Three Days until Christmas …

So this year brings and entirely new Christmas experience. For the first time in over ten years I have a man to share Christmas with. I am all at once excited and nervous. We’ll be staying at his parents home and my family will celebrate on the Eve not the Day. I have no plans to cook. Which is even more weird. Perhaps I’ll get to do that at my mothers Christmas Eve day.

I haven’t posted anything in more than a week. I haven’t been cooking much. Well, nothing original anyway. I have made a few things out of the Cook’s Illustrated book. Last night I made poached salmon with a maple brandy glaze. It was delicious! Monday I made Beef Stroganoff. It was amazing. D, of course, adored it because it has a lot of meat in it. I’m telling you this cookbook does it all right. From what I can tell all the recipes are accessible to the average cooks home. Some of the ingredients may not be staples but they are usually available in most grocery stores I am going to bake for my nephews. They’ll love the peanut butter / chocolate cake I learned to bake. I made one for D’s birthday and it was amazing.

I found a blog like and think you should check it out too. Hopefully, she won’t mind the plug. http://londonfoodieny.com/

So, last weekend D took me to Chicago as our Christmas present to one another. I have never spent any time in Chicago so I was thrilled to be able to go. I loved it of course. We played to tourist role perfectly. A colleague of his got us a discount at the Palmer House Hotel. We had a suite. It was simply elegant, opulent and lovely. Our suite has a Christmas tree even.

City life amazes me. I love the crowds and the voices you hear in the passers-by. So many languages and accents. It’s inspiring. D took me to Billy Goats Tavern

Billy Goat Tavern

where we ordered cheeseburgers, because that’s kind of all you can order I think. It’s the restaurant SNL mimicked back in the 70’s where Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi bellow “cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger”. It was greasy and dark and I wouldn’t want to see the joint in full light but the burgers were salty and crispy and wonderful.

We also ate at a place called Miller’s Pub. The atmosphere was great. The food, uh, so-so. It’s been around for over 50 years and there are pictures of the owner with every big celebrity name you can imagine. It’s a fun place.

The best meal though was at Sixteen in Trump Tower. Now I know how the 1% live. No prices on the menu. Mushrooms with names like “hen of the woods”. I had Nantucket bay scallops with osetra caviar, lemon confit, golden and red beets as an appetizer and for dinner I had the butter poached Maine lobster with kohlrabi gratin, turnips, bone marrow espuma, lobster jus, and chanterelles. See what I mean? Mouth watering and indescribable flavor. Wow.

Sixteen in the Trump Tower

So, that’s where I’ve been. With the holiday coming up I may not have the opportunity to post much. I hope my four readers have a wonderful, blessed holiday and may you know the spirit and peace of Christmas!

Much love,

Rachel

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