Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Countdown to New Year's Eve Begins

As Kevin said this morning, it wouldn't be New Year's without stress.

Christmas is still in the air, but our minds have already moved on to New Year's Eve.  Kevin's has been there for weeks.  We are just about booked - only 9PM tables left, and seating at the bar - and the prep for the New Year's Eve feast is about to begin in earnest.  December 31st being a Tuesday is good and bad - deliveries can be scheduled, but not all in time for the prep work that needs to be done by 5PM.  On Monday Kevin will drive down to Easton to pick up a produce order at Teddy Bear, so the kitchen crew can start working on it that morning.  Tomorrow Kevin will be here, getting things started, and everyone can look forward to long hours of prep work on Monday and Tuesday.  It's better than it used to be - with a smaller menu format - but it is still a lot of work for the kitchen crew. 

This morning, with Kevin's invaluable help, I made the panforte for one of the dessert selections.  Cherelle had already gotten the fruit and nuts ready, but since she has yet to return from Christmas break - migraine attack - I decided I better get cracking, in case we have to re-do!  I used Maida Heatter's recipe, except I substituted dried fruit for the candied and used almonds and pecans instead of hazelnuts.  (I would have rather used hazelnuts, but there is no more tedious job than getting that skin off of those nuts!)  I think it came out pretty well.

We tried a little sliver and it tastes just the way I remembered - a little spicy, a little fruity and nutty, and a little chocolate-ty.  Yay!  we won't have to do it over!

Anyway, I will be posting the progress over the next few days, so bear with me.  Meanwhile, back to Christmas food. Here's a shot of our Christmas dinner cooking at home on Wednesday - we managed to prepare our entire meal over the open fire, and incredibly enough, it turned out great!  We were so very lucky the weather cooperated...

The Roseda prime rib roast - a big hunk of meat on a plate - was delicious.  And it still is.  I probably won't be eating red meat again until the Fourth of July.

We had a most wonderful and relaxing Christmas break, and I hope all of you did too. 


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