“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 18: A (Converted) Carnivore's Christmas: Part Two

Christmas Eve Fare, How and Why:

1.  Prelude:  Foodie Son spends several years in his youth living in Seattle, where he gets exposed to Asian cuisine.

2.  More Prelude: Foodie Son spends three months touring Asia after graduate school, before he begins his post-doc.  He keeps a food blog, takes cooking classes, and especially likes and learns the delights of Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.

3.  After the family takes a visit to the farm, 8 O'clock Ranch,  (see yesterday's blog, Day 17, A (Converted) Carnivore's Christmas: Part One), Foodie Son designs menu:

First Course: Vietnamese dip sandwich:  pork terrine with sriracha aioli and pickles, pho broth.

Main Dish: Ras al hanout rubbed lamb shoulder, smoked onion purée, boulangerie potatoes, lamb jus, arugula salad.

Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding, vanilla ice cream (an homage to his father's British roots)

Flashback to the visit to 8 o'clock ranch, and the sheep and goat crossing.

The baguette for the sandwich was also homemade.  The pork was made into a terrine and then covered with home-made coleslaw and cilantro.  The dipping broth involved hours of work as well.   Pho, the Vietnamese soup, was a favorite of Food Son's as a student because it's cheap and good.  Yum!

Lamb Shoulder from 8 o'clock ranch, fresh from the oven, waiting to be carved

Main Course, but you can't really see the creamy onion sauce which entailed Foodie Son's creating a kind of smoker by putting wood pieces in the wok and steaming onion over it.  Then it gets the cream and more.  The arugula was fresh and delicious as a side.  The lamb was beyond sublime.  The whole time I ate, Zoe leaned against my knee, as did the two other cute dogs in attendance.  Since I only have two knees, this involved a lot of pup repositioning beneath the table.  I try not to teach visiting dogs bad behavior, so I waited until the end of the meal for Zoe to have her taste.

Zoe is hyper-alert throughout the meal.  Perhaps the smell of lamb recalls an ancestral memory.
Finger licking good!
 Bon appetit, gentle readers!  Please write in to describe your favorite food items of Holiday Season 2011.

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