Day 358: The best meal of the year

December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve was a day of highs and lows- we were at the zoo this morning which was excellent- our toddler guest had never seen tigers and such before, and they do look magnificent in the snow. But this afternoon the ladies wrestled with two overtired, stroppy, ill toddlers while the menfolk battled the lines at Target. Neither option was pretty but I’d take retail aggression over Playdoh mutiny anyday. By the time we put Little A to bed she was the tiredest that I’ve ever seen her. She literally couldn’t stand up to have her teeth brushed and while she was “swimming” in the bath on her tummy, she put her finger in her mouth and was about to put her head down to sleep. In the bath, not so fine. Then Baby N had the most spectacular diaper blowout yet… But eventually all the kids were sleeping and we had a lovely bout of adult time.

This evening we made two meals, L made Danish Christmas Dinner, whilst I made Fresh Tomato and Basil Chicken over Super Creamy Polenta. One of the meals was fabulous, and unfortunately the meal I made wasn’t receiving the praise. At least the project dinner was easy to make, as I tried to weave in and out of the kitchen avoiding getting in the way of the grand cooking of the duck and its accompaniments. The polenta was made with chicken stock, mascarpone cheese and Parmigiano cheese. The chicken was seasoned with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and browned in olive oil. Red onions and garlic were added to the pan, followed by chicken stock. Once half the liquid had been reduced, the grape tomatoes and basil were added to the pan. We were supposed to have yellow and red tomatoes, but we couldn’t get our clammy hands on any yellow ones. The food was ready to serve once the tomatoes split.

The chicken stock “sauce” was underwhelming, in as much as it tasted of chicken stock with a little heat from the red pepper flakes. The polenta was cheesey and grainy, as always; not a winner. Tomatoes and basil are always pleasant, but this was about as interesting as it got. Tomorrow our guests will be cooking British Christmas Dinner, and I’ll be making Roast Crispy Mushrooms and Grilled Tenderloin Steaks with Green Onions. If we can manage to time it right we could have steak for lunch or breakfast, and turkey for dinner. Or a steak turkey dinner, that works too.

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