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Christmas 2014


ChrisTaylor
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It's either early or late, depending on what you're doing. Here is part of what will eventually be dessert: Christmas pudding. The fruit (glace cherries, mixed peel, raisins, sultanas, currants) has spent about a month bathing in stout and brandy. Today I added just enough batter to hold the boozed-up fruit in place.

 

DSC_0020_zpsa7754af7.jpg

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Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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  • 1 month later...

It is clearly time to start planning holiday cooking, but I admit I've been a bit remiss and haven't give it a single thought yet. Since my Anova order just shipped I suppose I should make something sous vide. Probably several somethings. And maybe some cookies that are on the not-too-sweet side.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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well, after not having to make anything but green beans almondine for Thanksgiving we are going to be back at my husband's childhood home and once again I am nominated to cook. 

So far it is going to be basic because no one is experimental

 

Ham(have one in the freezer)

Macaroni and cheese

Baked sweet potatoes

Honey carrots

Slow cooked green beans

 

 

the siblings are tasked with desserts and starters if they want them.  I'll make sure there is some Breyer's lactose free vanilla ice cream and some good sharp cheddar if an apple pie shows up...and it better!

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Tentatively...

 

Butternut squash soup, Beef tenderloin SV w onions and sauteed mushrooms, smoked yam puree, braised kale (in the collard style), corn pudding, corn bread....steamed Xmas pudding with creme anglaise.

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We're always the guests, but now that we're traveling with the trailer I can bring something. Last year it was a potato gratin, green beans with bacon (our long-passed grandmother's version), fresh bread and an eggless chocolate mousse. The last was...interesting...because the chocolate had been stored in the same oversized container as my excess spices. The individual containers are all sealed, but the aroma when the box is opened makes it clear that the storage materials are permeable. I rather liked the sneak-attack whisper of dried chilis, but not everyone in the family shared my enthusiasm. :-D

This year I'll be offering bread (using my own sourdough starter!), vegetables and the chocolate mousse using fresh chocolate. I hope the cousins will be up for prime rib or roast pork, but it's their call.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well, I've not been nominated yet for the Christmas dinner, but, I think its my turn. So in preparation for that, I have 1 free-range organic turkey ( named "Whitey") that will head to the chopping block; and since we raise grass fed Angus, there's a couple roasts tagged for that dinner, too. And then, there's everything else:

Martha's Vineyard Salad, complete with pine nuts and dried cherries. (I dissected this salad at The Gandy Dancer some years ago, and remade it for my hubby. He has to have it every year!!!!)

Grandma Schultz's potato rolls

Mashies/gravies

Green Bean Cassarole

Normally, I am the dessert person...so this year, I am leaning towards making two cheesecakes: one with raspberries, and then a chocolate one with caramel sauce and spiced nuts. Maybe an apple pie. We shall see.

I will have to assigned some other things to the relatives- maybe the green bean thing. 

 

In between filling chocolate orders, I am going to work on making some of my Grandma's holiday cookies for snacking, too.

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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I can't believe I left this off the menu in my previous post...but an absolute "must have" on our table is the delectable Snicker Salad. (I use the term "salad" loosely.)   For the professional chefs out there, this may well be offensive- and for that I apologize in advance.  But its a fast fix, and never a leftover.

 

You will need:

 

1 bag of mini-marshmellows

4-6 large Granny Smith Apples, washed and chopped

1- 22oz pkg of Snicker bars, diced fairly small

1 large tub of Cool Whip. (I know, I know...but it works!)

 

Mix together, then sit back and watch it disappear. :wink:

 

My sister-in-law has witnessed fights break out - every year- over who gets the last spoonful. (Its not pretty between a cop and a fireman.)

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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I can't believe I left this off the menu in my previous post...but an absolute "must have" on our table is the delectable Snicker Salad. (I use the term "salad" loosely.)   For the professional chefs out there, this may well be offensive- and for that I apologize in advance.  But its a fast fix, and never a leftover.

 

You will need:

 

1 bag of mini-marshmellows

4-6 large Granny Smith Apples, washed and chopped

1- 22oz pkg of Snicker bars, diced fairly small

1 large tub of Cool Whip. (I know, I know...but it works!)

 

Mix together, then sit back and watch it disappear. :wink:

 

My sister-in-law has witnessed fights break out - every year- over who gets the last spoonful. (Its not pretty between a cop and a fireman.)

 

Words fail me... :wacko:

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Darianne:  I can't explain it, either.  It has to be the combination of sicky sweet Snickers and the tart apples that drives everyone mad.

