Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas: The Recap

I had a great Christmas. I wish I could manage the trick of being insanely busy in real life and thoughtfully writing about it just before bedtime in the blog. As you’ve probably noticed, all I can manage is pictures at those times, which I suppose is better than nothing.

To recap the big day, I woke up sort of insanely early, at 6:15 a.m., and stumbled into the kitchen to wrestle a nine pound ham and glazing sauce into an oven bag to begin warming. I then showered and awoke my stepson Matt who had agreed to chop the vegetables for the pico de gallo. The pico is the first step to making “megas” (ME-guhs), a yummy and delicious Mexican egg dish that was the centerpiece for our little xmas brunch. There were attendees at the brunch who asked for the recipe and, of course, Satan refused. So, I’ll just be rewarding all my faithful readers by posting the coveted recipe it here on the internet.

Pico de Gallo
1 large or two small tomatoes, chopped
1 large or two small onions, chopped
1/2 a medium Jalapeno, finely chopped w/seeds for hot, w/o seeds for medium heat
1 half bunch of cilantro, very finely chopped (don’t use the bottom stems, but leave the top ones)
Juice of ¼ to ½ a lime
1 tablespoon of cumin
2 tablespoons salsa

Stir all the above ingredients together. Adjust spices to taste. Throw in more tomato as if you think you should. You can use this relish for all sorts of things, tacos, chip dipping, etc.

6 eggs (approx)
1 cup shredded taco or nacho cheese
½ cup crushed tortilla chips
½ chopped onion
1 small can niblet corn (in the miniature half-sized can--drained)
2-3 big spoonfuls of Pico de Gallo

In a large skilled sauté the chopped onions in some butter until softened, then add the corn (drained) and stir fry for a minute. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then pour into skillet and begin scrambling. Add the Pico (to taste, really). When the eggs are almost done, throw in the cheese and continue scrambling, stir in the crushed chips just as the eggs are finishing. This dish actually goes pretty quickly, it’s the making the Pico that’s a bit time consuming.

The recipe here will probably serve 4-6 people, give or take, you’ll have lots of leftover pico, which is a very good thing. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in a sealed container.

Our guests began arriving around 10:00. Along with the megas, and the aforementioned glazed ham, we served oven fried spicy potatoes, and Christina made a yummy mandarin orange salad that, along with the orange, incorporated sugared almonds, greens, chopped celery and scallions. For dessert, Matt made a delicious homemade cherry pie, and I contributed two Mocha Pecan Mud Pies with chocolate sauce. To drink we had mimosas, which, for those of you not in the know, is a clever way of making champagne okay to drink before noon by mixing it with an equal part of orange juice.

We had all the kids here and it is the first time in recent memory that has happened. Nothing is quite as satisfying as having all your kids in one place on Christmas morning, all happy and healthy. After brunch, we opened presents, and I think it’s safe to say that the remote control cars you see pictured in my last post were the hit of the day. We had a great time.

After everyone left, Satan and I took in “Shopgirl” at the MAC. We both agreed it is a four out of five star kind of picture. It's difficult for me to review this movie as I have irrational love for both of its stars, Claire Danes and Steve Martin.

Shopgirl is the story of, guess what, a lonely shop girl, Mirabella Buttersfield, played by Danes, who works at Saks in LA and lives a solitary life in her sterile little apartment. Until she meets Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman) at a laundrymat and they begin an offbeat dating relationship. A few weeks later, enter Steve Martin/Ray Porter. Porter is suave, sophisiticated, rich, and the polar opposite of Schwartzman's character.

It seems to me nigh on to impossible that this story isn't autobiographical for Martin, and not just because of the the syllabic similarties name-wise. The screenplay is based on his novella and it's hard to imagine Martin hasn't found himself in exactly this situation at least once or twice. Mirabella and Ray embark on a relationship while Schwartzman's character embarks on a cross country bus tour with a rock band.

Shopgirl is a retelling of the story as old as time. Who is Mirabella's destiny? This movie works, I think, becaue the characters are just so darn likeable. And the situations are so true to life. And, face it, Martin and Danes are just plain wonderful. Schwartzman does a pretty fine job as well. Don't miss this one.

Lastly, I am once again committing myself to adhering to an exercise routine. I'm writing this having just gotten off the dreaded treadmill (after unearthing it from under huge piles of crap). 2006 will be the year that I finally learn to incorporate regular exercise into my daily life.

Pray for me.

The good news is I'm OFF WORK ALL WEEK..woohoo! I hope to be posting more often.

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