Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Merry Merry

Hello, hello, hello! How were the holidays out there? I hope they were lovely. B and I had an absolutely perfect string of days full of reading and cooking and hiking and the tearing open of beautifully wrapped presents and, as always, lots of sitting by the tree. It's so warm here again - on Christmas day we headed slightly north to one of my favorite places to hike and it was positively spring-like, with brilliant green ferns and mosses so bright as to be shocking. The waterfalls were flush with water, a sight for sore eyes in our droughty mountains.

And the presents! People, we are so spoiled. Packages from all parts, boxes tucked into cars after leaving each of our mums, and our own sneaky gifts for one another. B got me a raft of supplies for cheese making, including Butter Muslin, which, just say it with me now - "Butter Muslin" - you feel better already, don't you? I do. My mum scored big with a gorgeous dead-stock vintage bathrobe for B, complete with all the tags of the era espousing how positively high tech this bathrobe is. Awesome. Major spoilage from our girls out west, a host of vintage house things from B's mum - everything so thoughtful and much of it old or handmade, which is just the best.

B made the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner out of this cookbook, a traditional celebration meal from Sumatra, Beef Rendang. I was practically speechless, it was so good. Star anise, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric, fresh galangal, cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, coconut milk. Christ. Served up with fresh greens from the garden it nearly killed me with the tastiness. We decided that this dish should be our Christmas tradition. Can I keep talking about how great my husband is for a second? My mum kind of got him rolling on bread baking with a mini lesson when we were there, and the man promptly came home and baked up some kickass bread. This is so fabulous, because bread baking is Not My Thing but who doesn't want homemade bread in their life??? Right.

Anyway. One of my Rachels is on her way here right this very moment, so I am off to tidy the house. Coming soon: brussel sprout deliciousness and a chocolate cake that will keep you up all night and practically get you drunk from smelling it. Oh, and the chickpea thing! Stay tuned.


queenbeehoney said...

70 degrees here today. We had to open the door to cool things down in the Gallery. Very weird. I'm so glad B liked his robe, I don't suppose we get a pic? It will be interesting to see if all the hoopla about "launderability and 3% shrinkage" pans out. I am kicking myself for not taking any photos while you two were here.

Your Christmas feast sounded lovely. There's nothing like a Christmas food tradition, and what better time to begin a cherished tradition than the year of your marriage? I still miss Gramp's alcohol-soaked fruitcake.

We had leftover black bean soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on Christmas Day. It was Renee's fabulous Gouda from the Farmer's Market on homemade bread. And who knew you would get a living breathing Bread Machine for Christmas? Now, if only my pearls of wisdom were finding fertile soil in other mismatched chromosomal hominoid inhabiting my personal space.

judith said...

hey sweetheart - have you heard of this?:

souinds like someone you would like. there's an NPR interview with author here: