The story of break is the story of food. Cooking to relax. Cooking to entertain. Some highlights...
Christmas Eve is all about the fish and seafood. My dad is the main architect of the dinner, but my sister and I helped. A lot of frying--croppies, shrimp, smelt--and I have the burn to prove it. Then there's the squid, which can't be undercooked or overcooked or it becomes inedible. I take no credit for the squid. That was all dad. Ditto the bacala salad. When I was a kid, my grandma served the bacala straight, but my dad's taken to combining the fish with eggplant, artichokes, celery, et al which is a brilliant move.
After the late-night drive, Christmas day. I made turkey with all the trimmings for the wife's side of the family. Even the gravy (I'm notoriously inconsistent with gravy) turned out well. Drippings from the turkey in a pan, I shake up milk and flour in a tupperware and then whisk the mixture into the drippings. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and that's it. Good stuff. Simple mashed potatoes. Simple stuffing (lots of celery and sage). Lots of homemade cookies. All-American meal after the seafood extravaganza of the previous night.
Yesterday, we celebrated Nicole's birthday. I made chili, a big fruit salad with lots of wedges of clementines, and a ricotta cake with cherries on top. That pretty much capped off the cooking frenzy. I'm starting a healthy eating plan a day early, missing the new year's rush.