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Monday, November 26, 2007

Situation Normal

Or what passes for normal around here. I managed not to gain any weight over Thanksgiving, by dint of obsessively exercising every single day, no matter how desperately I wanted to be having tea and scones with clotted cream instead. Hot damn, what is it about cream that makes it so delicious, no matter what you do with it? Boil it into a thick sauce for chicken (which is what I did for dinner tonight), or clot it up with sugar and spread it with jam on scones, I love it. You know what Julia Child always said: "If you're afraid of butter, use cream."

ANYway, normal. Sort of. What's really happening is the big ramp up to Christmas, which for me, begins the instant the sun goes down on Thanksgiving. I have a strict moratorium on Christmas pre-Turkey Day; I'm as annoyed as anyone when Santa shows up at the Walgreens just after Halloween. But once we get through Thanksgiving, it's all about Rudolph and Frosty.

My parents and younger sister are coming up to Ohio this year, which is nice for us, since we've been traveling almost nonstop for months. Our dog, Hunter, is especially pleased. He's already envisioning the spillage opportunities on the proposed dinner we're thinking about for Christmas Eve. A traditional English feast! Standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, something green I haven't decided on yet (and really only for color diversity), and our favorite sticky toffee pudding for desert. We first had sticky toffee pudding on our honeymoon, at Rule, the oldest restaurant in London. It changed my life. Who knew that pureed dates mixed with a strange British concoction called Lyle's Golden Syrup made such a delicious dish? But it does.

And ok, if I keep thinking about this sort of thing, I won't be making it through the rest of the holidays with the same stellar numbers I managed on Thanksgiving.

I'm going to be exercising for at least an hour a day for the rest of my life, but it'll be worth it. Anybody got any good green side dish recipes to suggest?


I think broccoli rabe is a nice side dish. The slight bitterness is a good mix with all that fatty food.

I've made a standing rib roast for Christmas for like the last 5 years. People expect it of me. I cook the entire side of ribs, not just 5 or 6, and rarely have enough left over for more than 2 or 3 sandwiches.

It's a real crowd pleaser.

How do you cook it? Stud with garlic, just seasoned with salt and pepper? If it's not a family secret, I'd love to know.

No way! We are thinking about the same thing, to make Miriam less homesick. The sticky toffee puddings are a must.

How about roast sprouts for a green side?

Sticky toffee pudding.... Can I come?

Would I sound boring if I suggested some lovely green beans?

I make a traditional Cuban dinner for Christmas (noche buena)- this means lechon (roast pork) and black beans and rice. Your dinner sounds absolutely scrumptious!!

Oooh, Maria, I want to come to YOUR house for dinner! Airmail me the leftovers?

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