25 December, 2010

What's for Christmas Dinner

A Tribute to our British Heritage

Since neither Mark or I put down a deer this season, the Winter larder is less blessed than it has been in years past. Work for pay has been minimal, times tough. The cause could be debated and contested in many an arena....political, social, economic, religious.

The fact is, I am tired of pointing fingers. It is Christmas and time to enjoy what blessings we have.

It is what it is....and that, beloved is the fact that we live in a broken world. We are broken people. In the midst of this, our good Lord still provides. The bills are once again paid, there is food on the table, heat in the house, wine for dinner, music to enjoy and petrol to carry us to work and home...........AND, by the Grace of God...there is work! We may be patently broke, but we do eat well.


English Roast - Cheap seven bone chuckroast, seared in bacon fat, slow roasted with a bit of wine, onion, celery and thyme. About an hour and a half into the roast, I added taters and carrots. It was about half complete. Medium oven....275 to 300 for 2 to 5 hours depending on the weight of the beast and the heat of the oven....

Yorkshire Pudding - flour and eggs, pan drippings from the roast and the broth from last night's Christmas Eve Oyster chowder. All whipped into a frenzy, the batter poured back into the Dutch oven where the roast had been, still hot and savory. Bake at 400+ for about 25 to 30 mins. It will rise and brown and let you know.

Cornbread/Sausage Dressing - Carolina cornbread (not sweet, buttermilk base), pork sausage, onion, celery, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.........AND........turkey giblet stock left over from Thanksgiving. Cornbread made the night before, left to dry and rest. Sausage browned and drained, onion and celery diced and sauteed in bacon grease. Crumble the cornbread into a bowl, add the cooled sausage and veges. Add small amounts of the giblet stock until it is almost sticky....sage, thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Bake with the roast at the tail end of it's time....about 35 mins until it is toasty on top, about 165 deg. in the center.

Its an amazing, dense and complex mix of flavors. There is nothing fresh or politically correct about the whole meal. Deb and I will feast off of this for at least three days, depending on the amount of physical work to which we are called.

AND!!!!!! -- bless my dear D's heart, she took time between jobs to bake both a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie from scratch. The pumpkins came from the farmer down the way, the pecans from Green Valley, AZ. The pumpkin is more like custard than pie...thick and creamy. The pecan is made with dark Karo syrup and blackstrap molasses, almost a black caramel. And yes, she makes her own flaky lard based crust.

Brit or Welsh, Irish or Scot, Cornish or Auld Gaelic....... Y'all provide us with a rich tradition that has, of late, been trampled upon. From it come some of our most sacred beliefs. Might be a good time to revisit the core of old English law.....that which is the base of our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Its all based upon a belief in a sovereign and loving God. Yanno, the one who sent his only son to redeem, reconcile and reclaim this broken old world.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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