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The Golden Age of Sci-Fi

Okay, this one’s not food related, but I think it’s really fun.

One of my favorite genres of literature is science fiction.  There is a special place in my heart for the 1950’s Sci-Fi writing (commonly referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction) and the artwork that goes along with it.  Both the writing and the artwork were based on science, but at that time, we knew so little about space travel, a lot of imagination had to be thrown in.  It ended up being a wonderful, if not campy at times, blend of easy and entertaining reading.  The fondness for this style of Sci-Fi has stuck with me since I read my first Asimov book (The Naked Sun, if I remember correctly).  In fact, I’m only 1 of 2 people that I know that actually enjoyed the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.  The terrible acting and bad CG just made it that much more enjoyable because it fit in with my notion of the pulp Sci-Fi that the story comes from.

So, you can imagine that I was giddy as a school girl when I found the Pulp-O-Mizer!  It allows you to create your own cover of a Sci-Fi pulp rag.  So I naturally had to make my own.

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Fun Fact For The Day

Because I was at a friend’s bachelor all day yesterday, I thought this would be apropos:

Americans walk an average of 730 miles per year and drink an average of 20.5 gallons of beer per year. Which means that the average American gets 35.5 miles to the gallon.

A couple of unique beers I’ve had recently (not yesterday):

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A nice lager from the Zamkowe Brewery in Poland, which is almost 700 years old (est. 1321)!

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A very malty ale with a fun name from the Lagunitas Brewery.

Trying New Things At The Baker’s Square

Last weekend Lindz, Dave (who was up from Rochester for the day), and I drove around our little corner of the Twin Cities doing some window shopping, and just to keep things interesting, some actual purchases were made.  As everyone knows, shopping makes you hungry, which is why we ended up at Baker’s Square.  I was flipping through the menu trying to figure out if I was going to go with my stand-by order (chicken fried steak) or try something else.  A little red box that said “NEW!” caught my attention.  It was the Nacho Cheeseburger.  A burger with nacho toppings?  What potential bliss could this be?

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Three major bar foods on one plate. Served at your local Baker’s Square.

Much like how the book is always better than the movie, I could do a better nacho burger at home.  But having said that, I would get this guy again.

Snow Crab

Not a whole lot to this post.  Snow crab was on sale.  Purchased a bag.  Brought it home.  Steamed it.  Ate it.  Everyone was happy.

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Yes, I did steal the leg cracker from Joe’s Crab Shack. Why do you ask?

Categories: supper Tags: , ,

A Pickled Snack

A couple of months ago I had a free weekend, so I decided to head north to visit the fam.  Specifically, to visit Grandma.  She gets lonely sitting in the nursing home even though Mom and everyone else tries to pop in on her as often as they can.  If I’m away too long, Grandma starts to bug Mom about whether I’ve called or not.  So, it just makes everyone’s life easier when Grandma is happy.  I don’t mind though, she keeps me on my toes.

Unfortunately, Lindz wasn’t available for this trip (Grandma wasn’t happy about this, she likes it when Lindz visits).  But just to let Lindz know what she was missing out on (food-wise, that is), I sent her a picture of a snack I cobbled together out of the fridge.

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Food that’ll put hair on your chest: pickled herring and pickled turkey gizzards.

Lindz was amused, she sent back a picture of pizza rolls and juice and told me that I was missing out.  Although, I did get the impression that she didn’t feel like she was missing out on anything with my snack.

A Very Polish Review

Several weeks ago Lindz found a Groupon for Nye’s Polonaise, the premier Polish restaurant here in the Cities.  Which is located in the Nordeast section of Minneapolis (you know, where the Polacks have lived for generations).  I’ve been itching to go there for years.  The urge gets worse when I’m working out in the western ‘burbs because I drive right by Nye’s on the way home.  Anyway, the Groupon was getting close to expiration, so we made plans to make a date night out of it.  After the usual bit of “What time do you want to go?”/”I don’t know, what time where you thinking of going?” we decided that sooner was better.  This turned out to be a good idea.  There weren’t many table filled when we got there at a quarter to five, but when we left around 6:30, there were people waiting at the door for their turn to be seated.

Based on the recommendation of my boss, Steve-O (also a Polack), we started the meal off with a Polonaise Martini each (Chopin vodka, dry vermouth, and olives).  As much as I secretly yearn to be James Bond, I really need to come to accept the fact that I’m not a martini drinker.  I can appreciate the quality of the drink, but it’s just not my cup of tea, so to speak.  After the round of martinis, Lindz switched to her standard Bombay Sapphire G&T (gin and tonic) and I tried a Polish beer that I haven’t had before.  Okocim O.K. Beer is a full bodied pale ale that is really good.  Not too light and crisp, but also not too dark and heavy.  All in all, a very nice beer for all occasions.

