Friday, January 09, 2009 

Holiday Recap

Smoke-roasted garlic,mmmm.

I’ve been a slacker blogger again. It’s a chronic problem, I admit it. But without the competitions, I seem less motivated to blog. And yet, I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was spending my off-season eating TV dinners and watching TV.

The holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) were all good to us. We’ve had the joy of entertaining family and, as you can imagine, we’ve cooked a lot. Here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to….


The menu in my last post was implemented except for the beans, and it was all very tasty! My father and step-mother came over from Maine for the Thanksgiving Holiday for the first time in ages. Now that my grandmother has finally passed on, they had nothing keeping them in Maine. We were also joined by my mother and step-father and my father-in-law and his girlfriend. It was very mellow and very tasty.

The spread.

There are four Moms and five Dads diggin' in!

Pre-Christmas Cooking

Four pork butts and three beef briskets.

For the past four or five years, Farmer Girl and I have made an effort to make many of the gifts we give out, rather than buying stuff from the store for everyone. We do this to save money and because homemade gifts seem to please people more than store-bought gifts. While Farmer Girl is the queen of crafts (pottery and knitted goods) I do my part by making spice rubs and cooking barbecue to give out.

Well-rubbed beef.

Two weeks before the holiday I cooked up four pork butts and three briskets in the BWS. Once I cook them up, I pull the pork and chop the brisket and seal them in a bag with their own sauce. Frozen, they make great gifts.

The weekend I cooked for Christmas was over December 12th when New England (particularly Southern NH) was slammed with an ice storm. In our case we just got a bit of ice. The morning of my cook was gorgeous.

The view south from our house.

Christmas Day

Ever since the Boy was born, Farmer Girl and I have had a firm policy of not traveling on Christmas Day. We visit my parents up north on Christmas Eve and her parents join us for Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. This year we were joined by my Mother-in-law and my Father-in-law and his girlfriend.

Beef rib roast.

As always, I cooked dinner on the BWS, this time I did a beef rib roast. To cut costs, I went with a “select” rib roast instead of a “prime” rib roast, and I was really happy with the result.

New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve was a little different than usual because neither Farmer Girl or the Boy were home! The two of them were at a New Year’s sleepover hosted by their Karate Dojo. Farmer Girl was one of the chaperones and the boy was a participant. But even without the two of them, I sallied forth with our tradition of hosting a New Year’s Eve Texas Hold’em Tournament with friends and family. A small group of six joined me for a pot-luck meal, drinking and cards. They were all good enough to allow me to take their money, so in addition to having a lot of fun, I made a tidy profit!

The one difference this year was that I opted not to barbecue anything. As my contribution to the pot-luck, I offered two “hot-dishes” (casseroles to most of us). I did a fiesta beef casserole with brisket instead of burger, and one of my favorite dishes, chicken divan. We also had sausages, 7-layer dip, pizza and a bunch of other snacks and goodies. We couldn’t even eat it all.

The evening was a delight, and I enjoyed my friends and family greatly. We rang in the new year with gusto and lots of food!

This wraps up my report, folks. Tomorrow morning I'm cooking up some pork shoulders and a turkey, so there'll be more to show and tell. Until then, peace, love and barbecue!