Saturday, December 25, 2010

Non-Traditional Holiday Eating

Holidays are inextricably linked with food. And some holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, seem to require certain foods be served. When you grow up and move away from your family, you take those food requirements with you.

Turkey and ham, dressing or stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean salad, tossed salad, red jello with diced fruit, brown and serve rolls, pumpkin and apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream and Cool Whip. That's what Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner should be.

For me, at this stage of my life, that's an excess beyond excess. I love turkey, I really do, but I have no use for a 14-pound bird. I've cooked and stuffed many a turkey. I've glazed many a ham. I've stomped many a potato and diced many a fruit for the jello salad. I've combed the stores on Christmas Eve looking for brown and serve rolls because they were left off the list. I've done all that. If called upon, I could do it again. I certainly enjoy cooking.

But nothing says Christmas like cooking what you want to eat and in the quantity you want to eat it. Today, I made myself cream of chicken and wild rice soup, a new recipe I discovered. I need to rinse the wild rice after I cook it, however. When I added it to the cream base, it turned the whole soup mauve in color. I think it would also, for my tastes, benefit from garlic. I cooked the chicken and the rice yesterday. That helped a lot toward assembly today. Grate a carrot and make the roux and it was done in a half hour. The rolls were Rhodes and rose in the fridge overnight. The applesauce I made back in early October. The tea was Huckleberry flavored.

I sat at my table, occasionally telling the girls that cats don't eat soup or rolls or applesauce. Life passed by the window. It's quiet. It's peaceful. I made egg nog muffins today, too, and that's such an easy recipe, I need to make more of them so I have bags full for breakfasts when cereal isn't what I want. I was going to make tapioca pudding for dessert, but I was too full after this meal to want to tend to pudding. So that will sit for another day. Dishes were finished and a load of wash hung up. The only bad thing about today was having both lights in the living room burn out. I guess I have to run to Target tomorrow and get 2 3-way bulbs.

We should never be a slave to our food. I have no use for bags upon bags of turkey leftovers. I don't care for dark meat to begin with. My "tradition" for Christmas dinner has become, if you will, to be untraditional. What sounds good? One year, it was salmon.

The recipe says this soup freezes. I intend to test that theory. If it does well, I will make it again. Maybe I could try a different rice and see what color it turns then.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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