We have two (possibly three) busy days ahead of us, first, my husband's delayed family Christmas is tomorrow. We will be spending the day at his brother's place, opening gifts, eating (more) turkey and drinking wine. I don't have to bring anything, but I will be bringing wine, chocolates, cookies and butter tarts (my mom sent me home with some wonderful things after Christmas, including a container of her most excellent pie crust, ready to be rolled and turned into a pie. I made some of it into tourtiere, which we've been eating for the last two days, and the rest of it has become butter tarts). Speaking of tourtiere, it may have something to do with my kids' French heritage, but I have to say they go crazy for meat pies.
I will be posting soon on the amazing array of food and ingredients that I have been gifted in the past while, but in the meantime I will say briefly that the other thing that I might be bringing to the party tomorrow is fresh, homemade goat cheese, because I became the bemused owner of 68L (give or take) of frozen goat's milk over the holiday.
Following Second Christmas is New Year's Eve, which also happens to be my birthday. We have started a tradition among our friends, and named it "Breeders' New Year": we invite all of our friends who have young children (and they invite some of their friends too) to come over, bring the kids, some food and wine, and have a chaotic but enjoyable New Year's Eve party which usually wraps up around 9PM.
I am blessed with several foodie friends, who will be bringing wonderful things to grace our table. For my own contribution I have settled on:
Ricotta and spinach empanadas (using the remainder of the empanada pastry in my freezer, and the freshly made goat cheese, which is very similar to ricotta)
Pork sausage with bacon and figs (from Pine View Farms), served with a fig and red wine dipping/spooning sauce (this recipe will be adapted from this recipe for spiced chorizo and figs, which we have made and enjoyed many times)
Beet Tartare from Mark Bittman's Food Matters
Marie's Rosemary Nut Crackers from Whitewater Cooks at Home
Blue Cheese and Pear Crostini
I also just bottled some apple brandy and creme de cassis, and I will be offering up my fruit brandies alongside sparkling wine for some delicious locally flavoured kir royales. (Kirs and kir royales are my favourite festive drink: just grab your favourite sparkling wine, fill up a champagne flute and finish with a tiny splash of cassis, cherry brandy, pomegranate juice, or whatever suits your fancy.)
And for any of you who need more ideas for a simple foodie New Year, a good friend sent me this link to an L.A. Times article. Some good stuff here!