Christmas cheer!

December 11, 2016



Well…it’s that time.

It’s Christmas treat time. Got to get up and get on it, tomorrow morning.

We’re going to do pickled knockwurst and quail eggs. We’re going to do fiery pickle chips. We’re going to do bacon jam. We’re going to do beer cheese spread, and we’re going to make Chex mix. We’re going to make gourmet crackers, and we’re going to make homemade eggnog. And since we’re going to have a boatload of egg whites left, we’re going to make meringue cookies.

If we get real ambitious, we’ll make toffee or pralines for a sweet note.

I’ve had a notion to do the pickled eggs and bologna for a good while, sort of hearkening back to my childhood, when the little country grocery up the road always had a gallon jar of pickled bologna and a gallon jar of pickled eggs sitting atop the meat case. Why, I thought, not combine the two? And why not, in a nod to Christmas cute, take things down to cute scale by using quail eggs and knockwurst chunks? They ought to make the cutest little appetizer sized pickled things ever. I’m going to make a basic kosher dill pickle brine, add a hot chile pepper to spice things up (maybe a red one and a green one to make it Christmasy, as long as we’re doing Christmas cute), and can ’em in pints. Done, and done. Aldi has nice knockwurst, a little bigger than frankfurter sized, that I can cut up in inch-long chunks. Must hit the Chinese market for quail eggs; four dozen should do it.

Bacon jam is, well, bacon jam. You’ve seen it. If not, use the search function in the right-hand column and find the latest post that had it. I’ve got a package of Wright’s trimmings and end pieces of bacon in the freezer that I’ll use for that. Chex Mix is Chex Mix, and mine is exceptionally good; it’s based on the Pioneer Woman recipe, but with lots more pecans.

Fiery sweet dill pickle chips. This is something I’ve had, but never made. One takes a gallon jar of el cheapo hamburger dills; one drains them and then packs them in smaller jars. One makes a brine of vinegar, sugar and a Whole Bottle of hot sauce. (I have a new bottle of Louisiana just waiting for this). One pours new brine over readymade chips, seals the jars, and voila!

Pub cheese is another one I’ve had but never made. Grate sharp cheddar; blend in FoPro with cream cheese, mustard, horseradish, beer. Sounds easy enough. May need refrigeration, but I can add it to baskets last-minute. The crackers are this recipe, which bakes up much like a Raincoast Crisp cracker but doesn’t cost both arms and a leg in the specialty cheese-n-cracker section of the grocery.  Must remember to get small foil loaf pans; forgot those at the grocery today.

Homemade eggnog is another new endeavor, another recipe from eGullet. It calls for Everclear. Do you know how long it is since I’ve bought Everclear? Best I recall, I was a freshman in college, and we were making wastebasket punch. Last time I DRANK any Everclear was at a party when the kids were little, when a friend who was known for it brought “Proctor Punch.” He brought it in a big two-gallon Igloo, and sidled over to me and said, “I brought Proctor Punch. But I’ve got the Everclear right here (pint bottle in his pocket). Ain’t put it in yet. I was afraid we might have some amateur drinkers here.” (NB: Diane H., if you’re reading, I KNOW you’re grinning because you know who that was!) (NB2: His Proctor Punch already had vodka in it; the Everclear was just a little something extra.)

Anyway, if I can find some pretty bottles, I’m going to make eggnog and bottle it, and with the resultant egg whites I’ll make meringue cookies, a red batch and a green batch. Finish things off with some toffee or pralines, and that ought to make a quite excellent and festive Christmas basket.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em don’t laugh at the prospect of me, a 61-year-old grandmother, going in the liquor store and asking, “Y’all got Everclear?”

On second thought, it’s a pretty hilarious notion. Go ahead and have yourself a Christmas chuckle!




3 Responses to “Christmas cheer!”

  1. Shelby Says:

    All of this sounds wonderful. I may have to copy you and try to make some of that pub cheese. And, get that nog going….it needs a bit of time to mellow out. It tastes strong as all get out at first and then it’s like…..smoooooooth vanilla. SO good. I wish I had made more…..I need more yolks……

  2. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    How long does it take to mellow? I’m thinking I’ll make it tomorrow and just put it up in a couple of quart or half-gallon jars, then rebottle it when I get some pretty bottles.

  3. Shelby Says:

    There is a marked difference even one day later, but it at least needs a week….the longer the better.

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