Christmas Eve 2007

Christmas Eve spread

Christmas Eve, a happy day, but seemed like an anticlimax what with all the activity leading up to it, which I suppose you have to enjoy in its own right.  The bottom line is we suffered from some level of wurst lameness due to not ordering early enough.  The Christmas ordering deadlines for two of the German meat processors we usually order from were a few days earlier than usual, which meant we had to rely on Karl Ehmer for most of our pork products.  Karl Ehmer is very good, but they tend to use a little too much cure for my taste and so I like to round out the evening with other products that have less of that characteristic.  Karl Ehmer has free shipping for orders over $60, which is excellent, but they raised their prices to such an extent that they may not be the best deal anymore for a number of items, gratis shipping notwithstanding.  Next year I’ll have to get on the stick.  We were particularly unhappy with the lack of variety with liverwurst, which is a nonstarter for a German on Christmas Eve.  We supplemented the cold cuts with Cacio Stagionato al Tartufo, a cheese on the soft side of hard made from both sheep’s and cow’s milk with shaved white truffles.  It’s good but I would not buy it again, mainly because truffles in any kind of quantity seem to have an nauseating effect on me.  I have the same reaction to truffle oil drizzled on something – it’s powerful to me in the same way too many roasted garlic cloves are.  After awhile – bleh!  I don’t seem to have the same problem with Délice de Bourgogne, a marriage of cow’s milk and cream, which I served this evening at its peak of ripeness, which, for me, means running out of the package at the very center and then cream-cheesy toward the rind.  I seem to be able to eat quite a bit of that.  This triple cream indecency was dreamed up by 18th century food übermensch Brillat-Savarin.  If you want to go decadent, this is your cheese.  Once again my attempt to find langostinos, small crustaceans related to crabs, for a lobster-like salad, was foiled.  Simply not to be found, which is a shame, because these guys really taste like lobster and are less expensive and hassle-free in terms of prep.  I went with a basic shrimp salad instead.  The real indulgence this year was the $60 pound of prime filet mignon we had ground into tartare.  Shortly before the evening meal we mixed in some sea salt, fresh pepper and, further tempting a dance with food poisoning, a raw, organic, egg yolk.  We figured we employed due diligence in buying the best and the rest would be fate.

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