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I must have been very good this year... - The Lyorn's Den

Wed Dec. 27th, 2006

06:51 am - I must have been very good this year...

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... because I got for Christmas what I had most wished for: Cooking fine food in a real kitchen, having my friends over, and a great big chunk of doing nothing at all.

Not that the whole thing was utterly without drama. Ceridwen and I had decided to finally use the big roasting tin I got myself for Christmas last year and roast a goose for dinner on the 25th. We invited a bunch of friends, I went shopping, and because I'm always worried about there being not enough food I got the largest goose there was, 5 kilo and then some. Of course, as soon as I was home I discovered that there was no way to fit the bird into the roasting tin, nor in my big pot to marinade it. In a panic I called Ceridwen, who thought that very funny and said that once the bird was un-frozen, it could surely be made to fit.

It nearly did. Still, the whole thing was an adventure. I pulled a muscle when shoving a nine-quart cast iron roasting tin with five kilos of goose, plus two kilos of stuffing and juice into the oven, and complained a lot. Turning the bird was a major obstacle, plus it meant I had to get the whole load in and out of the oven at least six more times. However, I managed to avoid further accidents, and the result was worth it.

We had a wintry salad as first remove, chicory, red onions, oranges and mint with a chili-ed vinaigrette, with sliced chicken breast roasted in orange sauce. The strong, contrasting tastes went together better than I'd have expected. Next the goose, which had become great, and potatoes and green beans, because we sensibly decided not to get fancy with the side dishes. (Maybe next time.) Dessert was chestnut cream, which didn't quite succeed: I had put too little sugar into it, and it had clumps. I said that I'd need to experiment a lot more with this, and got a lot of volunteers for testing the results.

After that we sat around, drinking whisky and eating cookies until late in the night.

And the next morning Snow and Mrs. Smith showed up to help with the dishes, and Tiassa dropped in for an hour on her way back.

The cats were happy to have that many people in the house (not to mention a goose), but added some to the drama by acting even less house-trained as they usually are (so my antique leather bag is currently at the cleaners).

Other than that, I (re-)read two books ("Jack of Kinrowan" by Charles de Lint, and "By the Sword" by Mercedes Lackey) and a lot of old comic books, watched "Return of the King" until my DVD player acted funny again (I skipped the scenes with Frodo and Sam to get the structure more like it is in book 5, which was quite interesting. Next I'll do the opposite and go for the last chapters of book 4 and the first three of book 6, I'm curious how that will work out), edited the story I wrote in August, drank a lot of tea and slept until noon every day. On the whole, it was far preferable to spending a whole day on crowded Autobahnen in the freezing rain, just to be bored out of my mind at home.

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