Ringing in the new year with a Puerto Rican feast, cookies con amore, Jack’s curing soup and Christmas lights

29 Dec

The kitchen wench has been convalescing. Cough. Cold.

But, there is hope.


Specifically, Jack’s magic curing soup, made with (but not limited to) love, various chicken pieces, Thai chili pepper, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice and fairy dust (the stuff he doesn’t tell me about).

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This soup gets better each day. If you have a cold, I highly recommend it. We also eat it when we are not sick. It is one of those healing/homey soups.

Christmas this year was fabulous. I was gifted some beautiful sterling heart earrings, a sterling heart bracelet, cute boots (2 pair – count ’em), a gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret and a Nook. Yes, it appears the kitchen wench did not behave too badly this past year.

Jack received a new fish stand (for the 10 gallon tank he will be putting up soon, that will be filled with new and improved fish since our latest Betta fish addition “Phelps” passed recently – he was named thus because he was such a prolific swimmer, the irony) and a joystick for his Playstation – but actually he needed it for his other gaming system (a PS3?). Thankfully, he has mastered the art of trading electronic gadgets so he was able to get the one he wanted. You can tell I’m not a gamer. I’m still back in the days of Galaxian and Ms. Pac Man. Thankfully, you can still play these at Dave & Buster’s. And I’m still convinced my life will turn out if I can score one of those tabletop versions of  Ms. Pac Man. Does anyone know if they still have one of those over at Molly Butler’s in Greer? I should make them an offer.

Christmas continued, we spent a wonderful evening at my aunt Char’s, where she prepared for us a supper of spaghetti with her special salt pork tomato sauce, meatballs, pork roast (not pictured, but a very tender one I might add) and a tiramisu.


I was quite surprised at her choice of dessert since she’d balked about making cannolis this year (so much work, she claims), a dessert famous at the Hamilton’s on Christmas… and I’d balked at her balking. So I made kalochkes with powdered sugar,also a Hamilton favorite (3 kinds – count ’em: mincemeat, apricot and prune) to upstage her, and she ended up upstaging me. But she sent us home with leftovers, so I’m not complaining. And, my cookies did turn out very pretty. And according to my Dad, the extras we left at my aunt’s disappeared quickly.


Shortly before Christmas, Jack suggested we go out to Mesa to see the lights at the Mormon temple. They were amazing. Lookie lookie.


Pictures certainly turn out better with good subject material.


He is easy on the eyes, no?

As we are consistently planning our next meal, we have decided to celebrate the New Year next week with a Puerto Rican feast: marinated roast pork, black beans, rice (both prepared with salt pork), a green salad with citrus and nuts and something bubbly. I’m thinking prosecco.

Today, Jack went over to Defalco’s Deli to pick up sandwiches for us (salami for him, prosciutto for me) and he surprised me with some assorted Italian cookies. These come from a company in Vista, Ca. called Cookies con Amore. They are quite good, I sampled 3 already (an Italian wedding cookie, a biscotti and a chocolate hazelnut cookie) and all were very fresh. I need to buy a few more Christmas gifts (ahem) so this could be a good idea if you also need to pick up a late Christmas gift, or need a little something to bring  to a party. It appears they also do mail order, which is convenient.

Personally, I never need an excuse to go to Defalco’s. I mean, do you have to be hungry to even go in there?



Happy New Year, everyone.


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