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Yup. Brace yourselves. I’m going to go there.
It’s more than just O.K.!

For our appetizers, I ordered the pickled herring.  Hey, I’m a Polish kid in a Polish restaurant in the Polish section of town, what did you expect?  Lindz got the Cheese and Potato Pierogi.  The herring was very good, if a bit overpriced.  I do consider it a worthwhile purchase because it was emotionally comforting to be eating herring in that atmosphere.  Herring always reminds me of my Grandparents, Nick and Bert (really it’s Enoch and Bertha, but we’re all about brevity and nicknames).  Grandpa and Grandma have both made and purchased an obscene quantity of the pickled fish over the years.  Combine that with the mid-20th century decor of Nye’s (it’s not retro, they just haven’t changed it in 50 years) that I’ve seen in countless places with my Grandparents and you’ve got yourself a very nostalgic Polack on your hands.

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The individually wrapped crackers did throw me for a bit of a loop, but they did add some needed color to the plate.

Lindz and I both thought the pierogi were good.  Though she prefers the ones at Longfellow’s Grill (which I haven’t had yet).  I really liked the fried onions that came with the dish.  I thought they added a nice savory/sweet taste to the pierogi.

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A plate load of fried carbs, starch, and fat. What’s not to love?

For our entrees, Lindz ordered the special of the evening, creamy pesto shrimp linguini.  Even though the shrimp were a bit overdone, Lindz did like the dish.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of it.  I’m trying to find that delicate balance of doing a decent job of documenting these dishes in public without being that annoying prick of a food blogger at the next table who does a full photo shoot with the flash going off like a thunder storm.

Lindz and I both opted for the house salad over the soup with our entrees.  That was a mistake.  The veggies were fresh and the dressing was good, but the salad consisted of lettuce and a wedge of tomato.  Soup would have been better.

I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat until I saw one item on the menu that was an answer to all of my prayers.  The Polonaise Platter (sensing a theme yet?) under the section labeled Polish Specialties.  It came out on a small serving platter (the kind that you put a full roast on).  I just want to say that again to emphasize the amount of food that was placed before me.  It came out on a small serving platter.  It comes with a link of kielbasa (sausage), golabki (cabbage roll), three pierogi (filled dumplings), kluski (potato dumpling), zederka duszone (braised spare ribs), and of course kapusta kizona (our beloved sauerkraut, i.e. fermented cabbage).  I’ve got a lot of ground to cover here, so I’m just going to take one item on the plate at a time.

First up is the Polish sausage.  I’m heavily biased with quite a few foods because my family has been perfecting certain items over generations.  At the head of that list is sausages.  Grandpa Nick would make his own every year and I’ve had very few that comes as close to the perfection of his version.  The ones served at Nye’s are good, but not outstanding, even though they come from the Kramarczuk’s, a well known and well regarded deli in town.

My family rarely made cabbage rolls, so Nye’s is fighting a fair fight here.  In fact, Nye’s stands out quite proudly.  This was by far the best item on whole platter.  It was meaty with a nice flavor of caraway and garlic.  The cabbage leaf cover added a sweet note to each bite.

As far as I can remember, no one in my family has made pierogi, so once again Nye’s has the edge here.  At this point I had already tried the cheese and potato pierogi appetizer, and those were good, but not great.  The ones that I had on my platter were much better.  The one with sauerkraut was okay.  The one with mushrooms was quite tasty.  But the standout one was the one with a cranberry filling.

Kluski is a vague term that can apply to anything between a solid dough dumpling to noodles.  The kluski served at Nye’s was a flour and potato dough made into a dumpling slightly smaller than a baseball.  It was good, but like all the kluski that I’ve had, it is a really dense dough, so the bigger the dumpling, the harder it is to cut and eat.  Which is why I prefer the kluski Mom makes (around the size of the top two sections of your pinkie finger).  Flavor-wise, there really wasn’t any difference between Nye’s and Mom’s.  In short, it was a good dumpling, even if it was a bit large.

Growing up on the farm, I’ve eaten a lot of ribs over the years.  My desire and taste for them have grown and ebbed many times over the years.  Currently I’m in a pro-rib phase, so I really enjoyed the ones at Nye’s.  There was no dominant spice flavor which leads me to suspect that they were boiled with the kraut that it was served with.  Which isn’t a bad option if the kraut is good.

Which leaves me with the kraut.  I’ve never really appreciated kraut until I was in my twenties.  Now I crave it on a regular basis.  I’m not talking about the weird overly processed stuff you find at the grocery store (although Frank’s is pretty decent).  I’m talking about the stuff that is made in 30 gallon crock jars sitting in the basement of your grandmother’s house.  The kraut at Nye’s is arguably better then the stuff I grew up on.  It is less sour (less fermentation) and heavier on the caraway seeds, which I’m a fan of.  This was the other stand out item on the platter.

