Sunday, December 27, 2009

Twelve Days: A Snowy Day Strata


What ever happened to Christmas? I’m not sure exactly when the transformation took place - the expansion and equal compression of the holiday. Nowadays, the Christmas decorations go up even before the Halloween ones come down. On the other end, the holiday seems to come to an abrupt halt (like the pulling of the arm off a record player mid-album). All of that shopping and planning discarded in a momentary storm of torn wrapping paper. The twelve days of Christmas have been compacted into twelve or so hours. The evening of Christmas ends, our heads hit the pillow, the holiday is over and we’re on the next thing.

Not so in our house. The Christmas spirit arrives late here – the tree put up only days before the 25th, the cookies baked within hours of the holiday - but it remains for the full 12 days. To honor our family tradition, I’m going to dispense with the typical year end lists and other New Year’s miscellany, and instead give the holiday its due.

I love when Christmas falls late in the week, Friday being ideal. With the snowy weather, it’s the perfect time to hole up in our cozy basement giving Thor time to play with his new toys and me the opportunity to clean up the scattered mess that Christmas generates – torn tissue, ribbon remnants, and cookie crumbs. We also have the time to enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch – an opportunity that doesn’t arise much in December. Hot coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, Bloody Mary’s, and a savory bread pudding using the rest of Floriole’s delicious yeasted corn bread.

Sausage and Cheddar Strata
Serves 4

5 cups cubed yeasted cornbread or brioche
½ pound bulk pork sausage
4 large eggs
1/3 cup 2 % milk
1/3 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 cup grated cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly toast the bread until firm, but not browned. Cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink. Whisk together the eggs, milk, tomato, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Scatter the bread in a medium casserole dish. Stir in the red pepper, cheddar, and sausage. Pour over the liquid ingredients and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the eggs are just set in the middle. Serve warm.


  1. You are so right about Christmas being condensed these days. I was out and about today and saw Valentine's and St. Pat's day already out. We rush through it, forgetting it really is the 12 days of Christmas.

    I'm going to give this Strata a whirl this week!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I bought some challah rolls today at Whole Foods and have some fresh Mexican Chorizo so I think I'm going to give this recipe a whirl with a twist.

    My thoughts--the eggieness and sweetness of the challah will compliment the slight spice of the chorizo.

  3. Gosh, that's disturbing. We're always rushing to the next new thing. If you do try it, definitely let me know how you like it.


blog design by brooksiedesign