Friday, September 21, 2007

Moose for the Holidays

I don't know what triggered it, but I've already started fantasizing about what I want to cook for the holidays. Maybe because it's that I've been too busy to do anything spectacular in the kitchen recently. Maybe I've been watching too much Top Chef. Maybe it's because paddling has left me 1) continuously ravenously hungry, and 2) with needs that need to be sublimated.

Whichever, I'm ready to start prepping, and I'm feeling nostalgic for northern spices and flavors ... coriander, dill, nutmeg, allspice, juniper, and all the other winter scents of the season that we just don't get out here.

I want lefsa. I want creamed herring and wild rice and gravlax. I think I might even want lutefisk, although I might lose all my friends with the last one. Some stuff I'll need to order online soon. I need to start some of the liqueurs (pimento dram, the eggnog spike, falernum) now. I've never started a rumcake so far ahead, but I'm willing to bet it'll taste damn fine if I do.

So the question is, where and when? I'm hoping to be in Egypt during the last part of December. Hau and I talked about doing another big party, but I'm not cooking for 100. Ken has the surf house reserved for the Triple Crown, and though I'll cook again if asked I don't want to be inside all day prepping a major dinner.

Chez moi? Maybe, but it's hard to fit many people here.

And then - kaching! - I thought of Ron. We've done joint dinner parties at his place before, but not in awhile. And even better, his dad has a freezer full of game that his mom would be all too willing to donate. I just talked to him, and his job this fall will be to get a cooler full of venison, moose, and whatever else his dad has shot from Vermont to Hawai`i. Not that I've ever cooked a moose before, but I can't imagine it'll be that difficult.

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