Christmas Eve Springfield Style!

The past few years I’ve tried to create a new traditions for our family– having “Springfield Style” Cashew Chicken our Christmas Eve dinner meal. I have to admit I stole this from my childhood neighbors, The Muetzels, but good traditions come from good people. The challenge for me of course is that we can’t just go out and buy Springfield Style– Toto, we’re not in Springfield anymore. So each year we’ve made it ourselves using the most accurate recipe Lyn and I have found. I think we’ve blogged about it before so I won’t go into details of the recipe.

This being my first christmas as an almost vegetarian I also made Springfield Style with crispy fried tofu– still good people, I swear!

Once the crab rangoon and fried goodness were gone, we broke out our only long-term, unique-ish Christmas tradition… The Christmas Game.


I can’t even remember when we got The Christmas Game it’s been in our family for so long. I think it came from Skaggs AKA Osco AKA CVS. The game, like Christmas, is all about collecting gifts and ridiculous moments of chance that are very holiday specific and sort of realistic when you think about it. We love it, even dad, though he grouses sometimes about playing.

We have friends who are honorary family members and Jessica (Lynley’s best friend) has been an honorary Farris the longest. As many of you know, she and Lyn have been best friends since they were 3, so Jess basically grew up with The Christmas Game too.

During the game, there are Santa cards that help you out, Scrooge cards that are a humbug because something bad most likely will happen and reindeer cards (which are my favorite) where you have to roll the dice to find out if something good or bad is coming your way.

We had to play in pairs which is not the normal way of playing and I think how people got paired up might not have the best mix for a “friendly” game…but it’s the holidays, a time when anything goes! Let me ask you this, have years of being friends made Lynley and Jess competative…you decide.

And the winners were….

Cheers to Springfield Style and the Christmas Game– long may you be a Farris Family tradition!




The Dinner before Christmas Eve….Noodles, Old Maids and some Whiskey

Mom, Dad, and Lynley showed up at our house a couple days before Christmas, which was great because it gave us more time to cook together. Our first official Farris Family cooking experience of holiday 2011 involved mashed potatoes, grandma’s noodles, brussel sprouts with garlic tempeh, carrots and Blueberry Hill chicken. The Blueberry Hill cookbook is becoming on of my personal favorites and even though I don’t eat chicken much anymore, I was excited for dad to cook one of the inn’s most popular recipes.

Mom watching the cooking action.


Lynley knitting, observing and suppling the tunes.


Grandma's noodles cooking away in veggie broth. I make them huge, more like dumplings, but that's the way I like them and it's my house!


Mom cut all the potatoes and carrots. Good job mom!


Lightly pan frying the chicken.


Dad was in charge of the chicken.


My garlic tempeh brussel sprouts with some of dad's left over raw onion.


I’m not going to lie to you, but while the chicken baked for 30 or so minutes so drinking happened…

 And then some singing and dancing occurred – to this song in particular….

John came home from a long busy day at work to find us acting crazy in the kitchen, so he had to join in.

The potatoes were mashed and we were ready to eat.

Dinner with Blueberry HIll wine and chicken b with purple gravy!


Dinner with brussel sprouts and garlic tempeh

After dinner we played Old Maid– oh yes we did. If you haven’t played Old Maid since you were a kid, give it a try. It’s way more fun than you remember and  you can sort of strategize in really silly ways.

My hand.

Dad and Lynley at the bitter end…the crazy camera work only lasts for a few seconds.

I guess I don’t have to tell you who lost the second round…

Stay tuned for more hearty eaters holiday fun!