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Under that pint sized jar worth of kraut lies a half rack of ribs. You can see part of the kielbasa sticking up on top of the photo. The cabbage roll (upper) and kluski (lower) are wedged into the right hand side of the mound of kraut. The three pierogi look miniscule and a bit lost way off on the right.

As I was explaining to Lindz earlier today.  I had a great time at Nye’s.  Even though I had never been there before, I felt totally at home.  A super casual atmosphere and a lot of dear-to-my-heart comfort food is available.  Plus our waitress was super awesome.  I really look forward to making more stops here.

I’m going to leave with a saying that I saw on the menu: Jedzcie pijcie i popuszczajcie pas (Eat, Drink, and Loosen Your Belt).

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Yup. Fell asleep on the couch on date night. I’m such a romantic guy.

P.S. For those of you going “This place sounds really familiar, where have I heard of it before?”, the answer you’re looking for is that it was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Our New Favorite Chinese Place

I should qualify that a little bit.  This is our new favorite local Chinese restaurant, i.e. one that’ll deliver to our place if we so desire.  I probably need to clarify that even more.  I’m talking about Americanized Chinese restaurants and cuisine.  Granted, this is what you find by default, but with a little effort, you can find places that serve authentic Chinese fare.  But that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

New Fresh Wok is located on Larpenteur Ave, just off of Snelling in St. Paul.  They opened up sometime last fall and it took us a bit of time before we actually went and ate there, even though it’s less than two miles from our apartment.  The reason for the delay is that we were hitting a long string of mediocre Chinese restaurants in the area and we were not all that excited about trying another place just to be let down.  The other restaurants weren’t bad, but Lindz and I are used to being spoiled.  When we were living in Decorah, IA, we would frequent two really kicking Chinese places in town (yup, two great Chinese restaurants in a town with a population of just over 8000).  Of course, there is our hands down favorite Chinese place of all time, China Star, in Rochester (located a disturbingly convenient half mile from our future home and 2.5 miles from Lindz’s folks place).  That’s enough of the past.

This post/review is a compilation of a couple of visits, both eating in and getting take-out.

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First up, we have the Thai Styled Mango Chicken.  This was an okay dish.  It had an adequate level of heat to it, but for some reason the flavor was two dimensional.  The veggies were good but the chicken was mushy.  It reminded me of the chicken breasts that I accidentally bought one time that were injected with a saline solution to make them more tender.  It worked, but it felt like I was eating a sponge that kinda sorta tasted like chicken.  Even though the flavors weren’t there, I do really like the concept of this dish.

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One of Lindz’s requirements for a good Chinese place is good Crab Rangoons.  But since they are hard to find, she is willing to settle for Cream Cheese Wontons.  This is one of those tricky things to cook, with it comprising of only a few ingredients, you have to nail it every time.  New Fresh Wok passes with flying colors.

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Outside of Decorah, I haven’t been able to find a place that does a Mongolian Beef to my liking.  Much to my surprise and even more to my delight, New Fresh Wok offers up a really good version.  I like Mongolian Beef best with just beef, onions, and sauce.  They throw in a few more veggies than I would prefer, but it doesn’t detract from the dish.  It’s a nice dish with a salty, earthy base highlighted with onions, garlic, ginger, and, of course, the beef.

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My true test of a Chinese restaurant is a dish that is not even Chinese.  I am obviously talking about General Tso’s Chicken.  This is a dish that needs a teeth shattering batter, tender chicken, and a sauce that will make you thankful for the rice because it cuts the heat.  New Fresh Wok delivers on all of these accounts.  This is the fundamental reason why New Fresh Wok surged to the top of our favorites list.

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OK, I didn’t have the Orange Chicken, but Sheryl really seemed to like it.  Even though she thought it was light on the veggies.

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Naturally, we had to try out a selection from their sushi bar.  And, naturally, we went with the Dragon Roll that has eel and cucumber in the center and topped off with avocado and roe.  Not the greatest roll I’ve ever eaten, but for the price, it was worth it.  Hmm, apparently somewhere along the way I’ve become a total sushi snob.

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What would a Chinese meal be without some tea?  New Fresh Wok served the standard Chinese restaurant tea.  I’m not a huge tea drinker, so that’s all the info you’ll get out of me.  But I really like the tea pot.

If you find yourself in the Roseville area and are hankering for some good Chinese, drop in at New Fresh Wok.  You won’t be disappointed.

This One Is For The Adventurous Sort

This recipe is mind-blowing amazing!  I found it over at the Not Without Butter blog.  It is called Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings.  If you like Asian cuisine, you’ll love this dish.

I tried it out on some chicken feet that I had in the freezer.  Yes, I had chicken feet around but no wings.  That’s how I roll.  And before you ask, yes, they are edible, and yes, they are quite good.  I do suggest that you peel off the skin, cut off the last knuckle, i.e. the claw, and give them a good wash.  Or if you’re lucky, your little sis will do all of this for you.

