I haven't done a Friday Florida Food Fest for forever, so ...
I shudder when I pass the canned gravies and packets of gravy mix in the grocery store.
What were they thinking?
The rich, brown turkey gravy above was the result of basting our Christmas Eve turkey with lots of wine during the roasting process and then transforming the pan drippings into the lusciousness you see above. That picture is actually days later and consists of the topping for a hot open-faced sandwich on French bread.
Simple fare, but real and darkly flavorful with no mixes or cans needed.
The struggling kumquat tree produced 5 kumquats this year with absolutely no TLC or fertilizer. Poor baby, I thought it had frozen back to the sour orange rootstock last year and ignored it in 2008.
I promise to treat it better in '09.
It may be time for a new wood smoker/grill. After countless ribs, chicken, steaks, etc ... the old girl has holes in her bottom. Still a hottie though.
Last night I lit her fires one more time for a beef brisket, but I hosed down the little wood grill deck beneath her first.
Those are my oak trees generating heat in there ... no store bought charcoal here ... except for those days when I leave the firewood out in the rain.
Those coals are just about right.
Due to a shortage of rib slabs in the area, we switched gears to a mammoth beef brisket. I trimmed it, cut it in half, marinated it, and cooked the thinner half as a London broil sorta thang and we happily munched on that with salad and baked potatoes.
The much thicker half stayed out in the grill away from the direct heat of the coals and slowly cooked to perfection.
A little Pinot Gringo from our friend's homemade stock was a delicious accompaniment.
All the kids were home for this meal and afterwards, Katie was in a bakey mood. Emma was not as she had baked cookies the previous night. Actually, Em was in a clean up the kitchen mood ... and I did not want to let anything disrupt that mojo ...thanks Emma!
Katie was pouting, 'cause her sister wouldn't play with her, so I said, " Ya' wanna bake a poppyseed cake together?"
Here she is mixing away and making a mess for Emma to clean up.
It was so much fun, measuring, mixing, teasing, ... advising.
In the end, it looked like this.
But only for a little while.
We cut that sucker while it was still warm and then sat together in the "new" living room watching Baby Mama.
It was a nice ending to a day spent swinging a machete, clearing brush, and burning off some grassy open areas of PFHQ.