Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Season Homestretch

Ladies and gentlemen we are in the holiday season homestretch. We have had a lovely time thus so far, and I hope you can say the same. I say that with all honesty. Making food gifts as opposed to the quest to find meaningful gifts for everyone and their mother made for a very easy gift giving season...and for Lil' Bit and Chef, well lets just say thank god for Amazon Prime.

We did a little entertaining last week. Christmas Eve we had Chef's mom, aka Gan Gan, and Ari our restaurant manager over for a traditional dinner. We started with Julia Child's stuffed mushrooms, compliments of Gan Gan. Scrumptious is an understatement. We scarfed them as we waited for the main course to rest.

Chef cooked a prime rib, Thomas Keller style, which of course was perfection. Cooking it at 275 degrees until it hit 127 degrees, makes for a piece of meat that is perfectly pink mid rare all the way through with no gray ring around the edge. Accompanying the beef were roasted potatoes, creamed spinach which was to die for, flakey buns, and a lovely salad. Chef was going to make our usual Yorkshire pudding, but with only one oven we decided to keep it simple and not stress. What a novel idea...I think it will be my new holiday mantra.

With the meal we drank a bottle of Achaval Ferrer, a single vineyard old vine Malbec. It was extraordinary. And to top off this glorious feast Gan Gan brought a chocolate roulade. It was the length of my arm and the width of my leg topped with chocolate shavings...light, creamy, gorgeous.

After Gan Gan and Ari departed we put Lil' Bit to sleep in her new owl pajamas. It has always been a family to tradition to sleep in new PJs every Xmas eve. Since Chef cooked, I cleaned. I suppose it is a fair deal. I pulled a stool up to the sink, sat my prego self down, and set to work scrubbing blue and white china, sterling silver, roasting pan, pots, the whole gamut. Any other evening, I would have let it go until morning, but we had a quick turnaround for Christmas brunch. Around 11 pm we retired for the night.

Lil' Bit woke up at 6:30, brunch was at 10 am. This gave us time to open presents and prepare the meal for company. We invited my father, grandmother, aunt, and friend Teri over for a celebration. It is our family tradition to make Gorilla Bread every Xmas morning...monkey bread on steroids (stuffed with cream cheese) it is beyond delicious. Chef whipped up bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, a nice salad, and a encore of creamed spinach...given two of our guests were vegetarians. It was a lovely meal with loved ones.

Christmas was rainy this year, which worked well. Family and friends left around 2 pm, and Lil' Bit gave us the greatest gift of all...a three hour nap. Chef and I stretched out before the fire and read. At one point I looked at him and said, "This is one of the best Christmas Days ever." After such a huge late brunch, decided to go easy for dinner...tomato soup and BLTs. It was perfection.

So this week wraps up the season, and the year. It is hard to believe that 2010 begins on Friday. So much has happened in 2009...don't you think? I am more than curious to see what the next year has in store. I have three resolutions. 3 is a reasonable number, is it not?

1. Make time for stress release aka. baths/exercise/yoga/wine...etc.
2. Create little rituals, or systems if you may, that act as tools for organization.
3. Take more deep breaths in a day.

Do you have any resolutions to share?

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