NewWifey(tm) got a letter from her mother this morning:
Yes, NewWifey(tm) named her Animal Crossing character “Soylent”. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to give me a hint. (Some pretty dark stuff pops up in that universe. One note I found on the beach said, “If you’re reading this, it’s too late for me. Please see that Mary and the kids are taken care of.” Another said, “Right now I’m writing to you from far, far away. (signed) Your Conscience“. Rather grim sentiments for a game targeting 8 year old girls. And me.)
So tomorrow is Christmas. I hope you finally get that pony this year. (And if you do, drop me a note. I’ve got some great recipes).
Me? I had the forethought to request the day off months ago, so earlier this week I bought a ton of classic holiday foodstuffs (spent 3 days making a demi-glace from 10 pounds of bones for a sauce for the crown roast!), wrapped all my presents and put them under the tree THAT I DECORATED, set up a timer so the Yule Log Christmas Soundtrack will blast us out of bed at 6am, put two bottles of Pol Roger NV Champagne to chill in the fridge for breakfast, and purchased a fresh tub of KY Warming Gel for our traditional after-breakfast festivities. Santa may come but once a year, but that doesn’t mean we have to.
And then my boss called yesterday.
They’re shorthanded. I have to work Christmas.
The worst part was breaking the news to NewWifey(tm).
“So…no morning boink?”
“I’m sorry. It’ll have to be an afternoon boink this year. And you’ll have to start cooking the feast for me. I won’t be home til 2, earliest.”
She stared at me as if I’d asked her to perform ambulatory brain surgery on herself. “Cook? A crown roast?”
“It’s actually pretty easy” I said, “All you have to do is French the bone ends, then get some butcher’s twine and – ”
With that she turned, grabbed her car keys, and took off down the street. I kid you not, she was out the door before I even finished the sentence.
A half hour later she returned and slammed a grocery bag on the counter.
“We’re having lasagna for Christmas.”
I opened the bag. Yup, there was a lasagna in there alright. A frozen one, “Now with 2X the meat required by the Lasagna With Meat Sauce Standard”. (Huh?)
“That’s not very festive” I said.
“Wait here” she said.
30 seconds later…
“There. Now it’s festive”:
Yeah, it sure is.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you get to unwrap someone nice under your tree tomorrow.
And…just in case:
- 1⅓ Ib (600 g) of ground horse meat
- 2 Tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons of beef stock
- 2 Tablespoons of dark beer
- 1 Onion
- ½ Cup of beef stock
- 1½ Cup of heavy cream
- White pepper
- 1 Small knob of organic butter
- A pinch of sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of corn starch, mixed with a little cold water
- 2 Ib of potatoes
- ½ Cup of warm milk (you might not need it all)
- 3 Tablespoons of organic butter
- Cup of Vinegar
- Cup of Water
- Tablespoon of salt
- ⅓ Cup of sugar
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1½ Cups of lingonberries
- 1½ Cups of sugar
- A few sprigs of dill
- Start by preparing the pickled cucumber. Mix water, sugar, salt and vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk until sugar and salt is disolved completely. Finely slice the cucumber, and add to the bowl. Make sure they are completely covered by the fluid. Add bayleaf, and put in the refridgerator for at least one hour.
- Rinse the lingonberries thoroughly and put them in a bowl. Pour in the sugar, and gently stir until sugar is disolved. Store in the refridgerator until serving.
- Peel and grate the onion coarsely. Then gently fry it on a medium warm pan together with a little bit of butter until golden brown.
- In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, heavy cream, beer and stock. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Place the ground horse meat in a large bowl, add the browned onions and the beer / bread mixture . Season with salt and pepper, and mix together well. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Roll the meat into small balls with a diameter of roughly one inch. Fry them in batches together with a little butter or sunflower oil. They are ready when they are slightly crispy on the outside. Set aside while making the sauce.
- Deglace the frying pan with a littlewater and add the stock. Reduce by half, and then add the cream. Bring to a simmer, and thicken with butter and corn starch. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Taste and season it with salt, sugar and white pepper.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce, or serve them separately.
- Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until soft. Pass through a sieve into a large bowl to get the finest and smoothest mash. Add the butter, and then the milk slowly as you whisk the potatoes. Do not add ALL milk at once, you might not need more than just a few drops, depending on what potato you are using. Season with salt and add more butter if you want a creamier taste.
- Garnish with dill