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Monday, 21 December 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!-My Holiday Survival Tips--food,family,life

Hey There Y'all--it's moi, back in the frigid city also known as Ottawa (North Pole of the South).....Okayyyy that's all I'm saying. Brrrrrrrrr.

On a brighter note arrived Thursday afternoon 5 pm'ish, flight was delayed in leaving 'cause brakes needed fixing. Oh ya! Fix dem brakes, that's a good thing. Sooo arrived an hour late, and did I mention it was cold........
Got my luggage and found Cuz Rick and was about to load luggage when Rick yelled stop!!!, and reached in the trunk and pulled out, Mado's missing X 1week (already been deactivated, teehee) cell phone. Sooo I was already a good luck charm, my Mojo was ON, Oh Ya!......Did I mention my fingers were still numb with cold.(Hmmmm I sense a theme)
Anywhoooo, Soooo, phone found, Mar = good luck, and I could use all the good luck I can...

Arrive @ Rick & Mado's and lotsa hugs later suitcases in and deposited in my room, when hmmmm Where's Rick?? Followed by large clanging banging noises and much colorful speaking in increasingly louder verbal tonages. Off Mado and I went to investigate, and found Rick attempting to erect a ladder that was taller than the height allowance from floor to ceiling in the garage, ( that in itself was chuckleworthy, albeit silently to not incur his wrath)
Sooo a shorter ladder was retrieved and Rick pointed out an area on the ceiling that appeared whitish, and declared it was frost, which meant that there was moisture, which meant those ffffff'n guys didn't fix the problem that had their house flooded, torn apart, and a dusty wheezy, frustrating construction zone for the better part of the year.
Suffice it to say, all was not well in Whoville!
Friends with connections were called, plumbers were paged, contractors were contacted, and there were holes in the ceiling of the garage (a big one). Holes in the drywall in the master bedroom, moisture was found, pipes were replaced, and now comes the complete inspection of the faulty area to determine the extent of the problem and what it will take to fix da sucker once and for all.
And thru all of this, as disheartening as this is, Ya Know What, It's Just A House !!!!
Ain't it the truth! One we've all learnt well again this year! Soooooo next I went to Shae and Bob's.

Where we discussed food and what to prepare and serve for the family dinner we were hosting
on Sunday. Shae had found a recipe for Country Pork Pate in the Ottawa Citizen.

It Was Fabulous--- Soooo Here's the recipe.----of course we made a double batch-- one with the mushroom option and one without.

2lbs boneless pork shoulder
4oz bacon--chopped
4Tbsp- shallots--chopped
2Tbsp--fresh thyme leaves
1/2cup--fresh parsley--chopped
2Tbsp--kosher salt
1tsp--black pepper
1cup--mushrooms-chopped fine--(optional)
1/2 cup--dried apple--chopped
2-large eggs (we used only one)
1/2 cup-heavy cream(we used 5%cream)

1--Prepare a weight to fit inside the terrine mould-(we used loaf pans)--which you will use later to compress terrine.(brick wrapped in foil)
2--grind the pork--coarse grind--(we used food processor on pulse--til coarse--then manually sifted through to pull out sinew and grizzle and cut up the larger pieces--it's detail work so good music is a must-- so say I)---set aside and reserve 2/3 of the pork.
---combine the remaining pork, bacon, shallots, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and then grind a 2nd time.
3--In a bowl combine remaining reserved portion of pork with pistachios and chopped dried apples.
4--In a stand mixer bowl,( we used a hand mixer & large bowl)--combine the flour,eggs,brandy and cream and mix to combine.--Fold in pork/bacon mixture, working to combine.(mit your hands)--Fry up a small portion and adjust salt and pepper seasonings to taste. (we didn't, oops)
5--preheat oven to 300 degrees F.(150C)
6--Line a 1&1/2 quart (1.5L) terrine mould (loaf pan) with plastic wrap--(we used parchment paper)--leaving sufficient to hang over the sides to cover the top later.
Fill the mold with the pate mixture and fold the paper over the top to cover the terrine.
Place in a roasting pan and fill halfway up the sides of terrine pans with boiling water.
Bake until the internal temp=150degreesF, approx. 1 hour.
7--Remove terrine from roasting pan, place a weight on top(foil covered brick), let cool, and refrigerate with weight overnite. ( or if you live in Ottawa, put it in the garage)

As for moi----too bloody cold to walk so am doing several sets of push-ups and wearing my 3lb. ankle weights and using the stairs for exercise. helps cope with anxiety and heavyness.
Having increased menopause symptoms, muchos hot flashes and sweats, ughh, that's it no more complaining.

Emotionally soothing to be with family and feel cocooned in their warmth and love. Makes up for how difficult it is not sleeping in my own bed with my usual noises. Soooo Shae and Bob are home from errands sooooo....later y'all