We began our personal preparations for Christmas Eve by putting a very large bottle of Champagne into a bucket of ice water to chill. The cat is not interested.
Christmas Eve was spent at the neighbor's kitchen table, eating everything from salted nuts and cheese fondue to these assorted chocolate tidbits. Oh, don't you just love those cookie selections? I always want mine the next morning...
Our traditional Christmas Breakfast of Eggs Benedict turned out - as you can see in the photo above - perfectly delicious. We were fortunate to score some of Dorsey Wescott's Sunny Fields Farm eggs for this annual treat. They made it both into the Hollandaise and onto the muffin - nice.
For our dinner we had purchased a fat Maple Leaf Farm duck from the local grocer, which we eventually seasoned and left to dry on the back porch - not as long as the recipe suggested, but for several hours anyway. We had to keep our eye on it - the cat may not have been interested in the wine, but duck would most likely be another matter, despite the lack of feathers...
We passed the afternoon with a fire on the grate by the patio.
Our Christmas Table was quite festive, from the fresh cut holly to the platters of glistening duck. I made the rolls, although Kevin shaped them. We roasted potatoes under the bird, which of course made them fabulously tasty and caramelized with duck fat. The sauce - which looks rather sloppy on the gravy boat, I am sorry to see - is my favorite for duck, made with Cherry Heering. Kumquats roasted inside the duck, and were a nice explosive burst of citrus to counter balance all that lovely richness. All in all, it was another triumph, my dear! We made rather merry at our Christmas Table, and hope you did too!
And now begins the gearing up for Saturday's New Year's Eve festivities. With the more limited offering this year, the stress level is way down. I'm almost wondering if it really is only four days away - I haven't even seen a prep list. Tomorrow I will post the final menu and we will see how the kitchen fares as the hours to the biggest night of our year approaches.