Like most people, I usually celebrate the holidays twice. Once with Parents, Brother and his family, and Sister if she’s in town. The second time is with the In-laws. And both events this year were full of just amazing food, and lots of it.
For my side of the family, Sister-in-Law was kind enough to host (with Brother, of course) and their three kids. Hosting such an event for 10 people is a lot of work, and I imagine even more work when you’re 7 months pregnant (which she is), but she did a beautiful job and the food and atmosphere were fabulous. She chose pork tenderloin, which is always a good choice. It is very versatile, fairly inexpensive so its good for a group, and it doesn’t take that long to cook. She also made a potato recipe that I made last year, because we knew it was a hit. Amazingly it’s from Cooking Light, and called, Asiago, Potato and Bacon Gratin. This does not, I repeat, does not taste like a light dish. I think it is the reduction of the milk that is added to a casual roux. The mixture thickens and when poured over par-boiled potatoes, forms a rich sauce.
My contribution to the meal was a stuffing. I found the recipe on epicurious.com and chose it beacuse I thought the apples would pair nicely with the pork. It is called Apple Shallot Stuffing, and although a bit of work, well worth it. It was dark for a stuffing, but the currants and walnuts provided some contrast to the apples and bread. I also brought a loaf of flaxseed bread with cranberries and there was a salad served. Mother brought dessert, and I don’t know the exact name, but it was a frozen concoction of pumpkin and ginger snaps. Very festive, and I’ve never been known to turn down anything pumpkin or ginger. Maybe she’ll provide a link in the comments section so we can all know more about it. Its an ideal recipe, because you have to make it ahead.
A happy surprise was the two boxes of chocolate covered pretzel sticks sent by Sister from her husband’s families home town. I will try to take a picture of them if there are any left on Saturday, and dig up some more information. I did test one of each (dark and milk chocolate), just to make sure they were good.
So, more tomorrow, part 2.