After a long day of exhausting travel, Holiday feasting began upon arrival at the Brooklyn home of SJ, Exquisite Maiko, Handsome Haru and enchanting Teru. Jolly welcome. HG/BSK found comforting warmth in bowls of SJ’s chickpea, rosemary and tomato soup. This soup is SJ’s creative take on the classic Marcella Hazan recipe. Rather than leaving the garbanzos whole, SJ adds real Spanish chorizo to the basic ingredients and blends the whole thing into a smooth and earthy soup, redolent of rosemary and finished with cubes of crisp guanciale. This was followed by an exuberant platter of varied cheese from the Fairway market and lots of red wine and vodka. Plus, splendid Tuscan salami and Spanish ham. Delight. Thoughtful SJ gave HG/BSK a bag of bagels and bialys plus Ben’s Scallion Cream Cheese (the best!) for breakfast in HG/BSK’s temporary Prospect Heights home.
SJ scored again with the traditional fish feast on Christmas eve with the usual Jewish twist. SJ, in his annual ritual, finished DJing at 4:30 am and headed right to Russ & Daughters so he could be first on line on Christmas Eve day. R & D is a New York landmark for herring and smoked fish and knowing SJ sourced a feast and motored it bak to the family gathering in Riverside, R.I. Here were some of the goodies: Nova Scotia smoked salmon; smoky New Zealand smoked salmon; Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, whole Dutch herring; pickled herring; wasabi tobiko; smoked yellowfin tuna; sable, whitefish salad, creme fraiche, wild Alaskan red salmon caviar; American hackleback black caviar. The fixings: Lemon wedges, chopped onion, thin sliced rings of onion, capers, scallion cream cheese, regular cream cheese. The breads: Bagels, bialys, buttered toast (for the American caviar); thinly sliced Baltic dark rye bread. Wow. To drink: Prosecco; white wine; rose wine; Tito’s vodka; Bass ale. Big time feast. Opened a few presents (that’s the family custom). No room for dessert. Off to bed for big time morning present opening and reprise of the evening feast (plus SJ’s super potato latkes). HG is convinced that no family celebrates the holidays with more joy and culinary delights.