Monday, January 3, 2011

A Whirlwind Tour of Holiday Eating

Much was consumed during recent days of revelry.

Going back to Chanukah, at Amanda's Annual Hot Oil Party we made olibollen: the yeasty Dutch donuts (translation = "fat balls") for which our dog is named. And here's a picture of the canine Olibollen knocking a snowball out of Elise's hand.

Knocked out by Elise's hand was this fabulous chicken liver pâté. We used MB's recipe, substituting Maker's Mark for cognac, going with my beloved "because that's what we had" principle of cooking.

The bourbon turned out to be a welcome addition. If I ran a gastropub, I would have to serve bourbon pâté, and would be obliged to write something obnoxious about it on the menu, using the phrase "with a distinctly American bite." Later we mixed Maker's Mark with champagne, which was dubbed a Pagne-Maker or a Cha-Ma (for the Jews). Because that's what we had, and because we'd had too much.

Christmas was spent feasting with former T&F contributors Dave and Karen. Karen made cassoulet, and while she chopped the bacon, the heavens showed their approval by spilling buttery light all over the kitchen.

While the cassoulet gurgled, we warmed gingerbread cookies on the lid of the Dutch oven.

Dave made an aspic from a Chez Panisse cookbook. It was like chicken salad from space.

E. and I made D&K some edible presents. These included too-gingery apple sauce, pink kraut, currant-coconut granola and anise-black pepper cranberry-cider compote. Yeah, we're foochebags.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of holiday season eating was a breakfast of homemade bagels and lox.

Earlier in the week Karen cured gravlox, and I made scallion bagels using a foolproof Joan Nathan recipe that ran with one of my first articles. I let the dough sit in the fridge overnight, which was an improvement. I also over-greased some of the pans, which means a few bagels came out with their butts fried in olive oil. Again, an improvement.

Hope you ate well too.

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Ruth said...

What a beautiful post! I'm really impressed by the level of "from scratch." If you want to get your bagels and other bread off the pan without frying their butts in oil, use parchment paper. It's saved many loaves of bread for me!

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