The holidays are, perhaps obviously, always a busy time. This was the first year where I felt more like a grown-up, responsible for bringing a dish or two. We managed to wiggle our way out of hosting any meals ourselves, using our tiny apartment with just one chair as an excuse. I’m not sure that it will work again next year, when I’m sure our party invites will read “bring your own chair.”
The main item that I was responsible for was the bigos, which I wrote about earlier. The other cooking I took upon myself was to bake a tart – one for Christmas Eve dinner with my family, the other for Christmas Day dinner with friends. I pulled both recipes in their entirety from SmittenKitchen (fittingly, I received Deb Perelman’s book as a gift for the holiday) as her recipes have always been successful for me.
I started by making the first tart dough (using her no-shrink tart dough) on the Sunday before the festivities began and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The part where I started to feel grown-up came the next morning, at 7AM when I woke up to roll the dough out and put it in the pan. Normally I’d prefer to laze around the house a bit in the morning, but I knew that I’d be strapped for time if I didn’t get the dough rolled out and frozen before baking. I made the nutmeg-maple cream tart for the first night and the whole lemon tart for the second day. Both recipes were easy to follow, and I actually used soy creamer for the maple cream tart without issue (along with a few drops of almond milk as I ran out of creamer!).
After the two days of festivities were over, I spent most of the time catching up on some reading. I downloaded Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child to my Kindle and have been quickly devouring it. It’s the first biography I’ve ever picked up about Julia Child, and I am not disappointed. We have spent a lot of time playing with our two cats and making meals whose only requirements are that we don’t have to go out to the grocery store. I’ve become adept at making faux-Indian food by utilizing just a set of spices. As the year winds down, I am looking forward to learning more about cooking and tackling some more Julia recipes. I hope everyone has a great evening – and I will be back tomorrow with some tasty-looking photos!