25 December 2006

more presents

In which I give a catalog of my haul and the food made and consumed thus far.

No, not really, but close enough.


I also received $40 from my Grammy, a $50 iTunes gift card, a pair of black pjs from Gap Body, and a navy blue hoodie from AEO (the last two of which I am presently wearing).

On Saturday, we went out to lunch at an Asian bistro down by the ballpark.

In the afternoon I made chocolate-chip cookies. Then, my mom was having issues with the baci and the cookie press, and enlisted my assistance with those as well. We ended up removing the shaper at the end, and (in my opinion) they looked more like what they were supposed to be in the first place.

If you've never had--or made--them before, baci are rather work-intensive cookies; but the product is well worth the effort. We made "Romeo" baci (versus "Juliet" baci). "Romeo" baci have chocolate in the batter, whereas "Juliet" baci do not and are a plain almond or hazelnut flavor. They're baked in halves; then, you paint melted chocolate on the underside of one and stick it to another underside; then, you put them on a plate or sheet and stick them in the fridge until the chocolate sets again. It's a sandwich cookie, but it looks like ball--and more than a little naughty when it's in its halves.

Before baking the baci, we had to let them sit on the sheets for a few hours to set up. So we went to Costco and Kroger during the interim. At Costco we bought 5 lbs. of Australian lamb, two bottles of wine, and a few different kinds of cheese.

Some religious nut had left a fake $20 on a pile of journals with a "call to Jesus" on the inside: "Disappointed? Jesus won't let you down." It was followed by a church address and a number for a hotline. I borrowed my mother's red pen, wrote my own little message on the inside, and put it back where I'd found it. Shit-heels.

My dad wandered off, and my mom and I continued on to Kroger looking for bread and Ballatore. There was wine-tasting going on in the alcohol section, and I tried a merlot while my mom had a shiraz. They were good, but not tempting enough to make us change our planned course. All the bread was pathetic and embarrassing, so my mom said, "Screw this! Let's make our own!" Our cart was conspicuously food-free; we bought two bottles of Ballatore (the regular spumante and the rosso), a six-pack of the peach Bacardi, a six-pack of Mike's hard lemonade, and Dayquil for my eversick father.

When we got home, my mom sent me out to the yard to collect oregano and rosemary, and we proceeded to make garlic and herb baguettes. While they were rising, we finished the baci.

Saturday night dinner consisted of spiced wine, a few kinds of cheese, baguette, and cured ham--with baci, chocolate-chip cookies, and chocolate-covered almonds (because we had to do something with the leftover melted chocolate) for dessert.

Sunday continued the madness of food. Lunch was another simple sit-down with more homemade bread, cheese, and ham. Then, we went out to the Grand Asia Market and Trader Joe's in Cary. And, you know, bought more food. Because we had to.

After getting home again, my mom and I got started on Christmas Eve dinner: a riesling, roasted lamb marinated in too many things for me to list, herbed mashed potatoes, and a vegetable stir-fry. The lamb took nearly three hours to complete, but it was so worth it. I hadn't had lamb in nearly three years, and this was a happy reintroduction.

Today, following the morning's present craziness, we began Christmas dinner: a rose wine, still more bread, shrimp in marinara sauce, and Italian sausage lasagna. I am so damn full; I think I'll be rolling back to Boston after the holiday is over.

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