Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day!

Okay, I'm behind with posting. I've got a post on d'Lish in the works, as well as one for Moriarty's, so hopefully I can get them up in the next couple days. At any rate, I hope you've been consuming lots of good food over the last couple days, weeks, etc.

The past two days were a bit of a whirlwind for us. Conquering turkey this past Thanksgiving, we decided to do a ham for my family on Christmas Eve. We had ordered and paid for a ham via Serben's website at the beginning of the month and arranged to pick it up at the Downtown market last Saturday. This worked incredibly well - firstly, we didn't have to worry about rushing to the market early in the morning, and secondly, it gave us lots of time to make room in our freezer.

Deciding to forgo any glazes we just studded the exterior of the ham with cloves, which ended up giving our apartment a beautiful fragrance once the fat of the ham began to melt. Amongst the ham cooking, I also made a mint chocolate ice cream that would be my brother's Christmas gift. It turned out well, though I wish more of the emerald green would have made its way into the custard mixture. Once everything was complete, it was packed up and taken to my Nanny's for the evening.

Although we were bagged after a day of cooking, everything was enjoyed. The ham was excellent - nicely smoked and moist, the entire family was pleased, and leftovers were further enjoyed Christmas morning. Accompaniments included orange glazed beets, butternut squash mashed potatoes, cabbage and leeks that I just sautéed a bit, and devilled eggs. Dessert was Valerie's pavlova served with what I think was the best whipped cream ever (orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, a bit of sugar and cognac) and a glass of eggnog.

 The ham

 The eggs

 Beets. Sadly, these are a difficult sell in my family, so my Mum and I are slowly working our way through the leftovers.


Potatoes and Squash 


We also changed things up this year, opening gifts Christmas Eve. I received a gift certificate to support an ongoing shoe addiction, while Charles' received an addition to his rather large stuffy collection. We also received gift certificates to da Capo as well as Credo, so lots of coffee for us in the new year.

With my Aunt taking on Christmas dinner, she said carte-blanche when I asked if there was anything I could bring. So I ended up grabbing some chocolate from work - the milk chocolate trio (Fleur de Sel toffee, chai granola and orange gingerbread bark), along with pink champagne truffles and cinnamon and mocha melt-a-ways. Otherwise, we spent most of 'the day' itself baking cookies that I planned to give as gifts.

It was a last minute cookie takeover of our apartment, and really, I should have done more than just make the dough earlier in the week to avoid the rush. There were three kinds - Valerie's Grandma Maude's gingerbread, chocolate-mint sandwiches and peanut butter with salted peanut caramel - and happily they all turned out well. The peanut butter seemed to be the big hit with the testers (my Dad and brother), although the soft gingerbread was the favourite for my Nanny and I.

Peanut butter with salted caramel 

Gingerbread with squished icing

 Chocolate-mint sandwiches

So the ham is all gone, as is the stuffing and gravy from last night, and I'm off to my Nanny's to bake off the rest of the gingerbread dough. Happy Boxing Day, everyone!


A Canadian Foodie said...

What a BEAUTIFUL way to celebrate Christmas! We do the Christmas crackers, too. What fun! Love gravity pope... I'll be checking out your feet the next time I see you. The mint chocolate chip ice cream looked VERY ambitious! I would have loved to see a pic of the finished product (and the pavlova, of course - glad the recipe worked for you)
I LOVE the stuffed animal. That is the cutest, ever!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to the two of you, Marianne.
I am sure you will bring it in with style!

Marianne said...

This was definitely a good one, Valerie! I meant to take a picture of the ice cream at the end but it slipped my mind as we packed everything. Although that won't be the last time that flavour makes an appearance - it was tasty!

And the pavlova was lovely. Thanks for the recipe. I didn't quite have time to let it dry out in our oven, so it fell a bit on the way over to my Nanny's. However, once popped back in the oven to dry a bit more there it was fine, just not all that pretty :)

Happy New Year to you and Vanja you as well! Cheers!