Friday, December 27, 2013

Scratch Christmas!!!

What does that mean?  Scratch, in this case, is an adjective not a verb.  No, it doesn't mean I would like to get rid of Christmas (although, I don't like the "happy holidays and the Xmas greetings").   Do we have to diminish everything important because we must be politically correct ALL the time?  There, I got it out...and I feel better!

This Christmas was a "made from scratch" event in the kitchen.  For Christmas Eve, we had our Feast of the Six Fishes.  Yes. it's seven fishes, but we had too much food and I chose to scale it back.  We started with appetizers like my son's bacon wrapped scallops (the best by far) and baked not fried coconut panko shrimp with a spicy apricot dipping sauce.  The appetizers were eaten in such a frenzy that I neglected to capture them with a picture!  Oh no!  Moving on we gathered around the table for traditional seafood pasta with more shrimp, scallops, clams and cod.  Yum.  A small salad of butter greens sprinkled with pistachios and goat cheese topped with caramelized pears accompanied the seafood bucatini.

And because I didn't want to put up with the crowds and traffic (or out of laziness on my part) I decided to make cannoli shells, previously purchased in the past, from scratch.  I don't recommend doing this on the eve of Christmas Eve!  I was surprised how easy the process went.  I had the cannoli shell forms hidden in the cupboard and I've never used these in well over 15 years.  Shameful...

I kid you not. They're from scratch.

In addition to the meal we arrived at grandma's earlier in the week to do a bit of Christmas cookie baking.   My son made sugar coated rosettes while his bride whipped up molasses spice cookies.  Grandma busied herself by creating a pumpkin pecan pie and I tried my hand at a new recipe.  Mini frangipane tartletts.  I'll make these again, for sure!  (recipe to come).

Rosettes, molasses spice and frangipane bites

I asked myself so many times this year why I went to so much trouble preparing everything from scratch.  Hmmmm....not sure, except that it all comes from my heart...I enjoy it....and This year my mind needed to stay busy.  I hope everyone's Christmas was special and blessed!

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