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Need menu suggestions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm an avid home cook who loves making special holiday food for my family. However, this year, I'm recovering from back surgery and I can't do any bending or lifting. I can't use my oven, lift heavy pots, or move my stand mixer...therefore, no roasts, cakes, pies, or mousses. I need to make Christmas dinner for 4-6 people who are picky eaters (no salmon, shrimp, pasta, or spicy food). I'm drawing blanks here, and could use some creative suggestions. Please keep in mind that you can't expect to grill in Maine in December, and decent fresh produce is also iffy. Thanks for any advice. :o
post #2 of 11
Honestly, it sounds like you are in a bind.

Can you at least lift up a phone to call pizza delivery? :lol:

Seriously I wish I could help you...I assume there is no way that you could get someone to help you with the lifting, i.e. you do the seasoning, dictating, menu planning, recipe gathering, etc, just someone else lifts the meat and such from the oven.

Don't know what else to tell you.
post #3 of 11
This isn't very creative, but stew would be good. If you've got a crockpot you wouldn't even need to tend it much.

Loving my gluten-free life.
Loving my gluten-free life.
post #4 of 11
Just check your local Grocery store. Most are now catering meals. Just place your order and pick it up. Unfortunately you better get jumping.:bounce: :blush:. Just kidding. I know what it's like to have back issues. Mine are inoperable.:(
post #5 of 11

How about your picky eaters bringing picky food potluck?

One main and one side from each (enough for all of you) and you can coordinate who bring what, provide the pies, aps and drinks.

We've used Oldtimer's method on rare occasions in the past. It works great if need be but you still have to re-heat it somehow...like in the oven.

Or how about asking one or two of the closest guests (I can't imagine inviting strangers to a holiday meal) to come early and help? Certainly they can appreciate the situation you're in. If they don't, why the heck are they coming to dinner in the first place?

(We're not talking In-laws are we?)

I've never had surgery (knock wood) but I've experienced serious back injury which made it impossible to get in my truck let alone lift anything, so I can certainly empathize.

I know it's late in the game but a personal chef in your area might be another option.

I know this doesn't help with cooking exactly but I hope it helps.

post #6 of 11
Gotcha covered.

Tell your guests that you're hosting the First Annual KCZ Christmas Fellowship Pot Luck.

You'll buy a bunch of booze and they'll bring their favorite dishes to share. You'll even be kind enough to have the oven(s) preheated when they arrive to bring the hot dishes up to temp during the cocktail hour.

I say this only a bit in jest.

You really shouldn't be stressing out over this, especially with your physical limitations. The BEST part about a dinner party is the party. By that, I mean it's the social interaction that's important.

Everyone's culinary contribution will reflect their personality and both represent and actually be their contribution to the enjoyment of the meal.

Providing the social lubrication will be your job.

You all should have a blast.
post #7 of 11
Would a potluck dinner be feasible?

The stew idea sounds like something on the right track, a one-pot deal. Or a bunch of smaller dishes, in a tasting menu sort of approach. Maybe a really nice simple soup, a hearty winter salad, some good bread, a nice dessert bought from a good patisserie, or petit fours with coffee/tea, a nice cheese plate. I don't know how many courses you want. Do they eat any other fish or seafood? Because that would be easy to cook on the stovetop. Like a bouillabaise, or lobster risotto or something.....man, this IS really hard. :confused:

If they like to eat meat, you can always cook beef medallions over the stovetop as long as they are not too thick.

Good luck, and please let us know how you fare....
post #8 of 11

need menu suggestions

Do steaks, lamb chops pan roasted potatoes with fingerling onions mushrooms asparagus with orange hollandaize sauce. you could do a compote of fruit over ice cream. buy a pound cake and do a bombe filled with pudding filling laced with some liguer then covered with chocolate. hope this helps.:chef:
post #9 of 11

Eat Out

Hay eat out you've earned it. You have been cooking for people for years on the holidays, yes you like to cook but sometimes things happen. If these people can not understand the situation then it is time to find new friends and family. Spend the day at the rescue mission with people that will enjoy your company. Have a Happy Holiday Happy Brian
post #10 of 11
I'm no counselor, but my knee-jerk response is that anyone who is on such a restricted diet that they can't eat what I cook, and like it, can pack a f&^%$%g lunch.

Perhaps that explains why I'm not a counselor...

FWIW, most Xmas meals in my Eurocentric experience involve beef and lamb anyway- I think greenawalt has a home run with the lamb chops.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. The guests are all coming from out-of-state for the weekend so potluck isn't a great option. (They think they're doing me a favor by coming to see me, since I can't travel...I feel like tearing my hair out). Grocery stores that cater real food? Personal chef? Here? :lol:

I've decided to get a prime rib and have someone else stick it in the oven. I can manage appetizers and sides. Bread made in the bread-maker (I can live with a little cheating here). Still thinking about dessert. Clearly, sufficient alcohol is key. :beer:
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