Our Sunday decorating commenced after breakfast when SP built a fire that we kept going for most of the afternoon. We got the decorations out of the garage and brought in the tree we picked out on Saturday. We put on some Christmas music (yay for DirecTV's XM Satellite Radio) and got to it. In between hanging ornaments and garland we worked on our respective dishes for dinner that night - country-style ribs, mac & cheese and jalapeno cornbread.
The ribs were a disappointment that night, but excellent the next day. SP decided to experiment with boneless ribs we saw at the wholesale club, but they were dry in some parts and perfect in others (something we discovered after we'd eaten). SP made a rub using various spices (I think thyme, white pepper, dried sage, cayenne and salt were involved) and a mop using apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. I asked him to make a tomato-based BBQ sauce to go along with the ribs and we're both glad he did. That involved tomato sauce, Worcestershire, white vinegar, onion powder, salt and pepper (among other things). After we'd eaten I attempted to salvage some of the rib meat for our lunches and discovered that it was perfectly cooked in some parts - it tore into perfect shreds of meat that we mixed with the rest of the BBQ sauce. If only all the meat had been that good. At least our lunches were tasty.
For the mac & cheese I mixed cheddar with some mozzarella in my usual recipe, adding a bit of grated garlic for an extra zing. It was thick, rich and creamy. The cornbread is an Ina recipe. I made a half order since the regular recipe makes way too much. As it is we only ate half the pan for dinner and lunch the next day. I'm saving the rest for chili tonight.
These pictures didn't come out as well as I'd hoped so I'll take some more later, but just to give you an idea here's our tree:
... and the banister leading up the stairs: