December 24, 2013

Christmastime for orphans

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It's Christmas Eve, and once again I'm in Hong Kong instead of being with my parents in Taipei.  The good thing about this year, though, is that I'm not in the middle of a fund launch, and won't have to go back to the office in the middle of dinner... like I did last year!

This year I decided that I would spend Christmas Eve with my Dearest Favorite Birdbrain Cousin, who's also got nobody to spend it with.  After all, it IS a time for family gathering!  Not wanting to fight the crowd and pay outlandish prices for all those special set dinners, I decided that it would be best if we just did something casual at home.  I also haven't seen Wolfie for a couple of years, and this would give me a chance to spend some quality time with the mutt.

Since this is Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day, I didn't wanna spend a lot of time and effort cooking, though, as we'd both still be working during the day.  So I checked with my friend David from On Lot 10 to see if I could get one of his roast chickens to takeaway.  I was ever so thankful that David obliged me...

The taxi driver must have hated me all the way from the restaurant to my cousin's apartment, because the smell of the roast chicken was simply incredible.  I got hungrier and hungrier by the minute, while I kept a close eye on the chicken during the bumpy ride.  I couldn't wait to arrive at my destination and to dig in!

Roast Mierval Bresse chicken - this was such a thing of beauty!  Stuffed with garlic and herbs inside, this was one incredibly fragrant and tasty chicken.  I didn't hesitate to go straight for one of the drumsticks and strip it clean with my teeth, then proceeded to take off both wings.  Yum yum yum!

Birdbrain eats like a whitey, so I left her with all the breast meat.  Wolfie's also been raised on chicken breast like his owner, and he was lucky tonight that the meat didn't come from a big bag of frozen strips...

Sautéed Brussels sprouts with Taiwanese sausage - kinda interesting since Taiwanese sausages are super sweet.  The Brussels sprouts were definitely overdone, having been sautéed then sent into the oven... so they were pretty mushy.  I didn't really care, as I needed my daily veggie and just devoured this.

Roasted pumpkin and carrots

Jamón ibérico - not very fatty, but wonderfully yummy with that combination of both sweet and savory flavors.

Pâte - ho-hum.

We nibbled on some strawberries and black cherries, but what I was really waiting for were the Pierre Hermé macarons that my Favorite Cousin had in her fridge...

Truffe blanche et noisette - not bad, but each new macaron seemed to be less and less fragrant this season...

Infiniment rose - methinks Birdbrain should have bought Ispahan...
Chocolat et foie gras - pretty good, but this one seemed more savory than the others I had this season.
Envie - love the violet and blackcurrant.

A pretty good spread for the two of us, I think.

I also brought over two bottles for us, and I think we did a pretty good job with them...

1991 Opus One - minty, leather, plummy, a little earthy, smoky and grilled meats.

2005 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard - very ripe on both the nose and the palate, toasty, marmalade, and a little buttery on the finish.

I'm glad the two of us were able to spend some quality time together, and I was also glad to see Wolfie after being away for the last couple of years.  By the looks of it, he seemed to have worn himself out during the evening with us...

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