Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I woke up later than usual on Christmas morning, so I had to hustle and write the rather lengthy Blog entry. I had trouble remembering a few details here and there (it was a busy day) but, with the help of Jake and Carla, I think I got the majority correct.

Sidebar: One step I noticed I missed was that, after it cooled down, I fine-chopped the duxelle mixture. I wouldn't want you to try this at home and wonder why the mushrooms seemed too large,,,

I ate a light breakfast. I didn't want to miss a bit of Christmas dinner, you see.

Then we exchanged presents. I was thrilled with mine: a professional hand-held fine spice grater (I've wanted one for years, but told myself my microplane was good enough) and a metal lemon squeezer (I have one of those plastic thingies you run the fruit around. It works okay on lemons, but juicing a lime is a bitch!)

Jake and Carla seemed pleased with my gifts as well. So, I guess we all did good!

It was really warm again, but still overcast. So, I figured this famous 17 year full moon on Christmas was a bust. But, the sun started peeking in and out from behind the clouds in the late afternoon.

Sidebar: It did get up to 80 degrees, but without the full sun, I couldn't really work on my Christmas tan this year.

We watched a movie Jake had bought Carla for Christmas.

One of the presents Jake got Carla was a small jar of black truffle pate.. So, Jake baked a small baguette, cut it into thick slices and toasted them. We topped it with cream cheese, a little pate and a sprinkle of Fleur de sel. So, we had an absolutely decadent appetizer round. Fantastic!!!

Then they started cooking the Christmas dinner. I say "they" because with all the prepping we did yesterday, there wasn't much for me to do...

Carla put oil, salt and pepper on the leeks and mushrooms, tossed them about and put them in the oven to roast. Jake warmed up the parsnip puree.

Then they both got working on the Beef Wellington. I should have mentioned yesterday that they had made the executive decision NOT to go with the tradition roll, but rather cut it into three pieces to make "individual" servings.

They rolled out puff pastry sheets into a square. Carla put some Gorgonzola cheese in the middle and then topped it with the duxelle. Then Jake added the filet on top the mixture and squished it down. He wrapped up the puff pastry, cutting off the excess and sealing it with egg wash.

Carla was cutting out little puff pastry leaves for the tops. I did fetch things for them, like flour, if that counts...

When all three bundles were ready, they went into the oven as well. When the internal temperature of the meat reached 130 degrees (a perfect medium-rare), they were pulled and left to rest for five minutes.

Meanwhile, Jake pulled out the mushrooms and leeks. They were seasoned one last time after tasting, and then Jake splashed them with a hit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to brighten them up.

Carla plated them by putting a mound of parsnip puree and then swooshing it. She added the roasted mushrooms and leeks while Jake cut the Beef Wellington in half. That went onto the pureed parsnips swoosh.

We raised our wine glasses in a Christmas toast and then dug in.

Oh, my God! It was fantastic!!! All of us agreed it was way too much work, but it was definitely worth doing once.

Neither Carla nor I could eat more than half our portion of meat though. Jake soldiered through, LOL!

After a leisurely meal, they pushed away from the table and started cleaning up. Since the prep work was done the day before, there wasn't too much of a mess left to deal with.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the Christmas dinner afterglow.

Jake had checked and moon rise was supposed to be just after 6:00 p.m. I kept checking the night sky, but still couldn't see it. I did see stars, however, so I knew it wasn't cloudy. I finally found it around 7:30 p.m.! I tried to take a picture, but couldn't shut off the flash. So, Jake grabbed Carla's phone and got a picture of it for me.

So, I don't have to live another 17 years. Whew!

We all decided that 9:00 p.m. was a reasonable bedtime. I took one last look at the beautiful lfull moon and went to sleep.

Merry Christmas, dear readers!


  1. Thank You dear brother. I'm kind of amused that a Phone takes a better picture than your expensive camera; And it's more manageable. Have a safe journey

  2. @ GP: LMAO! NO, no! My camera is back in Michigan and I do know how to turn its flash off. It was my cell phone flash I was having trouble with.