Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christmas Project

Beginning the week after Thanksgiving I unpacked endless dusty boxes of decorations, patiently unsnarled garland by the yard, and buried the house in Christmas artifacts. I had plans to bake everything, send out cards with a heart warming letters in them and do all sorts of holiday stuff that people who don't cater for a living do. It could be my Christmas project list needs re-evaluating.

I realized that help from my family would be limited, my son, Zayne is 12 with the attention span of a 12 year old and my husband, Richard, doesn't do glitter. Zayne, had definite ideas on how the the decor should shape up, but his scooter was far more interesting then helping mom. While I dangled precariously from a ladder with a string of lights in one hand and a staple gun in the other, Richard pulled out the smoker.

The smoker was a gift I had given Richard on some special occasion years before. We had tried it maybe once, it took so long to make dinner it got put away and almost forgotten! Now in a bit of roll reversal, as I am risking life and limb hanging lights, my husband is making dinner.

Richard's project might have been as challenging as my decorating, he babied the smoker all day and into the night. He stoked the fire watched the temperature gauges and produced the most beautiful smoked pork and chicken I've ever seen. The taste? exceptional! sweet smoky mesquite, tender and juicy. We pulled the pork and ate it with spicy sauce on a soft bun. The smoked chicken was delicious as a topping on a white pizza later in the week.

Call me Scrooge, I' am not sharing the technique Richard used to make delicious smoked meals, just yet. We both agree more experience is needed before we can give out advice. I will however share a recipe that will make Christmas projects a little brighter. At least if you take time to make this recipe, the decorations look a lot better, and the must do Christmas list, considerably less pressing.

The beverage recipe below is fantastic. It is called the Candy Cane and I had first made it in one of my cooking classes during Christmas Season. Everyone loved it so much, I kept it on the back burner until I could share it again. It has all the minty and creamy flavors of the holiday and the alcohol for a great party.

CANDY CANE Ingredients:
¾ ounce Peppermint Schnapps
¾ ounce Creme De Cacao
¼ ounces Grenedine
half and half
In highbal glass filled with ice, combine peppermint schnapps, white creme de cacao and grenandine.
Fill Glass with half and half.
Top with 7-Up.
Garnish with a candy Cane.


socalbekah said...

Hello Renee it is so good to hear from you guys. In case you don't remember I'm Don Havard's wife Becky. It was great to receive your Christmas card and letter even if the letter was short. We have got to chat soon. What are you guys doing for New Year's Eve? If you are available we would love to have the family join us for a little gathering at the Nickel Nickel Arcade in Anaheim. I also have a blog I also do a lot on Facebook. We hope to talk to you guys soon. Have a great Christmas

socalbekah said...

Our number is the same and y email is The party starts at 8pm at the Nickel nickel Sore in Anaheim on the corner of Katella and Euclid. We can't wait to see you guys.