Christmas was good, but tiring, especially for Mr. Smallpants. EVERYBODY wanted to hold him and talk to him and tickle him and dangle toys in front of him, and frankly he got fucking sick of it. But we're all home now and all is good, and the resolution is made not to pack more than 1/3 the amount of stuff we took this time. The grandparents need to get on the stick and buy some shit to keep at their houses so we don't have to lug EVERYTHING.
The food came out pretty good, though not as fabu as if I was allowed to plan it all myself. But mom was paying, so whatever - it certainly wouldn't have been standing rib roast if I'd been buying, so no complaints. But somehow we got "standing rib roast" mixed up with "prime rib" (they're NOT the same thing, are they?) and cooked it...wrong. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't $150 good. (It was for 17 people, so it was a 7 rib roast, I think.) So, the recipe (for PRIME RIB, now) had us rub it with a garlic paste (why do they do this before telling you to put it in a 500 degree oven, or sear it? The garlic ALWAYS burns!) and then sear at 500, then cut it down to 350. Accounts varied on whether to roast it 8 min/pound or 18 min/pound, so we went with 8 minutes with lots of extra time to spare in case it took longer. Came out at exactly 140 degrees, rested for a while (30 minutes) - and was bland, boring, and on the tough side. Why is that, you who are so wise in the ways of meat?
Most of the other stuff was good though (but my creme anglaise didn't even thicken enough for THAT, much less for normal custard - but it tasted good, and it was meant to be poured over cake, so no harm no foul.)
Also, I might have been a little drunk by the end of the preparations, so....maybe that was the problem. (But I did the anglaise EARLY in the day! BEFORE the first glass of wine!)
Got totally awesome presents - aforementioned mixer (!!), pasta attachment - and a cappucino foamer (the one on our espresso machine is missing a key part, so this is welcome) and a kitchen blowtorch (! Eggnog creme brulee for ALL!) And some Knifty Knitters for those long "winter" evenings at home (the ones that are 60 degrees - thanks a lot for ruining the North Carolina White Christmas, global warming!) I'll be knitting everyone scarves, hats, and blankets. For the increasingly warm weather. Makes perfect sense.
Now I have to go and actually get to work - I was so anxious last night about classes starting and having to redesign the course I'm teaching this semester because of my own stupid mistake (I don't want to talk about it) that I woke up like every hour worrying, so I ended up just sitting up and working on it in bed at 4 am beside the snoring (yes, he snores) baby. But I at least got some ideas.
But don't expect a lot of beautifully crafted and picture-ful (grr - still can't figure out how to upload pictures!!) posts on fabulous, slow-cooked food (unless it's slow-cooked in a crockpot) since I'll be busy as shit this semester.