Friday, December 31, 2010

the year (2010) in food

Happy New Year! Hambone and Spice continued to eat well in 2010. We enjoyed many fantastic and memorable meals in restaurants, in our friends’ homes, and in our own home. I did far less cooking and entertaining this year, and I’m a little sad about that, but we always manage to do our best here. Hambone stepped into the breach this fall when I was encumbered with night classes twice a week.

Here are some highlights from our year in food and drink:

Last summer, I invested in a bottle of St. Germain’s elderflower liqueur and drank just ½ an inch. Recently the liqueur found its place in a gimlet, though I’m still tweaking the proportions and hope to publish my findings soon. The Ale Jail opened on St. Clair this summer. We’ve enjoyed a stunning array of beer and look forward to a more systematic perusal in the coming year. We also welcome Scusi to our neighborhood and anticipate many small plate, pasta, and pizza meals.

best things eaten this year

~pasta and grain salads with grilled veggies and (sometimes) meat
~Alemar Cheese Company’s Bent River. Made in Mankato, Minnesota, this camembert-style cheese is fiercely buttery. I love it best on Lesley Stowe’s cranberry-hazelnut Raincoast Crisps.
~pho and the pork loin sandwich at Ngon (and sweet potato fries with sriracha aioli)—three years running
~crispy soft-cooked egg at Alma

~food in crusts: the chicken-liver pate-topped chicken pot pie at Haute Dish (above) and Cornish pasties in UK
~the spicy, savory, crispy, creamy migas at Bon Vie
~“dipped in butter, rolled in sugar”: ethereal doughnut muffins at Bars, St. Paul’s newest bakery

~dense and nutty pecan short stack at Uncle Bill's Pancake House in Cape May, NJ 

2011 promises more good food!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy merry to all!

It’s Merry Chaos here in Princeton. Has a year gone by already? This fall has been very busy. I took four interior design classes, two of which were studio classes and another that had a lab. More on this later. For now, a comment on the day. As anticipated, there is no snow here in New Jersey, which is fine by me. It's a blessed relief from the two feet of snow that blankets my neighborhood. I don't need a white Christmas to be happy, just surrounded by family. Lots of squeals of delight over plastic crappies (Scarlett and Sophia, 4 and 5, respectively) as well as more subdued gratitude for much desired cell phones (Simon and Winston). 

I feel like a kid myself after consuming half a pound of grapefruit gelees in lieu of breakfast. But, a 23-pound turkey with Southern cornbread stuffing--straight out of the Columbus, GA, Junior League Cookbook--and bourbon sweet potatoes are in my immediate future. So all is right in the world.

No matter where you are and what you believe, I hope that your day is filled with peace and glad tidings!