Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Visitor Prep

Man, oh Manischewitz, yesterday was packed. PACKED, I tell you! I started out the day bathing two 150 lb long-haired dogs, then moved from that to laundry and house cleaning. Then together we launched into much driving, much parking, much standing behind large, slow, oblivious people waiting to get by... Holiday Spirit my Aunt Fannie's Bloomers!

It was a zoo out there! And I have a message for ALL you holiday shoppers. PAY ATTENTION!! (That's what I wished I could yell at the five people we saw in the grocery, blocking the ENTIRE aisle with their carts and standing there reading labels while six people stood waiting to get by.

This is what traffic looked like in New Hanover County and in all the stores yesterday.

Well, OK, not really. It wasn't that orderly.

We did the whole Costco, Target, wine shop, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter and Liquor Store run with AC Moore thrown in there for sheer torture. Oh lordy what a may-uss. Everyone in town was out. At least we didn't have to go to Best Buy. It took us five hours, then we were home and had to put all that crap away. Well, of course, I couldn't do that until I'd cleaned out the fridge, which I couldn't do until I'd taken out the garbage... you get the picture. It was 5:30 before I was finished and then I proceeded to pour myself a generous glass of wine and start some supper. We did the catfish and kale salad again since we scored some catfish at the Teeter. Don't know why, but we haven't been able to find catfish for months.

So wined up and fed, I felt a lot better. This morning I got up, got my coffee on, and put my husband on a plane for KY. He'll be back tomorrow. Today I am taking advantage of no distraction to finish getting ready, and I'm almost there! My brother and his wife are coming to stay on Wednesday and I'm seriously stoked. (She said "I hope you're not saying 'my stupid brother and his bitchy wife are coming to invade my space for four days.'") Nope! I'm excited. And my parents will be here the day after that. So I have Bran Buds and skim milk for Natalie, nonfat vanilla yogurt and granola and orange juice for Mom, Cliff bars and dried fruit and nuts for John, and totally awesome old-school 8 oz. glass bottles of Coca-Cola, roasted pistachio nuts and sour jelly worms for Dad. (I am my father's child. We prefer to eat like second graders most of the time.) I have reservations at Marc's on Market for Thursday night, I have a turkey breast for the turkey roulade I'm cooking for John and Nat Wednesday night, and I have everything I need to make the Pork Cubano for Friday night. Plus all the aforementioned snack food and plenty of booze. This house looks like the inside of Harry and David.We're bursting at the seams with candy, cookies, wine, beer, liquor and food, and I don't even have the stuff for the party yet.

Now don't get the impression that I'm being all generous to my family. I am totally buttering them up so that I can immediately pimp them out as my Christmas elves as soon as they step off the plane. We have a major 'do coming Saturday, and they're our helpers. Fed and happy elves do better work.

This afternoon, I'm putting together two things for their visit - Egg Nog Pound Cake and Apple Sambo. I'm thawing some butter for the pound cake right now, and the apple sambo I'll do and put in the fridge. Whatever we don't eat will go on to serve at the party. I've done these for years and years and don't even remember where the recipes came from. But for your perusal, here you go. And Happy Pre-Holidays, people! (I'm in a much better mood now that I'm home.) Maybe I'll get pictures for you once I'm finished.

Egg Nog Pound Cake
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. eggnog mixed with 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 Tbsp. dark rum

2 Tbsp. Dark rum
2 Tbsp. water
¼ c. sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a tube pan.

For the cake: Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl twice. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg. Scrape the bowl down again. On low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the eggnog mixture. End with dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove. Brush on glaze while cake is warm.

For the glaze: In a small bowl, blend rum, water and sugar. Warm on low heat until mixture thickens. Brush on with a pastry brush.

Apple Sambo
2 qts. apple juice or cider
2 - 10 oz. cans apricot nectar
1 ½ tsp. whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
1 ½ c. light karo syrup
¼ c. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and simmer.


Jerr Dunlap said...

Thanks for the Eggnog Pound Cake - I'll bring some to dad's for Christmas. I use good rum (usually Mount Gay) for cooking - It's got a fresher taste. Just a thought. I'm looking forward to following your blog!
Happy holidays!
- Jerr

Andie Reid said...

Thanks, Jerr! Hope you enjoy it. I use either Mount Gay or Meyer's. Today, however, I used Elmer T. Lee Bourbon. I prefer Bourbon in my nog to rum anyway. Happy Holidays to you!