Full-time RV’ers face a dilemma: When home is where you are, where is Home? And if you’re not sure where Home is, where do you go for Christmas?
This year and last year we made the 250 mile trip from Campbellsville to Newport, TN. Old bud Julee hosted our extended holiday, and along with some of her local pals, we cooked, drank, and ate large over the ten days we were there. We put together a couple or three batches of French 75’s, that famous concoction of cognac, simple syrup, lemon juice, and champagne. More than a few raspberry chocolatinis went down smooth as a Hershey’s Kiss, and our merry band had knocked out 24 bottles of sparkling wine by the time we left on January 2. Daughter Stephanie surprised us with a nice selection of Abita brews, notably Purple Haze (a raspberry wheat beer) and Amber Lager.
I like to try new things in the kitchen for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Past years have seen celebrated popular successes (beef rib roast, pork crown roast, barbecued shrimp, and country pate), along with some spectacular failures (goose, turducken, and smoked turkey gumbo). Despite some partial failures of culinary execution, this year’s Hannukah themed entre turned out rather well. I found a recipe for Southern (USA) Jewish brisket whose secret ingredient is an overnight marinade in Coca-cola. We served it with gravy, horseradish sauce, applesauce, and latkes. We also had turkey, green bean bundles, cranberry relish, pralines, lox and caper canapes, and caviar pie.
There was enough brisket left to send some to Art’s dad. Privately he reminded Art that “Brisket should be served with gravy.” Art replied “We poured the gravy over the slices. It’s there, Dad, and it’s brisket. Not only did you not have to cook it or clean up, it’s free!” Rumor has it Pop cleaned his plate and smiled.
On Boxing Day we took some bacon-wrapped oysters over the Jen and Jerry’s. Their spread on the 26th always shames our efforts of the day before, and this year was no exception. Jerr was under the weather, but Jen made us feel right at home. I must say heavy hors d’oevres the day after a feast make for a sensibly satisfying meal.
On one sunny day we spruced up Mike Roig’s Salsa Dancer with steel wool and Rustoleum. On the cloudy days we watched the fog dance with the mountain to the east of Julee’s homestead, played SpotIt and Quirkle. Along the way I came up with an answer to this blog’s lead-in question: Home for Christmas is where the friends are close enough to let you tell last year’s stories one more time.
We hope your holidays were as nice as ours!