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Christmas Eve/Christmas, New Year's Eve/Day 2020/21


kayb
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2 hours ago, Porthos said:

Just dropping to post that the protein for Christmas dinner was roast leg of lamb. After the meal my son-in-law commented that he doesn't actually care for lamb. He thought the lamb was ok. The big shock was that we've served him lamb a few times over the last several years and he's never told us he doesn't care for it. In our family we like knowing food preferences (which he knows) so his never having mentioned it before was a surprise. 

 

My Sweetie made chunky apple sauce using a recipe where you bake the apples.  It was very good. Everything else was dishes that we all like, including a sesame green bean dish we've done for ren faire for several years but never fixed at home before. 


That’s rough. But at least you asked so you should NOT feel poorly as you asked him. My inlaws know I don’t like turkey. I’m fine with it in a sandwich or only on Thanksgiving but I don’t like it, and didn’t grow up with it. We do steak when my inlaws are here or when they aren’t. My father is allergic to poultry. 
 

But yes, in normal years I have to eat Turkey for at least a few meals regardless of the holiday.  I usually drop a few lbs during those holidays. 
 

Edit: I recognize this sounds extreme rude. But I won’t apologize for disliking turkey. It’s boring to me and not part of my childhood experience. 

Edited by MetsFan5 (log)
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5 hours ago, MetsFan5 said:

Edit: I recognize this sounds extreme rude. But I won’t apologize for disliking turkey. It’s boring to me and not part of my childhood experience. 

Pretty much the same for me, as I believe I've mentioned here in the past: not a huge fan, and my parents outright disliked turkey, so I didn't grow up with it. I make it for others, basically, and because if I'm the one doing the bird I know that a) it won't be overcooked; and b) it'll be food safe. I like it better as leftovers, truthfully.

 

In bygone years my usual thing was to buy one while they were on sale for cheap at the holidays and then break it down. I could easily coax a dozen meals for my family of four out of a single small- to mid-sized turkey, all of them more interesting than the plain ol' roasted bird (to my taste, I hasten to add). 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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@Porthos – so many people are “funny” about lamb.  It is my favorite red meat, but I was raised by an Englishman. 

 

I’ve bemoaned my failure at having cracklings elsewhere, so I won’t go into it here, but suffice to say that I was disappointed in that part of the Xmas Eve.  Nothing else disappointed, though.  It turned out to be a very good dinner.  The table:

IMG_4436.thumb.jpg.6ab1aeec0bf5854967e4db183f8ae9f4.jpg

 

In spite of the crackling fail, I just love SV for cooking a pork roast.  They were incredibly tender and positively glistened!  Fresh Market pork:

IMG_4442.jpg.98f6710fba04c021fc27898100b8afb9.jpg

 

Butcher shop w/ skin:

IMG_4444.jpg.ce24d7e3ec98bf283d31bcc09f49d0b9.jpg

 

IMG_4445.jpg.4d3bc4d20fa55acdfc3fd6c115c5a7dc.jpg

I wish that I had a better picture of the butcher shop meat – other than the cracklings fail (my fault), it was gorgeous.  Mr. Kim and Jessica thought it was measurably better than the (very good) FM one.  Even with my compromised taste buds, I could tell the difference. 

 

Gravy:

IMG_4447.jpg.6e7ef7493738d14b72260a92948078c6.jpg

 

Fruit salad:

IMG_4441.jpg.e3c58fc304cd511b9da8b1437870eecf.jpg

 

Jessica’s roasted mushrooms:

IMG_4443.jpg.4a75f208557898563bb59aa28af27b75.jpg

 

@Marlene’s Broccoli Gratin w/ Streusel:

IMG_4446.jpg.ea640b35204ee8db4d6ed1c71d55e4a8.jpg

 

Jessica’s sweet potato latkes:

IMG_4452.jpg.ea39d91e3925e4b828d2ce3d35f47185.jpg

These are so good – topped with Brie and dressed arugula. 

