For over 60 years Miles’ dad’s side of the family has been having the big Family Christmas Party on the second Saturday of December.* A different person hosts every year. It’s typically pot-luck. He’s got a long line of relatives in Virginia and it’s typically a day trip for most of us.
One year, after a cousin hosted, somewhere in Virginia we stayed at Caroline and Drew’s, my sister and brother-in-law’s place. We drove down with Miles’ mum, Eve, and this was a way catch-up and make some more Christmastime memories.
That Saturday night, we were all sitting around the fireplace chit chatting. And Caroline and Drew brought out Hot Crab Dip and Cesar Salad. Small plates. Just enough. A nice compliment to what was earlier in the day a very heavy traditional American holiday buffet — ya know, turkey, ham, lots of rich side dishes.
Somehow, this crab dip has become an après family gathering craving for me. It’s very rich. So a little goes a long way. We like it with thin Triscuit crackers. Here’s the recipe for your après gatherings . . .
Caroline’s Crab Dip
- 2 cans canned crab meat or equivalent fresh
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1 T Worcester
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 c shredded Parmesan
- fresh cracked pepper
- Mix cheeses, spices and lime juice. Lightly fold in crab meat. Press into a lightly greased baking dish (something about half the size of a standard rectangular casserole dish)Top with cracked pepper.Bake uncovered 30 min at 350. Top should be lightly browned.
- Make sure cream cheese is soft at room temperature or use the spreadable cream cheese
- Mix everything except crab and lime
- Put lime directly on crab and then fold it into the mix
- We used a pie dish to bake it in
- Next time I’d half or quarter it for the two of us. And use the leftover crab for a cold crab dip in the next day or two.
*A tradition like this with the same date every year, a bit away from Christmas day, is a great way to get everyone together without putting that “it’s so close to Christmas” and “I’ve got so much to do” pressure on things. Especially for families that are getting bigger, or the kiddos are getting older. Like I said, Miles’ family has been doing this for nearly 70 years!
Also, having it catered and everyone throwing in $20 is also an idea that may be easier, especially when folks are coming from far away — if you want to keep that old-timey family pot-luck ‘everyone is contributing’ spirit versus one person financing and hosting the entirety of the soirée.
Happy Christmastime! 💕🎄😘