I managed to make quite a decent meal consisting of locally raised beef pot roast with potatoes and carrots, with balsamic vinegar and rosemary (the last fresh from my garden, dug out of the mulch). For sides I made steamed green beans, brie with apricot and pine nuts with wheat baguette, and a spicy salad greens mix with roasted beets, goat cheese, candied walnuts and an emulsified beet/balsamic/olive oil dressing. What a hit!
For hor d'ouvres I made kalamata olive hummus (yum!), spicy feta and roasted pepper dip, and parmesan artichoke crostini, along with shrimp cocktail.
We didn't actually get to dessert, as I was feeling a bit under the weather and we were all stuffed anyway, but I'll definitely get around to making bread pudding tonight! I'm excited to use my crouching hare casserole for it, which isn't really pictured at left, but it's a porcelain casserole in the shape of a scared hare. It's really pretty awesome!
It was especially great because I managed to get the front porch cleaned up and re-transformed it into a dining room. Even more amazing was that I managed to get it warm enough to enjoy our dinner out there. It is technically a room with three walls of windows, so heating it during the winter can be difficult. The atmosphere was great, we were warm and we all managed to stuff ourselves thoroughly.
After dinner we exchanged gifts. I can finally post photos of the Christmas gift crafts! Of course that's not what this post is about so it'll have to wait...
Here's a quick shot of me in a wonderful apron my mom made for me. I am playing the concertina that my brother is loaning me. I use the word playing very, very loosely here.This morning I came down to see my parents bundled up, obviously not used to the way we keep the house at night. I found father wearing a scarf around his head, and my mother wearing long underwear, flannel night gown, hoodie and fleece lap blanket. I couldn't help but snap photos and laugh heartily.
Welcome to my home. Wear your layers!