Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Mele Kalikimake!

Merry Christmas to all or Happy Holidays if your prefer. Should be a pretty quiet holiday around old Monk Hall this year. We had our little dinner party and did some decorating.
I'll spend part of the day baking and cooking as our friends that lost their son last week will be returning from the burial in Kentucky later today and we'll have a Christmas dinner for them to have tomorrow. They'll have a lot of family to feed for this not so joyous holiday and no time in which to prepare anything. Cheating a bit as we are going to let Publix provide the turkey breast, dressing and mashed potatoes. I'll bake a pumpkin pie and make some of my tasty sweet potatoes and some green beans with pearl onions.

Madam and I will go up and visit with the daughter tomorrow for a few hours. For that event it will be a very untraditional beef stew that I will start today since the beef has to marinate in red wine and aromatic veges overnight. It is kind of a cross between sauerbraten and traditional beef stew. It is interesting because you finish it with baby mushrooms that are fried in butter and added at the last moment along with crispy lardon made from pancetta. I created the recipe a couple of years ago while cooking for a Christmas party while staying with friends in the UK and there I had some very nice venison to use. Not available here typically but it is raised domestically over there especially in the North and makes great stews.

Anyhow, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Drink responsibly and stay off the roads if you do imbibe. Remember also that calories don't count from midnight last night until midnight Boxing day as they take the holidays off too!

Update: I added the picture taken from the kitchen window on Christmas morning 2004 while staying with the above mentioned friends in Eyam, Derbyshire, UK. I thought a view of a white Christmas would be nice.

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