Christmas goodies, Day 2

December 23, 2010

It is 7:23 a.m. and I am eating a freshly baked bran muffin and baking sweet potatos. It looks like a major kitchen kinda day.

The sweet potatos are going to make whole wheat sweet potato bread (at least two loaves, maybe four if I get ambitious), and sweet potato ravioli. I still have pralines to do, and another batch or two of cheese wafers. I found a killer recipe for coconut macaroons, and I think I have coconut, so those go on the list, along with the skillet oatmeal cookies. NS and I made four batches of fudge — white chocolate walnut, butterscotch almond, chocolate pecan, and peanut butter — last night; sure is helpful to have a 15-year-old to stir!

Must dash to the grocery at some point and get cocoa and flour, as I thought I had another five-pound bag of all-purpose but I can’t find it. I’m about to go through this one I bought yesterday, and two more recipes of cheese wafers plus one recipe of bread will finish it off.

The coconut macaroons. I love me a coconut macaroon. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, God bless her (I really want her How To Eat Supper cookbook for Christmas, btw), sent it out this morning in her Wednesday e-mail, along with one for white chili that I may have to make around New Year’s (since I still have a buttload of posole from last night, and that stuff was some kinda spicy. I shouldn’t’ve added that last chipotle). I’ve never made coconut macaroons before, and these sound so simple as to not be believed — 3 cups coconut, 1/4 cup minced candied ginger, 1/2 cup sugar, a generous pinch of salt, and two eggs. Period. The end. I think they’ll make delightful gift boxes, alternated with the fudgy oatmeal cookies, on top of a layer of assorted fudge, topped with a layer of pralines. You think?

UPDATE: It is now 24 hours later. I got the sweet potato bread done — meh. It’s heavy. I’ll take it to Memphis today, and we’ll use it for toast and such. Fudge and pralines turned out well. I’m contemplating what all I need to take to Memphis with me. I have a ham that needs to come out of the freezer; the stuff for cranberry salad that I didn’t get made yesterday; pecans, on the basis you can always use pecans for something; bacon jam and cheese wafers for gifts; the extra fudge to get it the hell out of the house before I eat it all (already ate all the left-over pralines). I’d take the posole, except Kids’ Godmother doesn’t do real spicy stuff.

I am seriously contemplating making Daube de Bouef a la Gasconne — beef stew in the style of Gascony — over the New Year’s weekend, just because I saw the recipe for the first time yesterday and it made my mouth water. It takes three days to cook; Day 1, you marinate; Day 2, you brown the beef, make the sauce, and cook; Day 3, you skim the fat, strain the sauce, puree the veggies to stir back in, and cook again. And you use three different cuts of meat. I mean, that sounds pretty wonderful.

H’mm. I think I’ll take that chuck roast in the freezer with me, and make Carbonnades a la Flamande for Christmas Eve. Over egg noodles. That sounds nice.

Christmas shopping is finished, I think, unless I have an “Oops!” moment on the way to Memphis. Although I do need to stop and get some kind of gray sweater to wear for the family photos tomorrow.

OK. I gots packing to do and presents to wrap and such. You and y’mama ‘n ’em have a wonderful long holiday weekend!

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