I am in Nigella mode, which means I have read her new Christmas book about 68 times already, watched what few (too few) specials Food Network ran, and crossed my fingers mightily that Jerry got me the apron I wanted so I could be "just like her" in the kitchen. I'm obsessed.
What does this mean for the public at large? Absolutely nothing. For me, however, it means I have finalized my Xmas day menu and I am quite pleased with both myself and the rather limited amount of work involved.
I will be serving ham, simmered in ginger ale for several hours, smeared with dijon mustard, drizzled with maple syrup, blanketed with seasoned breadcrumbs, and chucked in the oven until said crust is nice and crisp. In our house, kielbasa is always on the Xmas table and this year will be no exception. Smoked, of course, as I find fresh absolutely vile. It will be from a butcher in Port Richmond. When you want kilbo you go to either Bridesburg or Port Richmond. You don't go to Hillshire Farms. I will also be making a small platter of ribs for the hubster, as he is not overly fond of ham. Calling Nigella yet again, I hope to make her bourbon glazed ribs as they sound maddeningly delicious. Moving on from the pig (but not straying from my beloved Nigella), New Orleans coleslaw, which has driven everyone to the buffet for seconds each time I present it for devouring. Another vegetable will be Tina Nordstrom's sauteed cabbage, with a substitution of purple for green just because the color is gorgeous and will look stunning on the table. Third veg is--yes, you guessed it--from Nigella, maple roasted parsnips. Now, parsnips are not something everyone loves, but I think they're a nice change from carrots and the thought of them being lavished with maple syrup...well, your mouth is watering too, I just know it. To finish, I've decided to make an apple pear crostata, nobody's recipe but my own, with vanilla ice cream should anyone want it and a cranberry chutney on the side. Myself, I'm not a fan of the a la mode style of desserting; however, I won't say no to a bowl of ice cream once everyone is gone and I have the living room to myself. Maybe with a shot of Kahlua over top.
Oh, forgot to mention cocktail nibbles. Well, as with Highlander, there can be only one: Holiday Cheeseball. An over-the-top blend of cream cheese, Olde English in a jar, blue cheese and several other ingredients I believe I'm not at liberty to reveal, it was passed on to me by my friend Bridget some time ago and it's crack in a crock. So, so, so damn good and almost addictive. Ha, you're thinking right now about how much you want some. Don't you wish.