Christmas Dinner: drplasticpicker family tries to satisfy the cousins!
December 27, 2019
Our family cooked again! Thanksgiving was the first time we attempted a holiday dinner and it was a big hit. Our family of four cooked for ourselves and my parents. Expectations were low, and my mother had a back-up meal ready, but we did a good job with a small 7 pound herb-butter turkey, boxed stuffing, salad, french baguettes and two kinds of home-made pie https://drplasticpicker.com/cooking-a-turkey-saved-money-used-less-plastic-and-finally-felt-at-home/ We tried to minimize food waste with a semi-traditional dinner, but still had enough to make Turkey Soup that fed us for another few meals https://drplasticpicker.com/turkey-soup-how-can-homemade-soup-save-money-time-family-and-the-earth/. I took my mom’s back-up meal home and we had it later that week.
When the Plastic Picker family is on a roll, we keep on going. So we are in Park City, Utah and drove here https://drplasticpicker.com/food-review-driving-made-the-impossible-burger-possible/. The cousins are here as well, and they are talented skiiers. They expend a lot of calories and have big appetites, and fancy food taste. My brother-in-law is the type who knows his meat and has a fancy smoker at home. My sister is a phenomenal home-cook. She collects cook-books, that is how good she is. We knew we were going out to dinner the day afterwards, so thought – why not? Let’s cook! We were going to go to the Asian Bistro nearby for Christmas Dinner which would on average be about $150 for a party of our size with drinks, so averages about $18.75 per person. But our rental comes with a fully stocked kitchen and we might as well use it, and all the ceramic dishes and glassware and real silverware and therefore minimize plastic.
So we made it an adventure. We tried to buy local pico de gallo, organic cheese, and local organic tortillas. But really just ran around the supermarket and had a good time. We are a real family telling you our real adventures in environmentalism! Mr. Plastic Picker agreed to do the bag salad. High-school son agreed to set the table and drinks. Middle-school daughter, the real chef in our family, made home-made quesadillas and DELICIOUS guacamole. And I popped Stouffer’s chicken enchilada family size and garlic bread in the oven. We were originally thinking of doing hamburgers, but in our bid to be environmentally more friendly decided chicken rather than beef would be better for the earth. It even came in all aluminum and no plastic. The aluminum has since been carefully washed and recycled.
Here was our shopping list at Fresh Market at Park City, Utah.
- Lipton Tea Mixed Berry – $3.50
- Stella Artois Beers – $4.66
- Pico de Gallo – $6.39
- Avocados – $3.98
- Cilantro – $1.29
- Onion White Jumbo – $1.55
- Salsa con Queso (our son insisted on it) – $2.99
- Tortilla Chips – $3.49
- Multigrain Tortilla Chips – $2.50
- Dole Family Size Ceasar Salad x 2 – $11.40
- Local/Organic Flour Tortillas – $4.59
- Shredded Mexican Cheese – $4.50
- Garlic Bread – $2.99
- Stouffer’s Chicken Enchilada 8 = $14.50
- Outshine Fruit Pops – $4.99
- TOTAL = $73.32 for 8 people = $9.16 per person
I think the meal went well. The biggest hit was our daughter’s guacamole which was gone within minutes. Most of the food was consumed which is always a good sign, and my nephew and niece (who are always honest) said the food was delicious.
Cooking in our vacation rental was half the price of going out to eat at a no-frills Asian bistro ($73 versus $150), and we still had left over for today’s lunch and used very few single-use plastics. The best part was the kids were able to wind-down in the condo. Kids are so much happier eating at home than at a fancy place. Sometimes I wonder when it became normal to pay so much for food for children when they need room to move around? As we were finishing the last bit of meal preparation, the cousins were playing hide and go seek. My niece found a way to wedge her body into the small cubby hole of the nightstand! Then after dinner, they let the food settle a bit while we opened a small number of presents. We decided to give just one gift per child to reduce waste as a family. Each gift I thought was very meaningful either locally purchased or home-made. Gifts now made up a small part of the evening.
The four cousins aged 7 to 14, jetted down to the gameroom. My nephew said, “your place is FANCY” and it seemed a waste not to utilize the fancy facilities. So they played foosball, ping-pong and cards. The complex also had a giant Connect Four set. I played Mr. Plastic Picker and I won – twice. But we all won, because we had Christmas Dinner together and had a simple meal which was fun and filling and a new adventure. And we spent time together as a family, and the cousins were laughing all night. The gifts were few and meaningful, and we are trying to teach our children to value family and experiences over things.