Stuff You Should Know

The Half-Assed Gourmand #4 (Christmas edition)


Merry Christmas, everyone! By now, I’m sure you and your families are gathered underneath the Christmas tree, exchanging and unwrapping gifts—probably having a bit of a nosh in the form of danishes or pastries or Christmas cookies or whatever. (If you are…how about passing some over this way?)

The big Shreve family Christmas festivities probably won’t kick off today until 3:30pm—that’s when my father said he’d run by Rancho Yesteryear and transport me to sister Kat’s for the Christmas Day feast. Kat isn’t too gung-ho over turkey so she’s conned Mom into preparing one of her famous standing rib roasts (which we’ve nicknamed over the years “the roast beast” after How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as the main course…but Mom’s also fixing a small turkey breast as well. A moratorium has been declared on green bean casserole, for which I’m certain Sam Johnson is grateful. (By the way, many thanks for the Christmas card, buddy.)

Last night, I was invited over to Kat’s for some Christmas Eve grub—she and her roommate received a fondue set some time ago, and they cut up pieces of chicken, steak and shrimp (and threw in some lil’ smokies for atmosphere) for us to skewer and cook in oil…marvelous stuff! Veggies were also in the mix—mushrooms and zucchini for the frying—along with pieces of bread (for the cheese portion of the fondue) and they also made homemade wontons, which were positively delightful. (A variety of sauces were also available: barbecue, horseradish, wasabi, peanut and plum—I judged the horseradish best in show.) A great deal of hard work went into the planning of this truly outstanding dinner, so both of them should stand up and take a bow. Afterwards—as A Christmas Story (1983) rolled on in the background—we came to the dessert portion of Fondue Fun Night; a big honkin’ pot of chocolate with strawberries, pound cake, marshmallows, pretzels and bananas for dipping.

When Kat called me yesterday to invite me over I think she was a bit concerned that I wasn’t going to like the fondue concept but hey…I am nothing if not adventurous. And with today’s dinner, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the grub (particularly the rib roast) will be walking me back home to my nostalgia environs—and that’s not a bad thing; it means that my lazy bee-hind won’t have to cook for the next several days. This will probably be the only post for today, so here’s wishing all my friends and fellow bloggers good eats—and if you’re stranded in New York, take comfort in this:


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