Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Christmas

So, it's official. John Edwards has announced his candidacy for presidency in 2008. It was only a matter of time. And, I support him. He's not my ideal candidate, but that's the point, an ideal candidate doesn't exist. But I think he's good. I've been receiving email from his website since the last presidential run and I respect the guy. I believe that he is not afraid of expressing his opinion. I agree with him on many issues, from bringing respect back to our country from nations around the world to the necessity of ridding ourselves, as best we can, of the division of America into two Americas: the wealthy and the poor.

Of course, my truly ideal ticket would be Gore for President and Edwards for Vice-President, but again, that's the ideal....

Anyway, this announcement is a wonderful Christmas present! Thank you John Edwards.

Speaking of Christmas, mine was wonderful! A winter wonderland enveloped us in our warm home, filled with the sounds and smells of Christmas. Well, stretch that out by a day or two and we were enveloped by football games, the two, new terrorist kittens, wrapping paper, the spindly Christmas tree taken from our yard, and whatever culinary fancy struck me.

Locally, one of the two grocery stores has Christmas trees for sale at the beginning of December and they're usually gone in a week. For reasons unknown, some years entrepreneurs show up with Christmas trees and some years they don't. This year they didn't so we trudged off into the snow, seeking out the best looking fir on our land in the country. Since we're surrounded by Ponderosa pine, not many young fir trees can be found that are suitable for putting into the living room, by we managed to find one that seemed to work. Unfortunately, it was bare enough that it made climbing an enviable source of great sport for the two kittens. Luckily, the water squirt bottle deterred them from completely making a shambles of ornaments collected over many years.

Under our tree were the presents we most like to receive: books, books, and more books. I was delighted to find that my presents consisted of books about food and books about books. From Nicholas Basbanes' Every Books Its Reader to Michael Ruhlman and Bryan Polcyn's Charcuterie, I was delighted with the thoughtful gifts and happy and thankful to be with my warm and loving family. The day was crowned with a wonderful dinner, that wasn't the usual reindeer, but still tasted exquisite.

Yes, it's true, reindeer has become our traditional Christmas dinner, well, except for my vegetarian son. Unfortunately, the place where we buy the reindeer, Seattle's Finest Exotic Meats, was not open the weekend we were there because of a power outage from the windstorm. So, we settled on a venison roast that we had in the freezer. I followed a recipe for venison goulash from Mario Batali's book, Molto Italian: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home. Instead of cutting up the roast, I left it whole and cooked it in the oven for about 1 1/2 hrs. The interesting part about the recipe is that it wasn't like any goulash I had ever tasted, i.e., it didn't include tomatoes, paprika or peppers. However, it did include cinnamon and cloves for an interesting flavor. I served it with pasta in the braising sauce and homemade canned green beans sauteed with onion in walnut oil. It was heavenly.

So, all in all, my favorite holiday as been kind to me and John Edwards' candidacy was just icing on the cake.....

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