|More on this meal shortly...|
Sometime back in November I made a list of meals we'd cook during Christmas, and we assigned them days, padded in between with "leftovers." I made three shopping lists and checked them five times each: one for Mustafa, our Tuesday vegetable guy who was willing to deliver on Friday evening, one for pre-ordered meat from our butcher, and one for the supermarket, which I try to avoid like the Pest during the holidays.
Our refrigerator is not large enough to hold vegetables, milk, cream, cheese, and wine for an entire week (especially because of the quantities of cheese
Our first unceremonious meal was Toast Hawaii - basically a glorified grilled cheese sandwich. Despite its name it's actually a German concoction of toast, ham, pineapple, and cheese. It's a nice alternative to frozen pizza and, like pizza, also produces no leftovers. This was key.
|Raclette - I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that this was not|
too much for the two of us. The ham is sliced really thinly.
Then things got weird.
Our plan for Christmas Day was Rehrücken mit Kräuter-Nusskruste, Rosenkohl, und Kartoffelgratin (Saddle of venison with an herb-nut crust, brussels sprouts, and potato-gratin). We had bought a frozen Rehrücken from Metro, and I had found the recipe in Lukullus, the little magazine I pick up from the local butcher each week. M was even willing to try the brussels sprouts, which I inexplicably love.
I did nearly nothing all day except read, M worked on a project he'd been saving for the holidays, I took a nap... At five o`clock we headed into the kitchen to get started on the meal, and discovered...the venison was supposed to have marinated for 3-4 hours. Oops. We scrambled, tossed around our options, and went with a different recipe for half of the meat that didn't require marinating. M also remembered an alternative recipe for brussels sprouts he had seen on our noon show, which looked much more tempting to him because it included bacon.
|This recipe only uses the green outer leaves,|
so we still had the rest to use for the original recipe the next day.
Although I'd had my heart set on the Kräuter-Nusskruste, this meal was delicious! We'd never made venison ourselves, but this recipe is a keeper. We had a few pieces left over, plus half of the potatoes and most of the brussels sprouts.
Our original plan for the second Day of Christmas was leftovers from Monday, but this turned out even better. We went back to the first recipe, marinated the meat all afternoon, and made the herb-nut-crust. M cooked the meat expertly yet again, and both of us liked this recipe even better than yesterday's. This is the photo you saw at the beginning of this post.
On Wednesday we really had leftovers - the rest of Tuesday's delectable venison, I finished off the sprouts, made fresh broccoli for M, thought about a salad, and we split the last two spoonfuls of potatoes. Almost nothing was wasted.
For Thursday I'd planned gefüllter Lammbraten (stuffed lamb roast), found in another Lukullus magazine. The beauty of not having guests for the holidays was that we could experiment with new recipes to potentially use in the future without worrying about something going wrong and guests going hungry and wishing they hadn't come. We usually make lamb stew, but we wanted to try something new. If it didn't work out, we could always have venison leftovers.
|It turned out just fine and was very flavorful,|
though less photogenic than the venison.
For Silvester we'll return to a favorite family tradition - fondue and "Dinner for One." I pick up the beef & pork tenderloin from the local butcher in the morning, M makes the fondue soup in the afternoon with roasted beef bones, soup meat, Suppengrün and one Nelke (clove), and while the soup is simmering he makes the Sahnedip. My daughter will be drooling by now...This cream dip is good for dipping vegetables in, spreading on a baguette, and dolloping on the cooked tenderloin. We used to do several dips, but now we don't bother with anything other than the Sahnedip.
|This was a few years ago.|
We'll only need two plates this year.
We watch the British short comedy "Dinner for One" and giggle like fools every year, grumble about those who shoot off fireworks before midnight, go outside at midnight to toast with glasses of Kessler Sekt while watching the sanctioned fireworks (and M prowls around watching for burning missiles landing on our roof), and then we go to bed because we're too old to keep going.
On New Year's Day we eat the leftover soup with any remaining bits of tenderloin for lunch and have cheese and crackers for dinner.
And that was our meal plan for this holiday season. It's back to spaghetti, casserole, and frozen pizza for the first few days of the new year.
We hope you enjoyed your holiday food fest as much as we did, and we especially hope you had as little stress as we did! Even when something went wrong, we just found a way to deal with it. Easily done when you're only two people...
Lastly, we wish you a Happy New Year and a pleasant, happy, and above all peaceful 2018.