I know it's churlish to complain that the end of one's two-and-a-half week vacation is drawing to a close, but well, there you have it. We've got a small case of the Monday blues and we're trying hard to not wish away the last 4 days of our time. It's been a whirlwind holiday - here's a capsule review of what we've done:
Montessori parenting - the Big Yam experiencing "water play" (am I the only one whose mind goes to a dirty place when I hear those words?) on the floor of our kitchen. It kept him occupied for a full hour, but he was soaked through after. Next time we do this in the winter, I'm going to blast the heat and just have him sitting in his swimsuit.
Crafty Xmas - homemade Big Yam snowglobes
This year's holiday cookie plate - from the top: chocolate coffee toffee, skor cookies, ginger molasses cookies, walnut cinnamon rugelach, macadamia shortbread. I also made orange-almond meringues (like amaretti), but those were done day-of.
Christmas at our house...you'll notice our tree's lights are brighter on the bottom because the sets of strings are different brands. I'd be lying if I said that the brighter lights on the bottom didn't gnaw away at the Dotytron's soul.
For Xmas breakkie, we roasted up this oven-roasted bacon slab from St. Lawrence Market, which is one of our new favorite delectables. We also had Momma D's ham and cheese strata which featured bread spread with butter on one side and dijon mustard on the other. It was killer.
I followed a Thomas Keller tip by way of a FB friend and torched the outside of the prime rib. Such a good crust on that thing, which was kind of wasted on Momma D's family because they eschew fat (so weird!)
I'm really, super proud of this dinner. I was so worried that I had overcooked the prime rib and it emerged a beautiful, rosy, perfect medium rare. We had roasted garlic mashed potatoes, jus, roasted brussels sprouts & chestnuts tossed with brown butter, maple-ginger carrots, yorkshire puddings, and Momma D's apple squash gratin. So good!
To finish, I was really keen on making this salted caramel chocolate mousse, which I thought would be a nice, light ending to the meal. It was delicious. I'll post the recipe in the coming week.
This is my family's Xmas
This picture is kind of a big deal.
The obligatory "matching PJs shot" featuring the extremely rare and much sought-after Rocher phone.
This is the Dotytron, Manda, and S-dawg assembling S-dawg's gift to my nephew W. It's a 6 foot long, helium-filled, remote controlled shark that's supposed to hover at around 5-6ft. It's HUGE!
Seriously. I can't reiterate enough how much this thing is a blimp. With my family, we open presents in reverse age order, in a series of one-present-at-a-time rounds. The first gift that W opened, he chose because it was a big, heavy box. As he finished tearing off the paper, imagine how flummoxed he was to be confronted with a helium tank. The whole family was mighty confused. We were like, "are you serious? Open the box!" and then S-dawg was like, "no, it's actually a helium tank" and we were all like, "uhhhh, oooookkkkaaay." A few more rounds went by and then W opened the shark. It took 3 people over an hour and a half to put the thing together. It's kind of awesome for like, 5 minutes and then the reality sets in that you're stuck with a 6 foot long shark zeppelin.
For the Dotytron's birthday brunch with Momma D and Ehmdo, we went to try this new brunch place in our hood, Hammersmith's. It's been getting pretty decent reviews. We had the duck hash plate which comes with 1 fried duck egg and a few slices of baguette - for $13. I had a few problems with this place. One: the service was MEGA-SLOW. It's the chef-owner manning the stoves. We got there right when the place opened at 10am, and he must have literally just rolled in 2 minutes prior. They were turning on the lights, the place was cold, the stoves were cold. I don't freakin' care if it's your restaurant, YOU SHOW UP AT LEAST A HALF HOUR BEFORE THE RESTAURANT OPENS! That's restaurant service 101! So the food took an hour to get to our table, and if you look at what we got (alongside a side of bacon hash), you're kind of like, WTF? What took so long? The duck was already confited! The portions were a little small for the price. And I don't appreciate getting dry toast. Offer some butter on the side, please. The Dotytron's take was that they were a little too hype on their own shiz. We also split a "scone plate" for $5 (scones are otherwise $1.25 each) and the scones were TINY. Like, about the size of 4 postage stamps put together. That's HIGHWAY ROBBERY! Also, the scone plate came with jam and honey, but the plate was more than the cost of 3 individual scones, so I'm like, does that mean if you get just one scone, you get that tiny scone with no jam and honey? WTF? How are you guys running your business? Wack attack.
I'll be posting about my time in Geneseo, next.