Christmas Eve

woman cookingI love Christmas Eve. I don’t celebrate commercially but Dec. 24th marks the beginning of a week off for me.  I always cook on Christmas Day and prep for it on Christmas Eve.  But first, I began the day by labelling the January Horizons subscriptions and got them to the post office as they opened.   Next door,  I got my five gallon jugs for the water cooler refilled at The Waterman.  We took a drive to the beach and ended up at the dog beach so we checked out the pooches.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I drove up the coast and took the scenic South Tropical Trail route back. I love driving in the sunshine.  I felt on a roll getting things done, so we stopped at K & C Oriental Market for keffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fresh ginger, galangal, red peppers and chuka soba. We’re stocked up and ready to hunker down until holiday madness subsides.  

I went home and began making a fruit chutney to go with the turkey tomorrow.  It’s amazing how I can boil fruits in white vinegar and get such a sweet flavor. I added some fresh cranberries and apple, roasted onion and grape tomatoes, chopped dried apricots, raisins, dates, a fresh orange, crushed mustard seed, chili garlic paste and sriracha. It was just the right combination of sweet and sour with a hot bite at the end.  This chutney is what I use in place of cranberry sauce for holiday dinners, also to replace fruit jam.  Tasting it after it had sat in the fridge all day, I realize I went heavy on the sriracha, so I’m glad I forgot the ginger.

In the evening, I prepared my turkey breast for tomorrow.  I first made a mixture of 2 tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons each of fresh chopped rosemary, sage, thyme. One tablespoon each tarragon, onion powder, garlic powder, curry powder. A half teaspoon ground cinnamon and crushed mustard seed, salt and pepper.  I mixed it well, then placed 1/3 of the mixture in a roasting bag and shook it all around to coat the bag.  I cuffed the top of the roasting bag down to make it easy to put my turkey breast in there after I’d seasoned it.

To the flour and herb mixture, I added 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mixed it into a gooey paste,  I put on kitchen gloves and rinsed the bird off and dried it well.  I then rubbed it down with the oil and herb mixture and placed it in the cooking bag.  It will go in the oven tomorrow for a noon luncheon.

As I finished up, I saw it was 7pm on Christmas Eve.  It feels weird not to be at church but everywhere I am is a holy instant if I treat it as one, right?