I hope all of you HOs had a wonderful holiday! Care to share what food-related gifts Santa brought you this year? I was lucky enough to receive several small kitchen items, including some new peelers, a jar spatula, a bottle of cherry cordial, the CIA At Home’s Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling, and a set of bannetons. On the not-small front, DH also splurged and bought me a Vitamix 7500 with all of the accoutrements! It was a very good year for my kitchen, to be sure! I’m going to need a juice cleanse after all the treats I have consumed today, so the Vitamix should come in VERY handy.
Looking forward to hearing about all of your new toys and getting inspiration for next year’s list!
I broke in the Vitamix tonight with broccoli cheddar soup - it is life-changing, I swear. With my old blender, a thick purée like that required multiple scrapings of the sides, extra additions of liquid, and plenty of cursing of the blender for not properly forming a vortex. The Vitamix formed the vortex instantly and puréed the whole batch in seconds.
After the soup, I used it to make frozen margaritas. Even more life-changing than the soup!
The stocking was filled with food items! Two items I’m anxious to try are the Hatch salsa and the Fischer & Weis Mango Ginger Habanaro sauce. I’m thinking the mango/ginger combination would make a nice dipping sauce for coconut shrimp. Also got a nice set of Global steak knives.
Three bottles of wine, including a very nice French Cotes du Rhone from my boss, and a small jar of apple butter from one of the vineyards. This all from coworkers. My family doesn’t really exchange gifts anymore, except small items.
A gift I’ll be giving to my sister and BIL is home-cooked meals to freeze for their cabin in Maine (so they can come home from a day of skiing and have something easy to heat up). I gave them a “coupon” with a list of dishes to pick from. They’ve decided on Chicken-Corn Chowder and Apple Cider Pork & Sweet Potato Stew as the dishes they want. And maybe Mac & Ham and Cheese.
I just need to empty out the freezer in the garage to make some room!
The most precious gift, and we get it every year, was a 2 liter bottle of fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil from our garden, which our property owner maintains. He takes the olives to a local mill. The oil is so wonderful that I haven’t cracked open the bottle yet. When the stores re-open Monday, I want to buy some potatoes and have the first taste just on plain boiled potatoes. Sacred is a word I rarely use – in fact, once a year would be about it, when I taste this olive oil. My landlords have said this was a particulary good year – buonissimo
Beyond that, it is impossible In Italy not to receive an overload of edibles for Christmas. It is the most common gift among people who are not direct family members – and even then, you might get something to eat!
So we got the usual pile up of pannetone, pandoro, pandolce, chocolates, biscotti, alcohol… And today I bought myself a Christmas present (on sale!): a beautiful elongated glass jar filled with curls of pasta from the Gragnano region of southern Italy.
Not sure if they’re German, but they are the coiled cane type. It will probably be a while before I break them in, though - I need to avoid bread and other evilly delicious carbs until I get rid of some of this holiday fluff!