 

My mother called me some years ago, and gave me the task of finding a potluck recipe that was 1) easy, and 2) had less than 5 ingredients. As she began aging, she just didn't want to fiddle around with complex dishes and ingredients anymore.  So, that's the recipe I gave her.  She was astonished at the resulting craze that ensued as she took it to dinner after dinner, whether at church or at my bro's wife's family dinners. It's perplexing.  But, from my perspective (and my Mom's), it's really all about the smiles and enthusiasm with which the dish was received. :smile:

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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My large family has a potluck a few days after Christmas and I'm trying to figure out what to bring.  There will be a lot of heavy foods so I want to bring something vegetable based but it has to be approachable since most of the people there normally eat plain vegetables out of a can.  I've done roasted root veggies with Brussels sprouts in the past and the reaction was ok but not enthusiastic.  Same with green beans sauteed with bacon.  I don't know if I'll be able to do any last minute cooking or warming at my cousin's house either, and it is a 40 minute drive from my parent's so I'd rather do something cold / room temp.  Any suggestions for composed salads that do not contain snickers are welcome.  :biggrin:

Edited by LizD518 (log)
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It's either early or late, depending on what you're doing. Here is part of what will eventually be dessert: Christmas pudding. The fruit (glace cherries, mixed peel, raisins, sultanas, currants) has spent about a month bathing in stout and brandy. Today I added just enough batter to hold the boozed-up fruit in place.

 

DSC_0020_zpsa7754af7.jpg

This is almost mirroring what I started last night. I gave been volunteered to do christmas dinner for 30 people and that does not faze me; it is the pudding that I have never done before. Any tips for the novice? I have 2Kg of dried fruit marinating in a mixture of brandy, sherry and some really ancient port from my barrel.

Simon

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This is almost mirroring what I started last night. I gave been volunteered to do christmas dinner for 30 people and that does not faze me; it is the pudding that I have never done before. Any tips for the novice? I have 2Kg of dried fruit marinating in a mixture of brandy, sherry and some really ancient port from my barrel.

Simon

 

You might've left it a bit late. I left it a bit later than I usually do. I can upload my recipe when I get home but, basically, the fruit is marinated in a combination of stout and brandy. You could use whisky or rum instead of brandy. I let it marinate for a few weeks (any longer and the tub would occupy too much room in one of my fridges for too long). I use just enough dough to hold the boozed-up fruit together. The dough has suet in it. Albeit, the 'instant' suet stuff you can buy at a supermarket. Only recently did a local butcher start selling kidneys covered in fat. I might use the real deal next year. Once the puddings have been steamed I store them in a large plastic tub, separated by greaseproof paper. Every couple of weeks I brush them with with a little brandy. 

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Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Yep, the run is definitely late but I was unceremoniously elected into the job following a death in the family a few months ago.

I would love a copy of your recipe as the pre-fab suet mix is what I have bought. The fruit is looking good and I think that even with limited aging this will still be better than a supermarket jobbie.

I am firing up the sous vide for pork belly, rolled turkey thigh and breast as the kitchen where I will be doing the deed is almost as small as the screen on my iPad.... I will be using 2 BBQs and anything else I can lay my hands on to cook on the day.

Simon

Edited by Simon Lewinson (log)
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Are you making a large one or a bunch of small ones? I always use the recipe from this site, http://pudding.denyer.net/ I've found it really flexible, and it's reliably given great results, regardless of whatever experiments I may try.

 

One "oh-my-god" 3.5 liter sized pudding with any leftovers for beta testing. Only problem with those recipes is trying to get real suet in a country town in the middle of nowhere. They say that we are not out on the other side of the black stump, but you can see it from my balcony at home :wacko:  

 

Simon 

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Yep, the run is definitely late but I was unceremoniously elected into the job following a death in the family a few months ago.

I would love a copy of your recipe as the pre-fab suet mix is what I have bought. The fruit is looking good and I think that even with limited aging this will still be better than a supermarket jobbie.

I am firing up the sous vide for pork belly, rolled turkey thigh and breast as the kitchen where I will be doing the deed is almost as small as the screen on my iPad.... I will be using 2 BBQs and anything else I can lay my hands on to cook on the day.

Simon

 

A friend gave this recipe to me a few years ago. It's from the RACV Club.

 

/3/
2500g currants
2500g raisins
2500g sultanas
2500g candied cheeries/peel
1 can guiness beer
250g brandy
 
^(soak for >3 days)
 
/1/
1750g suet
40 whole eggs (size 55)
1000g sugar
850g treacle
 
/2/
2000g bread crumbs (plain)
15g all spice
15g cinnamon
500g self raising flour
 
Steam for 1 hour in dariole moulds
140-145 pcs
 
Obviously you'll want to scale this down some.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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You might've left it a bit late. I left it a bit later than I usually do. I can upload my recipe when I get home but, basically, the fruit is marinated in a combination of stout and brandy. You could use whisky or rum instead of brandy. I let it marinate for a few weeks (any longer and the tub would occupy too much room in one of my fridges for too long). I use just enough dough to hold the boozed-up fruit together. The dough has suet in it. Albeit, the 'instant' suet stuff you can buy at a supermarket. Only recently did a local butcher start selling kidneys covered in fat. I might use the real deal next year. Once the puddings have been steamed I store them in a large plastic tub, separated by greaseproof paper. Every couple of weeks I brush them with with a little brandy. 

