Well, here it is Christmas eve. I suppose I should wax eloquent on “’tis the season”, the meaning of the time of year, etc. But, I’m going to postpone that kind of stuff till tomorrow. MFO and I are joined this year by her sister, I suppose MFOS, and it will be a low key event. FOJTE will be visiting over new year’s, so will be nice to see them. FOJTY will be working his law enforcement duty, so they won’t be coming until later in the spring.
Accordingly, we’re kind of scaling back. People might remember in years past we have had our lovely large
with many presents. This year we have “tree Junior” which kind of has a charm of its own
And, we’ll be missing FOJTE’s famous Lasagna Christmas Eve dinner in his lovely historic home in St. Charles, MO
But, he said, we won’t be bereft of food, not eating dried beans and tuna from a can (as a good friend says).
You might remember we tried a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving from Braunfel’s Smoke house in Texas (mixed reviews). This year, keeping with a low work load plan for MFO, we’re doing a Chicken. Not just any chicken mind you, this one is locally sourced from “The Chicken Lady” of The Farm at Glen Mary in nearby Park Hall, just down the road a bit.
They are raising free range poultry with no antibiotics, etc. So, we have this five pounder
We are going to brine it with a commercial brine (yes, I could have made my own) we discovered a couple of thanksgivings ago at some friend’s house
That produced a very flavorful bird. Has lots of “stuff” in it. Begin brining tomorrow
Will most likely do a pretty much traditional roasting tomorrow (no flipping, oven up, oven down, etc).
And we’ve had other pretty good food lately as well. I got a lesson from a local chef in searing salmon with a lemon caper sauce.
from dusting the fish with flour
and finally producing the (caper) sauce
And final plating.
it was very good! nice little crunch outside, just opaque inside
Although I don’t get around much anymore (isn’t that a song?) I can do pretty well at cooking in the kitchen. So last night I used Sea to Table shrimp to make a “Shrimp in a tomato cream sauce over Capellini” starting with mise en place (oddly minus the can of “no salt added” diced tomatoes)
And finished with a pretty nice dish
Another diversion I’ve been pursuing is improving the quality of my food photos. I’ve found (with help from a friend) a food photography blog called The Bite Shot which is pretty informative, covering lighting, food styling, equipment (which has cost me $$ - thank you B&H). Anyway, I’ve been messing around with lighting, using flash, diffusion, etc. Makes a difference (without, with light manipulation)
and just pretty
I have stopped short of a new camera body, however, not quite ready to invest thousands yet. My trusty Rebels work fine.
So on the eve of Christmas 2018, I wish a happy time tomorrow with loved ones who are here, far away, and only in our memories. As somebody once said: “God Bless Us, everyone!”
And depending on your plans it might be fun to
And put the Mason Jars in the recycle bin…
Ho Ho Ho…