Sometimes, one night of steak just isn’t enough. Sometimes you go to bed having eaten steak, and then you wake up the next morning and you’re like “Hey. I want some steak,” and you can’t exactly deny yourself, because it’s probably something medically important. Like an iron deficiency, or full-blown anemia. Then again, sometimes it’s just disgusting American excess. Regardless, it’s important to always listen to your body, and when your body wants steak, you give it steak.
And that’s why tonight, after having eaten half a sirloin worth of beef fajitas last night, we had a bitchin’ steak frites. And because I was too lazy to fire up the grill, and too jealously guarding the cleanliness of my stovetop (having just wiped it), I stuck my cast iron fajita skillet into the oven on broil for 15 minutes to get molten-hot, and then slapped the steak on it and closed the door. After about 8 minutes, I took it out and beheld the wonderment and majesty of the maillard reaction. Do you see that brown crust that bejewels the outside of the steak, while the inside is still so red and delicious that it makes Buffy want to slay me? Mmmmmmmm. Fresh cut fries, fried twice for extra crisp, and some pepper ketchup rounded it out nicely. There was a salad, but I honestly can’t remember eating it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t. What’s that you say? You’re concerned about my cholesterol?
Don’t be. Yesterday I started T-day preparations by making my cranberry product. Cranberries hold so well that you can make them up to a week in advance (probably more) without sacrificing any kind of freshness or quality. This year I decided to go totally rogue (“I’m a MAVERICK”) and abandon the traditional cranberry relish like a misbehaving teen at an Omaha hospital. You’ve all read Chris’s position on fresh cranberries (“They have TWIGS IN THEM”). I took sugar, water, and a splash of lemon juice and boiled down a bag of fresh cranberries, a bag of frozen raspberries, and the arils of one full pomegranate (Official Fruit Motto: Harder to get into than a pair of panties at a Christmas pageant!). I then pushed all of it through a chinois (metal colander–I am too poor to use my expendable income on a chinois) and made a lovely crimson jam that tastes remarkably of raspberries, with beautiful undertones of cranberry and fresh pomegranate. This morning, I made a sweet cream oatmeal and then drizzled a ruby red streak of the jam down the middle. The most amazing oatmeal of EVER. So I spent the entire morning with a stampeding hoard of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber marauding through my bodily systems seeking out molecules of cholesterol and bouncing them out, Roadhouse-style. I feel so FRESH.
I also baked a spectacular failure of a cake from the Christmas cover of Bon Appetit. The marshmallow-like frosting was so heavy that by the time I assembled the million layer monster (two kinds of ganache, four layers, four hours of backbreaking work with a whisk and a small fortune’s worth of ingredients) it just cracked in half and toppled down. I had a pretty substantial temper tantrum, bemoaned my failure at pastry, cried like a little woman for a solid ten minutes, and then made another friggin’ cake from my Warren Brown book. He never lets me down. He’s like my cake booty call. Sure, I’ll go to all kinds of effort to try new things, but when they just don’t work out at the end of the night, in comes good ol’ dependable Warren with a reliable cake that I can serve to guests under the guise that it was my original cake and was, in fact, no trouble at all. I’m the biggest liar of a hostess, I swear.
And I bought the three holiday flavors of Hershey’s Kisses, since I can make my family eat them all week. Hot cocoa flavored, mint truffle flavored, and candy cane flavored. Chairman Meow, a real candy cane afficionado (as evidenced by previously posted pictures), has made it quite clear that Hershey’s missed the mark on candy cane flavor, and he wants none of it. I, however, think they taste like peppermint bark and will have to figure out a way to make bulemia convenient for a week or two.