More for Repeal Day

Don't miss Lobstersquad's post about Hendrick's gin.

I can't stand gin. Yecch, it's like licking the bottom of the Christmas tree. Tell me all you want about juniper and botanicals and I still wont' like it. Put me in a room full of my Brit friends and my R* eating cucumber sandwhices and gin and tonics and I'll pass on the G&T's.

But I love Hendricks. There is something so rose-y, so fresh, complicated but clean. I must buy a bottle and some cucumber and lemon garnish.

Happy Repeal Day

It was 73 years ago today that Prohibition was repealed. Dewars and The New York Times used this occasion to print a creative two page spread in today's paper. Too bad the nytimes.com/repealday link from the ad just goes to a lousy, slow-to-download PDF . I was expecting something as exciting and well designed as the ad in the paper. Opportunity lost for Dewar's, but R* and I are already customers. We might go to Johnny Walker's tastings, but we drink Dewar's.

In other Repeal Day related news, I decided on the punch recipe for my Holiday Party. We'll serve Lemon Drop Champagne Punch. Thanks for the recipe, Martha. We usually make "pour whatever people bring in the punch bowl with some pink lemonade punch" but this should class things up a bit.

Lemon Drop punch should fit my food inspirations for the party: British holiday cooking and citrus. I learned last week that the Brits are one of the largest per capita champage consumers in the world


Holiday Party #4: Too Much White (Christmas) Food?

The December issue of Domino Magazine talks about how glamorous it can be to serve a whole meal with all white food. A white bean soup, a white entree, trees of egg white cookies. Maybe that's hot, but one of the first dinners was just that tone-on-tone, but I didn't mean to do it. I think it was pork, canned apple sauce and rice or maybe egg noodles?! White, white, white, and surely not glamorous. I was a junior in college, if I'm remembering right, and I didn't realize everything would be the same color until I got it all on the plate?

Everything I want to serve for the main course for the Christmas party is white. But I'm not going to do all white, since I don't think my all white food bufet would ever be as trendy as what Domino's serving up.

R* and I decided on bacon wraped maple pork loin (white) and chestnut and chipolata dressing (kinda white). I didn't think we needed to serve both mashed potatoes (white) and dressing for a standing-up buffet cocktail party? R* convinced me I could make both since dressing and the potatoes are easy to make ahead of time. I also wanted to serve roasted cauliflower (there's that white food again). Roasted cauliflower is my favorite in(ish)-season vegetable, but fearing an un-trendy white plate, I think I'll have to skip it.

CQ suggested we round it out with the salad we had a few years back. I clipped the recipe from Oprah's magazine: greens, stilton, dried cherries, tamari almonds. I'm not the world's biggest salad fan and it would mean another trip to Trader Joe's for tamari almonds, but that salad might be the way to un-whiten our Christmas plates.

I was thinking sweet potatoes, instead of the mashed potatoes, but I don't like them. I can eat them to be polite, but they aren't something I'd like to serve a gaggle of guests. Plus we were thinking butternut squash soup with Thai spices as the amuse bouche. There's something silly but fun about soup shooters.

R* gave me an authographed copy of Dorie Greenspan's new Baking book. CQ was paging through it tongiht, helping me come up with ideas for the citrus desserts. She found a recipe for Lenox Almond Biscotti, with a variation that calls for lemon. I think they'd go well with champagne or proscecco. As the very helpful margin note says, they can be made a week ahead and stored. I can make them next weekend and have them all taken care of before the party.

It's so cool that Mr. S made Nigella's clementine cake. I think my friend S in DC (who shares the same birthday, happy belated-birthday-cakes for us!) had plans to make it too. I put my clementines in a bowl with some peppermint candy. For now they are a great back drop for the three wise men.