Don't usually do anything for Christmas. But this year my younger daughter L thought it would be nice to invite our reno guy for a meal.
Rob has grown daughters, who seem to be closer in both senses to their mother and her current husband and their kids. He also has a brother in Van, whom he consults on construction matters, but doesn't seem to visit much. Well, it's a long trip in an old truck that uses a lotta gas. And there's another brother who made tons of money and is now sailing around the world.
And he lives in this abandoned trailer he's fixing up (as per a previous blog) in a low-rent trailer park where a lot of the residents are drunk or drugged, and he says he wants some adult conversation sometimes.
Unfortunately, his and our ideas of adult conversation don't coincide. He was no sooner here than he and I got into it. Something about there is no such thing as cancer, or there never used to be cancer, it's all *POLLUTION*, just look at that pollution out there (which looks like the eternal mist of the rain forest to me) and it's 6th grade science... I didn't retort that perhaps looking beyond his notion of 6th grade science might be a good idea, but instead I just yelled (okay, spoke loudly and forcefully) that I was tired of hearing the crank theories of everyone I know here in B.C. (Had recently sat with mouth closed while a friend went on and on to mutual acquaintance about how hydrogen peroxide cures cancer. And anything else that's wrong with you. Not to mention that the cranks and idiots taking over the world via the White House has me in a constant state of PROFOUND ANNOYANCE, with occasional bursts of rage. ENOUGH!) (Luv my friend, but our universes don't completely overlap.)
Well, anyway, neither L nor I have an oven, so she put the roast and a white sweet-potato (purchased under the impression that it was a normal orange one) and regular potatoes into the slow cooker. Which, of course, lived up to its name.
After a bit Rob and L retired to her side of the duplex for a smoke (NO SMOKING IN MY SIDE ... and besides, you want pollution that gives you cancer, eh?), and they shared a joint as well, so when they came back and it was determined that the roast was going to take many more hours, he toddled off home. (We're going to try it again on New Year's, with a pre-cooked ham that just needs warming.)
Many hours later L and I had the roast. It was quite well done, the potatoes just done, and the white sweet-potato had vanished utterly. Perhaps into the sauce, but it provided no flavor of its own. A mystery.
Do I have a shot of the meal? I think not. Well, it was a grey mass with grey blobs and green-pea polka-dots, but it tasted fine.
Before and after I had somehow got inspired to bake. Too many recipes going by on the screen. The olive-oil cake was pretty good: it called for 1 1/4 cups olive oil for the same size cake as my subsequent venture which called for 1/4 cup of butter. However, the finished product was not oily, nor olive-oil tasting. But otherwise unremarkable - just a pleasant sweet cake.
The other one called for whole cranberries. I used a can of something called whole cranberries, which actually was cranberry mash. The effect wasn't nearly as neat as nice clean red berries like in the illo. Also, the method was the muffin thing, whereby you gotta be FAST and not-thorough with the mixing, and that was hard trying when folding in the cranberry mash, so the resulting cake was pretty, um, dense. Tasted not bad, tho.
So next day L and I went to my other daughter's place. She'd told us to bring Rob along if we wanted, because she was cooking turducken and there was going to be a lot of it. L and I agreed between us that two days in a row would be too much Rob. Also I didn't figure he'd get along awfully well with the other guests.
First guest was recovering from mandolin injury when we arrived. He and I compared mandolin-injury stories - in my case, driving myself half an hour to town to the ER, leaving behind a precious bit of my thumb. The ER physician was baffled by how a person could cut themselves on a mandolin. In case you are too, it's a fiendishly clever but deadly contraption for slicing root vegetables and fingers. This guest was making a root-vegetable scallop. Which eventually turned out well, tho I partook somewhat gingerly, because there was *parsnip* in it. (And possibly human flesh.)
The turducken was spectacular.
The other guests were a couple and kid who are plotting their escape from the Trumpy U.S., possibly to Canada, possibly to Norway (they actually speak the language, he having taken some schooling there). He would have fit in well with my Asatru friends, being tall and burly, and gloriously clad in a denim utility kilt. Utility kilts are perhaps the world's ugliest garment, but he wore it with a certain flair. Looking only faintly ridiculous when, upon leaving, he wrapped the upper part of his body in hat and scarf and jacket and went out into the snowstorm on his sturdy naked legs.
I finished the evening with a Bailey's (or some copycat) and drove home. Yes, it's only a block away, and a short block at that, but very icy under the snow. And I'm still refusing to buy boots. I left that all behind me when I moved to balmy lower mainland B.C. Tho if it keeps on doing what it's doing right now, I may have to reconsider.
Hoping you are the same... (or not the same, as the case may be...)