Hello? Anybody Out There?

Has it really been 2 months since we posted anything? Wow. We really suck. We have been cooking, and eating. We’ve even talked about blogging. Hmm. Yeah, we just suck.

Anyway, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And that means presents and Christmas carols and presents and egg nog and presents and a really big super special Christmas dinner. Oh. And presents.

For our dinner this year, it’s time to start with the prep work. The menu will be as follows:

Pork rillettes on toast points

Mole-rubbed pork belly salad with queso fresco and ancho vinaigrette

Tomatillo consomme with mofongo

Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with garlic mascarpone

Frenched Newman Farm pork loin with glazed carrots, corn souffle, grit cakes, and sauteed collard greens

Three cheeses with head cheese, olive spread, and crackers

Cherry soup with brown butter pound cake and rumtopf syrup

To be honest, we started our prep work in early June. We added fresh, peak-of-the-season fruit and sugar to a large jar with rum and let the whole thing age in a nice dark closet. We had to dip some rum out towards the end to make more room for fruit. It was dangerously good three months ago, so I can’t wait to get some out for Christmas. And most likely for Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and so on and so forth. We just have to finish it off in time to have the jar empty for strawberries again in the spring. Does anybody have a liver I can borrow?

With 10 days to go, the next step will be the cherry soup since it freezes and thaws well with the sour cream added right before serving. Since we’ll be serving it cold, that’s an easy one.

Chilled Cherry Soup

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Adapted from Saveur.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds frozen bing cherries
  • 3 cups cherry juice
  • 2/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 8-ounce container sour cream

Instructions

  1. Add the cherries and cherry juice to a large saucepan. Add the salt, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the cherries are soft.
  2. Here's where my recipe goes differently. While Saveur serves the soup with whole cherries, I like to puree the soup in the blender or food processor. Since I'm serving it in cosmo glasses instead of soup bowls, it makes for a better presentation.
  3. After pureeing, the soup can be refrigerated or frozen in a sealed container. Allow the soup to thaw completely before continuing.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup of the soup in a small saucepan. Remove the soup from the heat and gradually stir in the sour cream, making sure to leave no lumps. Stir the sour cream mixture into the remaining soup.
  5. Ladle the soup into the serving dishes and garnish with a sprig of mint.
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