On Christmas Eve we have always gone to First Parish for one of the candlelight services. Nowadays we go to the early one because we have a toddler in the family.
Today we got a big kick out of watching him take it all in: so many grownups in the house at once, so many boxes covered with paper you’re allowed to rip, so many curiosities to remove from the bottom of a tree and show people. And rather nice chicken sausages.
The kitchen cupboards were interesting, too. They have different stuff from the ones at home and everything badly needs organizing.
We cooked and ate, and cooked and ate, and cooked and ate.
For lunch, Meran made tarts suggested by Cook’s Illustrated. One was a shitake mushroom and leek tart, the other was butternut squash and spinach. Both had cheese. There also was a salad with fennel, pears, and sugared pecans.
The main course at dinner was a Lamb Tagine we always like. This one is made with prunes and cinnamon, but there are recipes with raisins and almonds or apricots and caramelized onions. Meran contributed a lovely couscous with veggies.
Suzanne and Erik made an apple crisp that we ate with ice cream. There were loads of Christmas cookies.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged albany, cooking, cranberry, festivities, food, From Scratch Club, ginger, holiday, orange, recipe, saratoga, schenectady, sweden, thanksgiving, troy, wordpress on November 20, 2011 |
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We’re hopping an early Acela train Wednesday to join Suzanne, Erik, and other family members for Thanksgiving.
I’m assigned to make cranberry sauce, stuffing, and a squash dish. Although I have already placed my ingredients order and can’t use the recipe I just saw at another WordPress blog, you might like to. It’s a maple-citrus-ginger-cranberry sauce.
The blog in question is the public face of a collaboration in Upstate New York, the “From Scratch Club”: “We are a small group of women, living within the Capital Region of NYS (Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs) striving for a sustained connection to the whole food we, our loved ones, and our communities consume.
“We meet twice a month for food swaps, and maybe even a food-related adventure, field trip, cheesemaking party or potluck. Once a month we participate in community outreach at various local farmers markets in our area.”
These ladies understand that the key to enjoying great cooking is to have others to share the results with.
Consider Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is mostly about preparing lots of food and bringing groups of people together to eat the food and talk and not rush off to anything.
This year at Suzanne’s, my sister and her husband will join the fun. Also Erik’s cousin and her family, who have just relocated from Sweden to the U.S. It’s great that little kids will be part of the festivities.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged clam, clambake, cooking, driftwood, food, lobster, outdoor cooking, recipe, recipes, seaweed on September 4, 2011 |
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John leads the way for the end-of-summer clambake, rallying Suzanne and Erik to go with him first to collect driftwood, then to swim out to where there is good seaweed on the rocks.
It’s an all-day project ultimately involving six adults and one toddler.
Rocks get placed in a pit, wood gets burned on top, wood coals get shoveled out, lobsters, seaweed, potatoes, corn, clams, mussels in cheesecloth, seawater, and more seaweed get dumped on the very hot rocks, a tarpaulin covers everything and is sealed with more rocks so the steam stays in.
After a couple hours, newspaper gets spread for a tablecloth, the neighbors arrive, and the tarp is whipped off.
In the kitchen, Meran has made a salad with her garden’s tomatoes, plus spaghetti with fresh clam sauce. Sandra has brought an assortment of her famed homemade cookies. Patrick has brought extra utensils for cracking open lobster claws.
If you want to learn more, do what John does. He searches the Internet on “how to do a clambake” and reads several websites.
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