----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Holidaze Are Here Again

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Holidaze Are Here Again

Despite the fact that Christmas decorations have been in stores since before Halloween, I refuse to believe that the holiday season really starts until after Thanksgiving. And now it is upon us.

Here's what I did for Thanksgiving:
1. Helped make wine (see the other blog)
2. Drank a bunch of wine
3. Made a huge Thanksgiving feast
4. Ate a huge Thanksgiving feast

And here is the paradox of Thanksgiving: it takes three days or 24 hours or some such nonsense to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal, and it's over in...what? Half an hour, maybe?

I brined the turkey for a full 24 hours, spent nearly two hours getting some onions to carmelize and boiled assorted turkey parts for stock for about three hours. Then, the day of, I made onion dip and crudite, onion tarts, a cheese and cracker platter (Mr. Pink helped), and mini sausages. And those were just the appetizers! There was turkey to roast, potatoes to mash and biscuits to bake. I'm not even counting the several hours that I spent grocery shopping. Thanksgiving is exhausting, but the resulting meal is delicious. Still, next year, I might just stick with the appetizers. The onion tarts were particularly well-received. And the onions are cooked for so long that they don't really give you onion breath. Here's the recipe:

  1. Slice four large yellow onions very thinly (it helps if you have the little slicer attachment for your food processor)
  2. Dice two strips of bacon and cook in a large, deep pot until very crispy
  3. Add the onion slices and a teaspoon to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes
  4. Toss in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and keep cooking onions until they are very soft and golden. Don't forget to stir! (It may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 2 hours for the onions to sufficiently carmelize)
  5. Add a tablespoon or two of your favorite herb, such as rosemary or sage (if your favorite herb is known as Mary Jane, well, that's probably not the best choice)
  6. When all the moisture has cooked out of the onions, remove from heat
  7. Add an egg and a quarter-cup of heavy cream
  8. Spoon mixture into mini phyllo tart shells (in the frozen dessert section of your supermarket)
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, according to directions on tart shell package
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!

Although this dish is time-consuming, it's not very complicated. And it makes an impressive presentation, so if you ever need to bring an appetizer to a holiday party, give this a try.

What was your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? And what are you thankful for? I'm thankful for friends, family, a warm home, California sunshine, my husband and champagne. Here's to happy holidays.


Post a Comment

<< Home