Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the Kitchen with Captain Monkeypants, The Sequel

It's a week until Christmas, can you believe that? I'm having a hard time realizing it, actually. I've been shopping for a while- I start looking for gifts early so that I'm not pinched for funds or time by the holiday. Of course, this doesn't mean I don't still have last-minute stuff to do. I do a lot of online shopping. Unfortunately, this can be a bit of a nuisance. I'm still waiting for two gifts to arrive. Even though there's a week until Christmas, I have to put one of those missing gifts in a box to ship to California. I was hoping to do that this week. Actually, I HAVE to do that this week, missing gift or not. I'm heading to my parents for the whole of next week and this means I won't be able to get my mail while I'm gone.

Still, aside from that, the holidays are sliding nicely into place. Last night was the Great Fudge Making Event of 2008. I cheated- my friend over at RadLincCrafts forwarded me a recipe for easy fudge because she's awesome. It's a website by engineers with really easy ways of baking and cooking. You can look at it here. Rather than have to do scary stuff with sugar crystalization and all that, I just melted chocolate chips, bunged some condensed milk and butter in there and melted it all. Voila, fudge! It looks like fudge. It even tastes like fudge. I put some peppermint extract in there along with some creme de menthe chocolate chips, sprinkled it with crushed peppermints and, well, it sort of looks like I knew what I was doing. I even used a pizza cutter to score the fudge. I even know what scoring the fudge is. Although when I put it like that, it feels like I should add "That's what she said" to the end of that sentence.

However, I now have something that looks like fudge in my fridge. It tasted pretty decent. I'm shocked. I also even baked sausage rolls. These are a British savory snack that are remarkably easy to make and are always a hit at parties. They consist of...sausage meat and pastry. They're quite tasty, if I do say so myself. My only calamity there was realizing I lacked a rolling pin. Naturally, this realization couldn't occur when, you know, I could do something about it. Also, given our recent ice-storm, running out to Walmart isn't as easy as normal. So I improvised. I used a bottle of wine.

Surprisingly enough, the wine bottle made a great rolling pin. I was very careful not to relive the Great Wine Disaster of 2008. I made sausage rolls. It was nifty. I even had a couple because, well, frankly, it is, as my grandmother used to say, "cook's privilege."

I had a bit of leftover puff pastry so I decided to get creative. Why waste good pastry? So I had a bit of ham in the fridge and I used that in place of sausage meat. I put a bit of mustard between the ham and the pastry and you know what? It tasted like one of those fancy hor d'ourves thingies you get at parties. HA HA! Captain Monkeypants baked!

If it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, I'm not. Trust me. The fact that I managed to emerge from baking in my kitchen with no fire, no burnings and a complete set of edible goods is a little frightening, actually. I didn't break anything. I even got to use my meat cleaver to cut the sausage rolls. It's a bit excessive but I imagined I was Dexter and it was sort of fun.

Not that I have Dexter fantasies because that would just be weird.

However, this morning, contrary to normal happenings, the sausage rolls still look like sausage rolls and the fudge is still looking like fudge.

Now that the scary Cookie Exchange is taken care of, I can now look forward to Christmas. With a week to go, I have to squeeze in a lot of traditions. I still have to watch "Love Actually." I still need to have a mince pie. I need to finish shopping. I need to just enjoy the fact that it's Christmas and sit by the glow of my tree and take it all in. It's the small things that make me love this season most, the warmth, the lights, the snow, the food, the family and the friends.

I love Christmas.

Happy Thursday

1 comment:

Fe said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Captain Monkeypants. I'm glad the fudge came out well... it sounds even more delicious with the additions you put in.