A Christmas Dinner of Roast Goose with Brandy Cranberry Reduction and Apple Cider Glazed Pearl Onions graced our table courtesy of a recipe by Emeril Lagasse that I found online. I haven't seen the man's show or read any of his books, but can say that his recipe - which I have made three times now - is delicious if followed scrupulously. This means making the stock, seasoning the bird, piercing the lower breast, legs, thighs and back, getting the oven quite hot to start, and rendering the fat with hot water every thirty minutes. The latter aspect is perhaps the important part: you don't want to be biting into fatty meat! As it is, I had a quart of fat in the bottom of the roasting pan at the end. Perfect for roasted potatoes! Yes. It's a lot of work, but not as hard as one might think. The resulting tastes are delectable: the thyme seasoned cranberry reduction gives the dark gamey meat a wonderful flavor and the French beans in butter - my addition - add a welcome crunch to the onions.
The plates are Tiffany and display a Persian pattern. I found them in Saratoga Springs quite a few summers ago, when City Opera had a summer season there. Alas, they go there no more. But I have four plates to remind me of wonderful people and the Adelphi Hotel, where everyone stayed and had drinks after performances. The drink for this meal was champagne.
Dessert was traditional Christmas Pudding from Soutine, a wonderful French Bakery just around the corner. Does it count that I steamed it for two hours and whipped the cream by hand? I tried lighting it with a splash of Cointreau before adding the cream, but the flame didn't last very long. It did, however, add a little something to an already luscious flavor. Not heavy at all this cake. It fairly melted in in one's mouth, the taste of currant and orange lingering on the palate.
The plate is c. 1910 Limoge. One of a set found on Ebay with a teapot which, I am very sad to say, met its demise quite suddenly last year. It is paired with an old Lenox cup and saucer. No tea for this meal however. We had 'Tip of the Andes' coffee from The Sensuous Bean, the rich full flavor complimenting the cake nicely.
The evening's traditional fare was accompanied by Dickens A Christmas Carol on the radio, lit by much candlelight and culminated in the opening of presents. What did Santa bring? Chocolates from Li-lac.