Set aside.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes and cook until tender but still firm.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk and heat through. Add this mixture to the vegetable mixture and cook until thickened. Pour mixture into pastry line pie pan. Cover with the rest of the pastry and make four slits in the top.

Bake 15 minutes. Then turn heat down to 350 deg and bake for 20 min more, until crust is brown.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

These are from the third cafe, the biggest place and the biggest dinner– 55 people!

CIMG0020

cowboy the kitty inviting himself

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the dinner table(s) kept going on around the corner

CIMG0018  CIMG0017

And, finally dinner at the last cafe:

CIMG0369

downstairs

CIMG0368

upstairs

CIMG0372

in the spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, wherever you are, have a merry Christmas with friends, family, or strangers.  Please spread the spirit of peace and goodwill to all.

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