Saturday, December 19, 2009

Latkes & Christmas Trees (A Very Festive Sunday).

12.13.2009, Sunday. A very fitting day to acquire a Christmas tree (my first adult purchase of a Christmas tree). The Christmas tree itself was quite an adventure, what with the seven chain stores (multiple Walmarts!) we had to visit in order to locate BLUE Christmas lights & the fact that the first snowflakes fell just as we were selecting the tree in Hadley & we then had the pleasure of driving home in a gorgeous early snow with the tree on the roof of the car. So all of that is a story in itself, & NOW we come to the food...
The epic search for Christmas lights in the essential colour of blue led us to not eat all day yet again so the first step when we returned home laden with BLUE lights & tinsel garlands was this...
A roast chicken, with garlic & rosemary, & stuffed with a dried cherry & shallot stuffing. We used one of the metal ties from the Walmart Christmas lights to sew the chicken together after we stuffed it (so resourceful!). Oh & lots of butter was everywhere.
& yes I am half Jewish & Hanukkah had just begun , so LATKES! (basic recipe: grated potatoes, yukon gold in this case, an onion, an egg). Which were fried in the chicken fat we collected as the chicken roasted (not kosher) (but still the reason we were roasted the chicken). This is non religious but very traditional holiday cooking here, traditional only in the sense of what feels like how you remember it. This feels right, for a half Jewish half Catholic girl raised with zero religion but a hell of a lot of respect for ritual. The other reason we roasted the chicken was that it could smell like Sunday dinner while we decorated the tree. Shit like that's important to me.
By the time we roasted an entire chicken in order to produce the chicken fat in which to fry the latkes, & still hadn't eaten anything, we were starving, & for people who had done a shit ton of cooking, we ate a very informal meal of a shared pile of latkes on the same plate (the chicken wasn't eaten at all that night, but stay tuned for what I did with the ample leftovers).
& then while decorating the tree we realized we had an excess of key limes in the pantry (long story) & well, KEY LIME PIE had to happen. This led to a mad excursion to Stop & Shop ten minutes before they closed in the midst of slush & ice & snow (dreaded "wintery mix" as The Weather Channel likes to say). But then we didn't make the pie. But we did the next night. & stay tuned for pie leftovers leading to dancing, also. Note on the Key Lime Pie: I am well aware Key Lime Pie is not traditionally topped with meringue but I like it to be. So we stayed up late hand beating egg white to make it happen. My key lime pie is really a lemon meringue/key lime hybrid & it's perfect, in my humble opinion.
So tonight, before it begins to snow in Massachusetts, Happy celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Abigail's birthday, oncoming snowstorm, whatever you like, hopefully with glitter, the only way to truly celebrate at least according to Eating & Drawing.

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