Our Christmas Eve tradition, since 2005, has been to have lobster with friends in East Bridgewater, each year making it more of a day-long event. Yesterday was perhaps the best so far, and not just because their kitchen -- which has been under development this entire time -- is near completion (and perfection). No, it was mainly the company and also the food, drink, and music that made the day perfect.
Lobster is lobster, so there was not much room for culinary innovation on the main course itself. Rob -- raised on the Connecticut shore and possessed of two great lobster pots -- cooked six lobsters to perfection, with melted butter being all they needed.
Tabasco Brand Cookbook. This scion of the Tabasco-making family was smart enough to partner with a real writer -- Barbara Hunter -- for this work, so the book is like a small Louisiana Bible. I turned to it both for the Christmas Eve side dish and for breakfast on Christmas day.
My choice was Piquant Onion (p110), which I insist on pronouncing with a bad French accent. Small white onions -- a bit larger than pearl onions, but no larger than an inch or so, typically sold in mesh bags -- are browned in butter and then simmered for the better part of an hour in a mixture of broth, tomato sauce, and vinegar with sugar, thyme, bay leaf, and raisins. Yes, raisins.
To prepare for cooking in our friends' kitchen, I created a piquant-onion kit, assembling most of the ingredients in our own kitchen, knowing that they would have the basics (butter and cornstarch) and the essential cast-iron skillet.
aniz liqueur in ornate glasses with a requisite coffee bean in each. The title of the post should in fact it should be pluralized, since the good food has continued into Christmas day itself. I prepared omelet (p36) made with a little home-brewed rye beer and Tabasco, with fresh-grated Parmesan. I used twice as much Parm as called for, and should have used twice as much as that.
Of course, the cheese was grated with our stainless-steel box grater, a heavy investment when we purchased it years ago, but the last grater we will ever need. And we were able to inaugurate our whimsical cow cutting board (made of bamboo), sent for Christmas by none other than Lori, our beloved COW (Cousin Of Wisconsin). We were just realizing that ours should be a three-cutting-board kitchen, and then this arrived. Of course, cheese was its first project! The eyeglasses are another part of essential kitchen gear -- two twisted up for regular use, they stay in the kitchen so we can consult recipes without foraging in the rest of the house for glasses.