Friday, January 2, 2009

Toast Cups and Fireworks

Does anybody else feel like it's the weekend? Whew, I am ALL confused about which day it is.

Anywho, this weekend...I mean...over the past few days (sheesh), we rang in the new year with our friemily, per tradition. What a riot it was to have eight kiddies running (or creeping or wiggling) around the house as we prepared our feast for the evening. Will and I went BONKERS at the Fresh Market in Nearest Large Town and my lovely ladies (and Vince) helped me create quite a spread.

First on the list were toast cups filled with chicken salad. I know. Foo to the fy. The recipe I was following for both was from The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock (read a bit about them here). The toast cups were simple: roll out bread, cut out circles, butter the circles, smoosh into mini-muffin cups, and bake. Easy, peasy, and very pretty, too:

The chicken salad was a bit more problematic. First, I was going to make homemade mayonnaise to go in it, but couldn't find pasteurized egg yolks, and with kiddies and a dude who battled C-Diff potentially munching on the stuff, I was loathe to try it. So I went with store-bought. Then, the proportions were all odd to me. Either Miss Lewis and Mr. Peacock were using truly gargantuan chicken breasts (or my chickens were puny) OR there was a typo, but if I'd added the amount of mayonnaise specified in the recipe, it would have been a very unappetizing mayonnaise and chicken soup. The seasoning was great, though. I loved the licorice-y twist that tarragon added. I substituted apples for the Jerusalem artichokes (I wouldn't know a JA if it came up and bit me on the butt) and enjoyed the sweet touch, but I think next time, I'll either amp up the amount of apples or use some really firm grapes instead (or track down some JA). The finished cups were nice-looking and delicious. I feel a bit guilty about the left-over bread from cutting out the circles and am contemplating some kind of bread-puddingy thing composed of layers of the smished bread pieces and apples and cream. Throw some nutmeg in...lawsy, that sounds good, doesn't it? Um. Toast cups:

I also made venison sausage balls:

and Vince created some of his famous chicken satays and peanut sauce. Seriously, I kind of wanted to cuddle up with my new stand mixer and the satays and peanut sauce and make the world go away. That is some GOOD eatin':

We also had a cheese tray, some taco dip, mango salsa with blue corn chips, cream cheese with a spicy muscadine jelly made by my Aunt Nunu, a pickle and olive tray featuring almond-stuffed olives (which we deemed the "adult olives" while making supper for the kids), and Hello Dollies:

Um, we also had a lot of alcohol. Here are Vince and I being artistic. Or, you know, drunk:

It was too windy on New Year's Eve for our traditional (and, hi, illegal) fireworks, but we made up for it the next night. Fireworks are hard to capture with a little point and click, so check out some kiddies instead:

OH--and I got two garden catalogs over the weekend (week? whatever...): Baker Creek and Seeds of Change. I'm sooooo excited! I also got some of those annoying ad packets filled with gardening stuff, one of which featured a catalog for gardens for cooks, which I am all over like white on rice.

Off to go eat lunch--a makeshift stew of leftover black-eyed peas, collards, and pork tenderloin with a topping of crumbled cornbread washed down with cold milk. Yay, 2009!!!


Bertha P said...

Kroger and Publix stores in Georgia have pasteurized shell eggs (Davidson's brand) -- if they're not on the shelf, ask them to get them for you.

Rachel said...

So funny, you're toast cups reminded me of a cousin's post:

I'm surrounded by toast cups. I must try making some. Before I go gluten free very soon.

Not Hannah said...

Hey, BerthaP. I went to the Publix nearest my house, but couldn't find any. Vince did tell me I could find them at another P store near us. I will definitely be asking the next time I go. Thanks!

Rachel: Toast cups all 'round. I'll be checking out your cousin's post soon. And, hey, you can get gluten free bread, lady. Gluten free toast cups!!