It’s A Wonderful Wife

I was sick for Christmas; beginning the day before I was laid up and useless in bed, unable to festivate or jollify or even merrytize. I did, however, watch an ungodly amount of Doctor Who and produce a near-equal amount of phlegm—at the same time, mind you, which made me feel like one of the slimy, rubbery alien villains that make the show so kitschtastic. While I was busy being a Slime Lord, all the preparations and cooking fell to my better half, who really distinguished herself, especially with the cooking, since that’s not something she is called upon to do very often.

Her Dad used to make split pea soup every Christmas eve, so she got the recipe from her Mother and made it, using stock made from a chicken carcass that she roasted the night before (it was such luxury for me, even feeling shitty, to be cooked for for three straight days) and a couple of smoked pig’s feet from the freezer because if ever there was a reason to own a chest freezer, having the space to bank smoked pig’s feet is it. Lots of peas, stock, carrot, onion, and celery, and the feet meat shredded back into it for a long, slow cook on the back of the stove. Crusty toast on the side. A winning tradition.

Christmas brunch was waffles, and then dinner was a boned lamb leg roast rubbed with herbs and studded with copious garlic. On the side, collards slow-cooked with some of that smoky stock and ginger and garlic, plus big rounds of sweet potato baked in spiced cream, one of my best-ever inventions. My new flash came a few days ago, though I was too sick to make much use of it, but you get the idea.

And dessert was a perfect pumpkin pie, using my Grandmother’s best-in-the-world crust and a homegrown pumpkin for filling.

With a hefty layer of maple-dosed whipped cream on top.

She got it all just right. I should get sick more often. But I feel all better now, so if you’re good I might go back to writing about food at some point.

2 comments to It’s A Wonderful Wife

  • Christine

    Sorry you had a bug on Christmas but glad to hear you’re better. What fabulous dishes you feasted on! The pea soup sounds perfect. I bought a ham for New Year’s so hope you’ll share the recipe. The lamb reminded me I need to take a trip to Costco in the near future, been ages since I had any lamb. Hope your New Year’s has no illness involved and the year to come is healthy and happy.

  • eastriver

    Damn that looks tasty. I’m stuck (stuck?) making the same thing the last few Christmasses, and my guests have come to expect it: prime rib roast, yorkshire pud, roasted spuds, roasted brussel sprouts and parsnips with pecans, peas with pearl onions and mint, and horseradish cream. Smoked salmon and lemon cream on blini to start. Plum pudding with brandy butter, served under a blazing canopy of Jameson’s. This year I went for a 5 rib roast. Big crowd. Still, lots of leftovers. And the best warm beef sandwich EVER, three days in a row.

    Love your blog, dude. Keep slapping the keyboard.

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Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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