 

Sweet cornbread muffins:

IMG_4448.thumb.jpg.5b896b24aa10f2a63d854c31f635c4a0.jpg

This was another of the evening’s failures.  I am a fan of all kinds of cornbread, I am not someone who limits my tastes to just one sort.  I loved my grandmother’s coarse, crumbly, all white cornmeal version.  I like a more cakey, slightly sweet cornbread.  Heck, I even like Jiffy.  The whole spectrum.  Or so I thought.  Since I also like the cakey, sweet cornbread, I’ve been interested in various recipes I’ve seen over the years for a true cornbread CAKE version.  The one I decided to try was quite popular.  They were so weird that Jessica and I couldn’t eat them.  They were basically Jiffy mix and a yellow cake mix with some eggs and milk added.  I didn’t mind the texture (very cake-like, but gritty/crunchy from the Jiffy mix), but the overly sweet and vanilla-ed overtones from the cake mix just made it unpalatable to us.  Blech!  And the lady who posted the recipe said it made 12 muffins.  Well, it made 12 muffins PLUS a 9x9-inch panful.  Jessica suggested brulee-ing the “muffins” and trying to do a Southern version of a Tres Leches cake.  We’ll see – they are both in the freezer awaiting my decision.

 

Herb butter:

IMG_4440.jpg.a5dc26f5818ce2d83ccde4cf325d7880.jpg

Well, that was good anyway. 😉

 

This is what we drank with dinner:

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Perfect and delicious.

 

Christmas morning:

IMG_4484.thumb.jpg.fcfe71331f45cc9020dbf6a22a095f75.jpg

 

IMG_4503.jpg.094aadccf40d68120254e8e02f01958d.jpg

 

IMG_4504.jpg.e4bc490cd4bee22a50b8633da6e742a4.jpg

 

Christmas dinner:

IMG_4530.thumb.jpg.3953dd611b6a6d356bfc75f8f3f5ed8a.jpg

 

The turkey:

IMG_4520.jpg.85244579bfa2e532af43dece2aa8f27b.jpg

 

IMG_4521.jpg.bd6335ab5a60fbee049e0396b81d7219.jpg

I applied a dry brine on the 23rd.  It was a recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian that calls for salt, sumac (I used za’atar – it’s what I had), black pepper, and herbes de Provence.  It was cooked in the Nesco roaster.  I hadn’t used it in a really long time, and I’d forgotten how much more quickly it cooks than the directions say.  So, it was OVERdone (190F breast temperature) an hour early.  Consequently, it sat out for over two hours and was only hot because the gravy was.  But it was delicious.  Tender, juicy – not sure if it was the Nesco or the ‘brine’, but I’m guessing some of each.  We really like turkey and I need to make it more often.  It was a 12 lb. turkey, I think and we are almost done with it.  All three of us love hot and cold sandwiches and detest deli turkey.  

 

Relishes:

Pimento cheese and celery:

IMG_4525.jpg.72f59c54c09889257232f5df00a3a3c3.jpg

 

Pickly things:

IMG_4527.thumb.jpg.2f37b5733493535b81e729ec2bd3455a.jpg

 

Cranberry orange sauce:

IMG_4524.jpg.5bd90712b40b1516f93ae5905e862803.jpg

 

Jessica’s challah and dried fruit dressing:

IMG_4522.jpg.a2837c9861ede49bf1c73b80425aaa12.jpg

Fabulous, as always.

 

Brussels sprouts:

IMG_4523.jpg.e0b7e1a52f856bb6768564af2c2d857c.jpg

A little overdone, but tasted great.

 

Twice baked cheese potatoes:

IMG_4526.jpg.9ae57671f930be6d49d23a1cb28240cb.jpg

 

Sweet potato souffle:

IMG_4528.jpg.6d691fbe3966e94af55ca9d899e53ab0.jpg

 

Sister Schubert rolls:

IMG_4534.jpg.bc8a7b7deec5f6d6cfc9ff4e344de13c.jpg

Much better than that icky “cornbread”. 🙄

 

Plates:

IMG_4531.jpg.053ca8a769410c76b2cbec4cdb95a262.jpg

I somehow missed getting a picture of the gravy and of my plate after the application of gravy.  Oh, well, here’s a picture from March – it looked exactly the same:

gravy.jpg.9d3e58be275df18d5dc066f1bc3ff87a.jpg

 

IMG_4532.thumb.jpg.b8212a2d1cc9b9015fc79cefe4644703.jpg

 

IMG_4453.jpg.cd16413a66ab649a8a2d3f0232acb1ca.jpg

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On 12/26/2020 at 11:14 AM, Darienne said:

What's this thing I keep seeing...Mac and Cheese as a Christmas dish?

