Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Seasoned Greetings

'Twas the day AFTER Christmas, and the cleanup's begun ....

Yesterday was our annual Holiday Feast, and a good time was had by all. John and Janice, Janna, Steve, Bill and M'iko, and Wolf and Shelly, with a special new guest, their sweet-dispositioned child Heidi. We did the roast, brined turkey, with one of the best carving jobs I have ever done, traditional cranberry sauce, dressing, two types of mashed potatoes, poppyseed rolls, green beans with chipote butter, and a carrot/zucchini dish that went over well. Appetizers were our traditional rumaki (bacon-wrapped scallops and black olives), and stuffed mushrooms). Dessert we indulged on a cranberry cheesecake and a pear/cranberry tort. Needless to say, way too much good stuff, and we're still cleaning up today.

As the season has turned out, we handled a number of miscues, known and revealed. The tort was supposed to have a sweet red wine reduction that got TOO much reduced (to a dull reddish-black paset), so it ended up having a DRY red reduction instead with a backup wine. We sat down to the table forgetting the dressing, which we had crisping in the oven, and got a bit too dry (fortunately we had the savior of dry stuffing at the table - gravy). And I was so busy with the cocktails (I really have to stop treating them like chemistry experiments) that I had forgotten about the bird for an extra half hour. Fortunately, it NEEDED the extra half hour (It was a large bird) and it came out perfect.

Conversation was great, since this feast has become a holiday tradition, and young Heidi was a delightful, gurgling presence at the other end of the table (She didn't want out turkey, we, in turn, didn't poach on her Cheerios). Learned much I did not know, including that the Mint did commemorative coins back in the 20s (including one celebrating Confederate veterans) and a recommedation for Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragons, whether CSI has ever done a show on penny-smashers, and the existence of a channel that plays Music Videos like MTV used to.

And I did my share of the cooking wearing my new Christmas present from the lovely bride, a kilt. Actually, a dark green utilikilt made by a local company here in Seattle. It made things much more comfortable in the hot kitchen. I haven't quite decided if it is my style. but it is very comfortable.

More later,