Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Feast

Ann decided that we should do a low-key Christmas Day, so she invited Tom and Ann over for movies and we munched on a lot of salame and cheese. Although Ann says I grumbled about watching Love Actually for the umpteenth time, I think I was a good sport about watching it yet again. I fall neither into the lover nor the hater category. I think there are parts of the screenplay that are very good and there are parts that are equally ridiculous. And so it is not on my list of must-see-again flicks.
I made a pork and bacon terrine which you see in the top middle of this photo. Also we had venison summer sausage, chorizo picante, two quasi-local cheeses: a Valençay clone (the white goat cheese) and Grayson (the washed rind cheese with the golden paste). Also, a 5-year old Gouda that is fantastic.
We love Olympic Provisions salame (to my knowledge, they make the best salame in the US) and we got three of our favorites: Loukanika, Nola, and Salchichón. Everyone loves Salchichón; it is the best salame that OP makes: the spicing is incredible. And naturally, it was the first to go.
My Ann baked two loaves of her fabulous bread on which we spread this little crock of nduja, that I got from La Quercia in Iowa, a leader of the American cured meat renaissance. I'm tasting as much nduja as possible, gearing up to cure my own. This, I am sad to say, is not a great effort, being made from prosciutto scraps and not raw meat. It takes like slightly stale spicy ham salad. Not what I hoped for.

Olives, Peppers, and Lupini
I have found a marinated olive mix that contains lupini, often called lupini/lupine beans in English. I really enjoy them and tried making them once. They are the seed of the beautiful lupines that you see growing roadside all over Europe. The raw seeds contain toxic alkaloids that are leeched out of the beans via continual soaking in many changes of salted water over an extended time, just like curing olives. And then they have to be peeled like favas. Can you say giant pain in the ass? I knew you could. Buy them already prepared; too labor-intensive to do yourself.

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