It's served at all of my family gatherings, holiday or not.

I started the ball rolling with Patti LaBelle's recipe "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Mac & Cheese" (originally from her cookbook). My family enjoyed it immensely. I emailed the recipe to my niece who called me on her cellphone crying at the grocery store, "Uncle Tim...I've got the 5 cheeses used in the recipe and it's already costing over $40!". I told her I would reimburse her for everything when I saw her next. :)

She has now tweaked the recipe (not sure how, but I could guess) and it's even better. Pre-Pandemic we would get dinner guests who would bring their own plastic storage containers to take the mac & cheese leftovers home with them.

 

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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47 minutes ago, Toliver said:

It's served at all of my family gatherings, holiday or not.

I started the ball rolling with Patti LaBelle's recipe "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Mac & Cheese" (originally from her cookbook). My family enjoyed it immensely. I emailed the recipe to my niece who called me on her cellphone crying at the grocery store, "Uncle Tim...I've got the 5 cheeses used in the recipe and it's already costing over $40!". I told her I would reimburse her for everything when I saw her next. :)

She has now tweaked the recipe (not sure how, but I could guess) and it's even better. Pre-Pandemic we would get dinner guests who would bring their own plastic storage containers to take the mac & cheese leftovers home with them.

 

Looked up the recipe and was stunned!  Simply stunned!

 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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50 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Looked up the recipe and was stunned!  Simply stunned!

 

So....1 lb of macaroni uses 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 4 cups of various cheeses plus a cup of cream. Rich, you think? Americans will eat mac and cheese at the drop of a hat, as far as I can tell. Thanksgiving, xmas, whenever it's available. I get a craving maybe once a year, but mine is modest compared to many. And I always have a side of roasted green chiles to add, NM style! I admit that at Thanksgiving 2019 a new guest brought a big casserole of mac and cheese, which was his tradition. And since I am so bored of the traditional turkey and fixings it was a welcome change. 

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13 hours ago, gfweb said:

@Kim Shook
Gorgeous food and decorations! We had Christmas crackers too, a bit disappointing though this year. No pop and no decent toy.

 

 

 

 

 

We all got pops, but instead of toys we got little ornaments.  Fine for us but not sure that a child would be happy with it!  But better than what passes for a Cracker Jack prize these days! 😄

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17 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

So....1 lb of macaroni uses 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 4 cups of various cheeses plus a cup of cream. Rich, you think? 

You think I'm going to serve the ubiquitous Blue Box version to my family? No, no, & no.

Patti LaBelle did write a "Lite" cookbook (click) (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) and in it I believe she made her mam & cheese more healthy, if you're into that sort of thing.

In the original recipe she counts Velveeta as one of the 5 cheeses but I won't quibble with her. I grew up eating Velveeta cheese sandwiches (with Miracle Whip :B, to add insult to injury) in some of my school brown bag lunches. So it is a sort of "cheese" (to be used with the air quotes).

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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1 minute ago, Toliver said:

You think I'm going to serve the ubiquitous Blue Box version to my family? No, no, & no.

Patti LaBelle did write a "Lite" cookbook (click) (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) and in it I believe she made her mam & cheese more healthy, if you're into that sort of thing.

In the original recipe she counts Velveeta as one of the 5 cheeses but I won't quibble with her. I grew up eating Velveeta cheese sandwiches (with Miracle Whip :B, to add insult to injury) in some of my school brown bag lunches. So it is a sort of "cheese" (to be used with the air quotes).

There are three things in life that are the reason for velveeta to exist:

 

1. Mac and cheese (used 1:2 with a sharp cheddar)

2. Pimiento cheese spread (used 1:1 with a sharp cheddar)

3. Ro-Tel dip (100 percent Velveeta)

 

Fortunately, it lasts forever in the fridge.

 

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www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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19 minutes ago, kayb said:

3. Ro-Tel dip (100 percent Velveeta)


I had to google that. I have never heard of Ro-Tel before, nor have I ever had a product based on that description. It sounds good though, and that dip must be delicious ...

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45 minutes ago, Duvel said:


I had to google that. I have never heard of Ro-Tel before, nor have I ever had a product based on that description. It sounds good though, and that dip must be delicious ...

