Friday, January 9, 2009

Hysmith family Christmas uniforms: flour dusted cranberry stained pajamas

We rolled out of bed in flannels yet the floor was sticky with humidity. Hot tea was ready to pour yet it undoubtedly wanted ice. Our stockings hung over the fireplace, yet no fire roared cheerily behind them. It was 80-something degrees Christmas day, how rude. We began the day with Da's "secret recipe" cinnamon rolls made with whole wheat flour...well wait they're secret.

After a jaunt of a bike ride through our deserted little college town, in which I did not manage to fall or seriously hurt myself or my bike, we returned to begin the mighty task that lay before us: "CHRISTMAS DINNER" (Says Da in a deep DJ weekly top 40 countdown voice).

The Menu:
zealously herbed breast of turkey wrapped in prosciutto
citrus barley with roasted grapes
brown sugar fruit salad
sauteed cherry cranberry chutney
shallot and ginger pan seared broccoli
sweet potato yeast rolls

The shear amount of herbs included in these dishes would like to strip our garden bare, yet each little potted plant seemed to replenish it self magically with each trip out the back door.

The brown sugar fruit salad is most simple and palates better a day after it is made. I liken it to a soup that needs a full nights rest to bring about its full flavours. Ingredients consist of several tablespoons of brown sugar and the juice of one lime. Let it the acid dissolve all the sugar before tossing the fruit. Chop up bite size portions of whichever fruits you like and those which are in season: apples (grannysmiths are my preference) black grapes, any berries, plums, peaches, cranberries, pears. Anything but bananas! Toss the fruit about till completely coated with limed sugar. Chiffonade a few mints leaves and toss those in too. Now that I think of it, in the summer time a full sweet basil would be even better!

Our loverly neighbors joined us at the climax of our cooking escapade which allowed me to sneak off for a game of "take two", a sort of back alley scrabble, with Nan and the kid sister. Nan, being the wonderful lady-neighbor that she is, satiated my leafy cravings and brought her simple yet refreshing green salad of cashews, dried cranberries, mozzarella, and julienned green apples.

In conclusion, our family does not prepare a most orthodox Christmas meal, nor do we follow a strict starch/veggie/meat/pie code of more traditional holiday dinners. To be honest I wouldn't put a tofurkey past my father without the possibility of his delicately primping it to the bubbling concoction that was our Christmas vitals.

Next on the menu due for Hysmith family alterations: New Year's Day Luck and Health feast (complete with cabbage hats).