 

Do you find a definite difference when you soak the fruit more for an extended period, as oppose to a week or less? since the fruit can absorb liquid for only so long until it is saturated, I'm guessing it's a question of aging..?

 

 

One "oh-my-god" 3.5 liter sized pudding with any leftovers for beta testing. Only problem with those recipes is trying to get real suet in a country town in the middle of nowhere. They say that we are not out on the other side of the black stump, but you can see it from my balcony at home :wacko:  

 

Simon 

 

That's about twice the size of the one I've got maturing, but you should be fine; I steamed mine for 8 hours, by the way.

 

The only place I've been able to source suet in Denmark is the slaughterhouse. This can be a bit overwhelming, since their attitude is 'Take lots! We've got plenty more!', and they hand over a warm, bloody, several-kilo bag you hope won't leak, and is a bit of a project to render in one go. Still, you'll have very attractively-priced suet for ages (I keep it in the freezer), and a certain sense of accomplishment.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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My large family has a potluck a few days after Christmas and I'm trying to figure out what to bring.  There will be a lot of heavy foods so I want to bring something vegetable based but it has to be approachable since most of the people there normally eat plain vegetables out of a can.  I've done roasted root veggies with Brussels sprouts in the past and the reaction was ok but not enthusiastic.  Same with green beans sauteed with bacon.  I don't know if I'll be able to do any last minute cooking or warming at my cousin's house either, and it is a 40 minute drive from my parent's so I'd rather do something cold / room temp.  Any suggestions for composed salads that do not contain snickers are welcome.  :biggrin:

 

That is really tough.  If they weren't wild about roasted root veggies or bacon 'n' green beans, it's hard to imagine winter veg salads that would go over big.  Roasted beet, carrot, onion salad with feta and pine nuts -- but would they eat it?    Maybe something like this is a bit more in the groove:

http://www.afamilyfeast.com/winter-vegetable-salad/

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Our Christmas festivities are as of now pretty much unplanned.  We are 2500 miles from home in Utah in my favorite place in the entire world...not that I've seen much of the world...Moab where the rocks are red and the skies are blue and the sun is almost always shining.

 

Ed WILL make his tortieres and I WILL make shortbread cookies from my dear friend's Mother's recipe.  Where or with whom or for that matter with anybody? we will share a meal is not known.  I am mid-Humane Society Volunteers Christmas boxes (25) of Enstrom KopyKat toffee but after this...who knows? 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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That is really tough.  If they weren't wild about roasted root veggies or bacon 'n' green beans, it's hard to imagine winter veg salads that would go over big.  Roasted beet, carrot, onion salad with feta and pine nuts -- but would they eat it?    Maybe something like this is a bit more in the groove:

http://www.afamilyfeast.com/winter-vegetable-salad/

Well Sylvia you might have just saved my bacon! I impulsively invited company for dinner this evening. On checking my crispers I found I had a little more than a 5 pound bag of carrots (Long story) but the braised mustard carrots on the site you linked to seem as if they will fit the bill perfectly. Thank you. On the winter vegetable salad -- I was at first repulsed. Too many times I have been served raw broccoli and raw cauliflower on a crudité platter. Disgusting. But the recipe you link to calls for them to be blanched. If I had the necessary ingredients I would be serving that because I think it would be quite delicious and unusual.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Well Sylvia you might have just saved my bacon! I impulsively invited company for dinner this evening. On checking my crispers I found I had a little more than a 5 pound bag of carrots (Long story) but the braised mustard carrots on the site you linked to seem as if they will fit the bill perfectly. Thank you. On the winter vegetable salad -- I was at first repulsed. Too many times I have been served raw broccoli and raw cauliflower on a crudité platter. Disgusting. But the recipe you link to calls for them to be blanched. If I had the necessary ingredients I would be serving that because I think it would be quite delicious and unusual.

 

Those do sound good.  The roasted beets/onions, etc with pine nuts is also similar to the idea I've been playing with which is a version of Ottolegheni's roasted butternut / red onion / & pine nuts with tahini dressing.  And there is about 1/3 of the 30 or so people who will be there who will appreciate something other than canned veggies.  The rest can stick to the basics.  :raz:

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I'm looking for 'sides' to serve with the pudding. Usually I serve it with rum and raisin ice cream and vanilla creme anglaise. I'd like to do something different this year. Leaning towards a PX granita and burnt orange syrup with some kind of crumble for texture. Any other ideas?

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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