Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after Christmas.

I have the day off. I could go grocery shopping (the contents of my fridge: half - or rather more than half - a roast chicken, one onion, and some leftover Brussels sprouts sautéed with hedgehog mushrooms), or I could go watch National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. I choose grocery shopping. (The movie can wait until another day). Whole Foods is quiet for once, even in the late morning. After the holiday rush they are out of mushrooms, the white buttons, the brown creminis, the big portabellos. Never mind. I buy potatoes, onions, celery, a few carrots. In my mind I have already moved past last night's Christmas dinner, now only a memory.

As usual, I had gone to D.'s house. Like Thanksgiving, it was a small(er) gathering, fourteen people, all of us in the kitchen together. The usual suspects, minus a few. I arrived bearing my cake, a pint of cream (minus the four and a half tablespoons I needed for icing the cake), and two shallow containers of Red Rooster. (D. had made the Red Rooster a few days before and left it in the freezer), and the way she makes it, it turns out to be vodka flavoured with a little orange and cranberry juice). The smell of roast prime rib and caramelized onions filled the air. (When the roast came out of the oven and was placed on the table, I started eating the onions straight from the pan, hot and sweet and spicy with black pepper).

The menu was simple - the prime rib, perfectly rare, a green salad, mashed potatoes, a fruit salad (involving fruit salad, hard-boiled eggs, and Miracle whip - I am not sure of the origins of this dish, but it is strangely addictive), hot rolls (crescents from those cardboard tubes that pop open with a bang), and king crab legs - and there was tons of everything. We ate and ate and ate and then took a break for a movie before returning for dessert. My cake was fragrant with bourbon and rich with figs and nutty and spicy and if it was slightly on the dry side, a dollop of whipped cream (whipped with my new cordless stick blender) was all I needed to make it perfect. I staggered home, stuffed full and laden with presents and collapsed on the sofa.

But that was yesterday. Today I have groceries to buy, a whole week of dinners to plan. I'll mash some potatoes to eat with the leftover roast chicken tonight; I'll make soup with the carcass and the vegetables later on in the week. Another night I'll make fried rice, or mini-cheeseburgers, and with the last of the cheese I can make macaroni and cheese. They are out of bacon (unthinkable!) so I buy a thick slice of ham to chop up for the fried rice and perhaps the macaroni and cheese as well. I buy bread and smoked salmon spread and pâté for lunch; milk and juice and fruit and yogurt. Three bags of groceries later, I am on my way home. Ready for the week ahead.

1 comment:

jenblanck said...

I hope you had a most wonderful Christmas. It sounds like you did. I picture you there, with your friends, cooking and eating, and having fun a la "Big Chill." Without the dead friend, of course. If I remember that movie correctly, they are gathered for a funeral...?