03 January 2008

Holiday, part 4: Food

The last, but certainly not least, installment in our Holiday Spectacular is on that topic oh so dear to us: Food.

As Leif has been known to exclaim before a meal, "We eat like kings." All of the advance menu planning we did really paid off in some spectacular meals.

Why do we only eat turkey around the holidays? One evening we had an awesome roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and MY stuffing. For those not familiar with the ongoing battle that is stuffing, let me elaborate.

When I was growing up, my family made stuffing that included raisins, apples, and celery, and substituted apple cider for the traditional chicken stock. To me, this was the right way to make stuffing. It was only later that I realized that most people don't make stuffing this way. Unfortunately, some of those people are Corinne and her family, who prefer the more savory sausage, sage and chicken stock method. And for some reason whenever we would decide to make a stuffing, I would lose the battle and a savory stuffing would result. This time, however, I somehow managed to maintain control of my own kitchen (yes, I'm going to get in trouble with my editor and co-author for writing that). I didn't have a recipe to work from, but I remembered enough to make a pretty dang good sweet stuffing!

Anyway, I digress.

The turkey feast was only one of a string of hits. Other meals centered around a delicious country ham that Reidar brought from a butcher in Tacoma; a famous Donna recipe for pork burros; and what may become a new tradition, the Christmas Eve homemade macaroni and cheese (so good).

But we all know that the foods that really makes a holiday are the sweets, and we had no shortage. Kringle from Larsen's Danish Bakery in Ballard; homemade caramels; homemade almond macaroons, and "sushi" rolls involving some creative use of rice krispie treats and swedish fish.


And perhaps the biggest surprise discovery: Hot Buttered Rum. Ice cream, butter, vanilla, rum, and hot water. Sounds rich and heavy, right? Well, think again. We made several batches and would usually finish off a busy day by warming up with a cup. You'll see that on our Best Recipes of 2007 summary for sure.

The best part is that everyone helped with the cooking! To everyone who joined us for the holidays: Thanks for all of the fun! (And thanks for leaving the leftovers!)

- Mike (& Corinne)

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