Since our last recap, we’ve had the Solstice, Hannukah and Christmas. Who did a SOLE meal for the holidays?
What I (Xan) found was that elaborate meals do not lend themselves well to by-the-book SOLE. I made two holiday meals–one for friends and one for family. There were lots of imported components: ginger and lemons, salmon, crab. Last night, finally, I managed a fully-local meal (okay, there is a little lemon in this), making Julia Child’s Mushroom Soup with homemade baking-powder buscuits.
I did a lot of baking for the holidays- quiche, pie, and traditional Greek cookies called kourambiethes, which I’ve made pretty much every year since I could stand up. My daughter makes a bouche de Noël every year; this year she recruited her brother to help. Today I’m baking again, with a traditional New Year’s bread from my Greek heritage. Instead of a coin, because I don’t trust coins to be toxin-free, I put a dried bay leaf in each loaf. One will go to my son, one to my daughter, and one as a hostess gift for a New Year’s Day party.
Just like most people, the holidays for us are full of good food and good company. I’m lucky that my mother shares my opinions of food because I (Jennifer) have eaten plenty of good stuff over the last few weeks between both of our houses. I’ve used locally raised beef and locally grown wheat to make some really fabulous hamburgers and pizza. I topped the pizza with homemade mozzarella from our milk share and some bell peppers I froze at the end of summer. Homemade mustard, while not completely from this region, was superb on our Christmas roast alongside a tall glass of truly local and homemade hard cider.
My butcher also offers whole chickens – which make a really, really awesome Skillet Rosemary Chicken. Potatoes, garlic, and shallots were saved from the last days of the farmers market, and I stashed bunches and bunches of rosemary before my move from Tennessee. But my favorite dish over the past few weeks has been braised brussel sprouts with bacon. These are so incredibly yummy that I could eat them alone as a meal. Come back tomorrow for the recipe!
Don’t forget to see what our “Eastern” contributors have been cooking up for the holidays!