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Sunday, November 27, 2011

A cooking day

A lazy Sunday at home cooking is one of my favorite kind of days. Today I did just that, and maybe the experience was made better because I hadn't cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I made Norwegian meatballs and mashed potatoes--believe it or not, that took most of the morning. The meatballs are made of ground veal and lamb with a healthy dose of allspice and smaller amounts of ginger and nutmeg--the flavors blend so that you don't taste those spices in the meatballs, but they sure are good. The sauce is made of beef stock, brandy, creme fraiche, cocoa--and gjetost. The latter is a semi-sweet, semi-soft Norwegian cheese. It's a muddy brown in color--in fact, I first thought that was a wrapping around the cheese, after I peeled away the red paper wrapping, but I discovered it was the cheese. Of course I couldn't taste it in the sauce, but the final effect was good. My sauce was too thin, and I think impatience got the better of me--I didn't let it reduce enough. Liquids never reduce as quickly as the recipe tells you they will. I didn't have cocoa powder, though I suspect there's a can hiding somewhere in my pantry. Who doesn't have dark cocoa? I substituted one square of dark chocolate. And you're supposed to soak sourdough bread in milk and yogurt--forgot to buy the yogurt so I used sour cream. Don't think either substitution made a difference. The end result was good, and I like the gravy on the mashed potatoes. I'd give a link to the recipe but I couldn't find it on Google just now. It's from the December 2011 issue of Food & Wine.
I made dessert, an occasion so unusual that my daughter opened the refrigerator and said, "What did you do?" When Christian asked what was in the dessert--he's always suspicious of my ingredients--I told him it was dirt pudding. Jacob said, "This isn't dirt. It's cookies. I was with Juju when she bought Oreos." It is indeed an Oreo crust (3/4 pkg. of Oreos and one stick butter) with a filling of a container of Cool Whip, two pkgs. of French vanilla pudding, an 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (low fat, of course) and 3/4 cup milk. I used 2% milk for both the meatballs and dessert, but neighbor Jay said that was wrong--need the milk fat. Still, he said the meatballs were good before he knew about the 2% milk, confirming a pet theory of mine about not knowing what you're eating. (Colin, my oldest son, doesn't want anything low-fat, but I often just hide the container from him--what he doesn't know, doesn't hurt him.) The web has thousands of recipes for dirt pudding, no two of them the same. Jacob didn't eat his meatballs but got two helpings of dessert which he said was "really good." I couldn't say, "No you didn't eat your dinner." Child just doesn't like ground meat, and think of all the calcium he got in that dessert. Rationalization.
Jordan, Christian and Jacob came for supper and got my Christmas decoration out of the attic, and Jay and Susan, my neighbors, joined us. Happy evening over early--Jay has to leave the house at 2:00 a.m. tomorrow for a flight.
A nice cooking day. Coming next on Potluck with Judy: Christmas coffee cakes, which will be a two-part post.
Happy Holidays everyone as we skate toward Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I am still grinning about a conversation with Andy yesterday. I asked what he was doing, and he told me he was making pancakes. "From Scratch?" I asked. In a tone of utter astonishment he said, "I didn't know you could make them from scratch!" How did I go so wrong?