Christmas night

December 25, 2008

The kitchen looks like a tornado hit is. We made a 8 pd. leg of lamb and served it with baby carrots (there were baby and full sized in our CSA share), new potatoes (CSA), roasted fennel and creamed pearl onions. It was…really good.

This Christmas at "home" in NYC has been…INSANE. Hubbie’s parents are in town (and we are so thankful for the visit, yes) and EVERYONE sent food. So far the tally is:

– One stollen baked by a random cousin
– 1 large box of sausages and cheeses from Murray’s Cheese (woot. yeah. rock on.)
– 1 WONDERFUL ginger cake from Zingermann’s in Michigan (so tasty)
– 1 tin of chocolate covered pecans (from Alabama yet from a lawyer I work for, randomly…and thoughtfully. Small farm.)
– 1 bottle of Veuve (another lawyer)
– 1 bottle of a really nice Cote de Rhone I’m enjoying…right now (another lawyer)
– huge box of grapefruits and tangelos from Florida

The last on the list is from my sweet 90 year old great-Aunt living in Sarasota and her younger man, Uncle Bob who is 81. They went to a local farm in their area and sent us local produce. Um…rock on. Seriously, this is very likely my favorite gift besides the hubbies surprise of the first season of "Weeds" on DVD (he knows I worship the Mary Louise Parker bigtime). My elderly relatives went to a LOCAL SMALL FAMILY OWNED FARM…you know, near them and they sent out Christmas gifts of those products. AWEsome. We have realllly enjoyed them, too. Citrus can last out and then in the fridge for over a month but we are down to one grapefruit. woot.

 Just indulged in the Vosges Naga Bar in an attempt to finish tasting every one. This one is 41% cacao deep milk chocolate with sweet Indian curry powder and coconut flakes.

I have to say that after the bar with chile I wasn’t expecting much but this is wonderful. The curry is very strong but balanced really well with the sweetness of the coconut and the richness of the chocolate. The box doesn’t say but I also taste salt which where chocolate is concerned is always a good thing. This is one of my favorites… I would say the Barcelona bar, Mo’s Bacon and this one are so far the best. I think this is definitely one of the bars that is worth shelling out the dough for…

I’ve fallen in love again with the Cuban pork burrito at Whole Paycheck. I lurv it. Went down to Union Square on the 4 on my lunch hour to get one. Grabbed a sparkly water, too, and was going to have a really tasty economical meal until I saw them:

 Mini Exotic Candy Bars - Mini Barcelona Candy Bar
Vosges “Haut Chocolat” – the Barcelona Bar. I saw a display of the “minis”. I could not run. I could not hide.

People are starving right here in the city I live in but I just paid $1.99 for a .5 oz “bar” of chocolate. However, I gotta say…it was quality. It was like when you get an $80 windfall and you know you need sweaters, so you buy one good cashmere instead of 4 at the Old Navy, 2 of which will have holes in them upon their second wearing.

I enjoyed my cashmere and I’ll carry the memory of it with me always. I’m also INSPIRED. This one, the aforementioned “Barcelona Bar” contained hickory smoked almonds, grey sea salt and deep milk chocolate. The cacao percentage is 41% and I am VERY MUCH a 60% and up kind of woman so when I say that the milk/fat was needed…it truly was. A perfect balance. I’m seriously going to either create or die trying… a baked good recipe based on this combo. It is important.

COOKIE MONSTER:    Congressman, me no TAKE the cookies.  Me EAT the cookies.”
 
CONGRESS:                What’s the difference?
 
COOKIE MONSTER:    Take begins with a “T,” and eat begins with an “E.”  I just wanted to clear that point up.