 

It is just tomatoes chopped with green chile and sometimes onion garlic flavorings in a can. The brand name is Ro-Tel.  and the processed cheese melted in always Velveeta or a knock 0ff. . MW usually. My group likes it with a can of refried pinto beans mixed in. If it stiffens up just pop back in MW. With decent corn tortilla chips - total party comfort food. Absorbs alcohol well as added party benefit.  https://www.ro-tel.com/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velveeta

Edited by heidih (log)
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4 hours ago, heidih said:

 

It is just tomatoes chopped with green chile and sometimes onion garlic flavorings in a can. The brand name is Ro-Tel.  and the processed cheese melted in always Velveeta or a knock 0ff. . MW usually. My group likes it with a can of refried pinto beans mixed in. If it stiffens up just pop back in MW. With decent corn tortilla chips - total party comfort food. Absorbs alcohol well as added party benefit.  https://www.ro-tel.com/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velveeta

I truly love the idea of adding refried beans and will try that next time!  Instead of Rotel, I've always used salsa.  

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Who else loves to make fresh pizza's, pasta's or bread?? I know I do!! Unless you touch and feel your food, there's no satisfaction, right? Baking some things for the new year's, what all are you guys cooking or baking?

 

Ps: Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year to my folks here :) Keep cooking, keep sharing.

WhatsApp Image 2020-12-19 at 1.31.41 AM.jpeg

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We took the grandkids (2 and 5) for NYE so their parents could have a bit of downtime and relax and celebrate a bit in their own right. So...no going out for us, but I wouldn't exactly call it "low key." :P

 

Things mellowed a lot after the little guy dozed off. The 5 yo was determined to see in the New Year with us, so we put on The Neverending Story and sat together on the couch with a tray of nibblies (Boursin, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, cold garlic shrimp, crackers, sliced ciabatta). A glass of wine for my GF, local microbrew for me, apple juice for the granddaughter.

 

...and my 2021 began with an enthusiastic serenade on drums and recorder, delivered by the 2yo. I wasn't quite caffeinated enough to enjoy it in the correct spirit, but at least managed to pay lip service (as one does, when grandparenting).

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Nice snack array. As for the noise as a kid I'd encourage my cousin to play his trumpet at midnite (he was awful. On a cooler note the man across the street was of Swiss heritage. He came out and played his huge Alpenhorn. We stayed up just for that!

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I can but hope my New Year's Day is a holdover from 2020 and not indicative of how 2021 is going to go.

 

First off, I had one brandy too many (never got to the liquor store to get champagne) last night while welcoming the New Year, and consequently slept until 9, which threw my whole morning schedule off.

 

Then I discovered the fan turned on to dry out the underneath of the dishwasher so the leak sensor would quit (we had had to take it apart to clean out a gummed up filter day before yesterday) had, in fact, worked. But another sensor was now showing. So I spent an hour or so working on that; no joy. I then commenced to wash, by hand, the contents of the dishwasher and the dishes we had managed to dirty yesterday. Consequently, the latkes did not get either made or eaten; the caviar remains unopened; the black-eyed peas and greens remain unstarted. I did just finish a slice of GF toast from a loaf of ATK's gluten free sandwich bread, with some of Greek fir honey I got for Christmas. Bread was OK. Honey was marvelous.

 

At least the activity has mostly cleared my fuzzy head.

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@kayb The upside - you allowed yourself to enjoy the honey. At least you have mechanical skills - I am hopeless even with the best U-Tube videos as guidance. Is fir honey from bees who frequent fir trees? We had fruit orchard but also a ton of eucalyptus so you never knew what a round of emptying the frames would yield. Always good though. As for the cooking - tomorrow is Saturday - just re-start 2021.  Not a fan here of rule books ;)

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Split pea soup came out very nicely though it is dark beige from the soyrizo - image not worth it. Corn bread amped with lots of flat leaf parsley as the "green". Nice addition. Leftovers for future for sure.

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Took your advice, @heidih. This morning is going much better than yesterday's did. I declare it an official do-over. Happy New Year!

 

(Note: I did not eat the damn scorched peas nor the nasty greens. I'm going to trust that cooking -- and burning -- them was sufficient.)

 

@Norm Matthews -- try cooking your peas from dried with a couple of big spoonsful of "community organizer" from Vivian Howard's This Will Make It Taste Good. I had eaten a similar relish on peas since I was a kid, but that book made me try cooking with it. From the taste of 'em before they scorched, it worked well.

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