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devil duck

Xmas cooking and celebrations

Christmas eve lunch: leftover roasted green beans, leftover carrot slaw, leftover creamed spinach, leftover fire-eater chicken, leftover beef-broccoli stir-fry (which in turn had been made with leftover beef tenderloin)

Took the Things for a long walk in the park. Have I mentioned that I really like having a square mile of wooded park, a block and a half from home? Weather was gorgeous, the snow-filled woods are gorgeous, Things and shalmestere are gorgeous, etc.

Christmas eve dinner: two-inch-thick venison chops (from the Greenmarket), pan-fried and topped with gin-juniper-balsamic reduction sauce; a side dish of sauteed leeks (from the Greenmarket) and mushrooms (from the Greenmarket) with poudre fort; and a side dish of baby potatoes (from the Greenmarket) roasted in duck fat (left over from last year's Christmas or New Year's dinner).

After dinner, I dug out the car (half of last week's foot of snow had already melted, so this wasn't an enormous job), changed clothes, and we drove to the Cathedral for midnight mass. Got home around 1 AM, walked the Things, went to bed and didn't get up until the next morning...

We made aebleskiver/poffertjes for breakfast, filled variously with chocolate pastilles, jelly, bacon buttercrunch, and chocolate-covered ginger. Yum. Ate these on the couch while opening prezzies, of which a large fraction were various kinds of chocolate: blood-orange dark chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds, Trinidads from Indiana, chocolate-pecan-bourbon balls from Kentucky, firecracker bars with capsaicin and pop-rocks, sugar-free "Mayan spice" chocolate bars, and I don't remember what else. Perhaps the Kewlest gift (potentially; I haven't actually delved into it yet) was a four-DVD set of family stories, old photographs and videos from my mother's side of the family.

The present-opening part of Christmas is often more fun when there's a small child involved: their excitement is infectious. (Of course, so is their crankiness when they're sleep-deprived and don't get what they want....) Conveniently, Thing Two does an excellent impression of a small child: every time a gift came out from under the tree, he was there on the spot, convinced that it must be for him. We did not give him any of the numerous chocolates, but we do have a photo of him wearing shalmestere's scarf and my hat, both knitted by marchforth2.

Anyway, after that episode, we took the Things for another long walk in the snow-filled woods. The weather was cloudier than yesterday, but the woods are still beautiful.

Christmas afternoon dinner: a pheasant from the Greenmarket, stuffed with apple and onion, with thyme-sage-chive butter rubbed under the skin of the breast to keep it moist, and roast. Armored turnips: we didn't have enough Cheddar in the house (and Cheddar didn't exist in the 15th century anyway), so I supplemented it with Brie, which made it nice and creamy. Brussels sprouts (from the Greenmarket), halved, caramelized in a frying pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then roasted in the oven. Russian Cream topped with strawberry-Grand Marnier puree.

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