Events / Handmade

Holiday Cheer!

Though the season of holiday sharing and eating is winding down, and though I feel I may turn into a cookie if I eat any more of them, I wanted to post a few of the things we shared with loved ones this holiday season.

After enjoying a winter meal at the home of some friends of ours, Marty and I decided it might be nice to throw a holiday party.  We both have some friends, but not that many mutual friends, and thought it might be nice to encourage mutual friendships and community between some Boise folks we think are cool.

Our menu was, as often happens, inspired by a couple of things that we happened to have on hand in abundance:  lots of venison sausage from the fruits of Marty’s hunting season, and numerous jars of chutneys and pickled goodies that I canned last fall using garden bounty.  Here’s a look at what we had:

We thought that the chutneys would go nicely with some cheeses and specialty meats, including baked brie, one of my longtime holiday favorites.  We shopped for dried and smoked meats including beef, pork, salmon, and chorizo at the Basque Market and Smokey Davis.  The meats from Smokey Davis were especially delicious.  We made a huge fruit plate, a couple of cheese plates, and popped open some of our canned goodies:  dilled green tomatoes, red tomato chutney with raisins, green tomato and apple chutney, chili sauce made from my grandma’s recipe, pickled jalapenos, and pepper relish.  Yum!

With all of this, we may not have even needed the huge pot of venison chili with barley that Marty made, though it received rave reviews, and the wife of another unnamed avid hunter said it was the best thing she ever ate made out of venison.  Marty will have to post the recipe, but one thing he recommends is adding toasted barley or buckwheat to meat chilis,  so that they don’t just taste like a bowl of meat. Toast the grain in a dry skillet first, then add it to the soup pot to cook with the chili.

For dessert, what else but cookies.  Mostly old family recipes, but a few new ones, and a few that our guests brought.

Check out our recipe page for some recipes for your New Year’s gathering!

Finally, we had been working on some special holiday gifts for Marty’s family.  Marty designed them and enjoyed his sewing machine debut!  We also broke an old and purchased a new sewing machine in this process, so more sewing projects will be coming along in 2011!!

Mom, Dad, Bro, Sis, and Nieces are all ready to cook!  Can you spot the Italians in this family?

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