I’ll play nice and give you the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Chicken Wings, tips removed, drummies and flats separated
  • 3 Tbs plus 2 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tbs plus 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbs minced Ginger
  • 1 Tbs Veggie Oil
  • 1 Tbs Lime Juice
  • 2 Thai Birdeye Chilis, finely minced – I used dried chili peppers
  • Cilantro leave for garnish (optional)

Mix 2 tsp fish sauce, 2 tsp sugar, and the black pepper together and coat the chicken with it.  Let it marinate for a half hour.

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Cue the “Ewwwww!”

In a steamer, bring some water up to a boil and put the chicken in the basket.  Steam it for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  While the chicken is steaming preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Over medium heat, saute the garlic and ginger in the oil until they are crispy and golden.  Once that is done, strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and save the garlic and ginger in another bowl.

When the chicken is done, remove from the steamer and pat dry with some paper towels.  Brush the flavored oil all over the chicken and place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Flip everything over and bake for another 20 minutes.

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Looking better . . .

Once the chicken is done baking, drain them on a paper towel if necessary, and place in a large bowl.  Make the sauce by combining the remaining fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice.  Mix together until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the garlic, ginger, and chilies.  Pour over the chicken and toss to evenly coat.  Pile it onto a plate and garnish with the cilantro and serve.

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You have to admit they look pretty darn good at this point.

I went into this recipe with the knowledge that if I left the feet in the oven as long as you’re suppose to leave the wings, I’d end up with a desiccated mummy of a chicken foot.  Even though I drastically cut the time in the oven (7 minutes per side), the feet still ended up being over cooked.  I’m thinking of a couple of ways to get the crispy skin and not have them turn into leather.  One plan is to skip the steaming and just roast them, and the other is to steam them and just throw them under the broiler for a couple of minutes per side.  A benefit of the roasting that I wasn’t expecting was that the gelatinous nature of the feet was significantly muted.  I don’t mind that texture/stickiness, but it can get to be a bit much after a few feet.

All that aside, the flavor was wonderfully amazing.  The sauce had a nice punch to it which was rounded out by the freshness of the citrus, garlic, and ginger.  The fish sauce added a nice background note of earthiness that I associate with Asian cuisine.  All in all a very simple and very solid sauce.  I can’t wait to try this recipe on some wings!

I’ll leave with one of Mom’s favorite sayings:  “If you don’t like what I’ve made, go make your own supper!”

The Blue Door Pub

First off, that is a great name for a pub.  Simple.  Unpretentious.  Easily shortened: the Blue Door.  Rolls right off the tongue.  Unique, as not to be confused with another establishment.  Great name.

Our good friends, Miles and Sarah, were in town for a preaching convention (yeah, I now know more pastors than I had ever thought possible).  Since we don’t get to see each other in the flesh all that often, we decided to go out and have supper together.  Miles, being a fellow food lover, suggested The Blue Door Pub in the Highland Park area of St. Paul.  This was a great choice because it is close and they have amazing food.  The downside is that everyone around the area knows that they have great food.  Which translated into a 45 minute wait for a table at 6:30 pm on a Thursday.

Ob-la-di.

The main reason (other than good food and good company) Miles wanted to have the Spam Bites.

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They look innocent enough . . .

As previously noted, I do love me some Spam.  So, basically, there was no possible way this evening was ending without having some Spam.  We also ordered the Deep Fried Pickles and Cheese Curds for our appetizers.

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I’m going to start referring to this plate as The Holy Trinity of The Blue Door Pub.

The spam bites went beyond my wildest dreams.  The bites consisted of diced spam and diced pickles, held together in a mass of cream cheese.  Then gloriously battered and deep fried.  If you’ve ever had the pickle/cream cheese/ham wraps before, these tasted just like that.  Deep fried pickles are out of this world.  The tart vinegar taste pairs very nicely with the beer batter and the garlic aioli.  Cheese curds are a Midwest staple (the really good ones squeak against your teeth).  They only improve if you batter them and deep fry ’em.  If you’ve never had any of these before, I most definitely recommend it.  Just not too often.  You know, heat attacks and such.

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I present to you the Merriam Park Juicy Blucy.

The burger of choice that night was the Merriam Park Juicy Blucy.  Three out of four of us ordered it, and it will make sense as to why in just a sec.  The Merriam Park is a hamburger stuffed with bacon, bleu cheese, and garlic.  Them topped with a red currant jelly.  See?  You want one too, huh?  All of the stuffing makes for a really rich and full bodied bite.  That’s where the jelly comes in.  It gives that bite just a hint of sweet and tart to balance out the flavor.  At the moment, it is my clear favorite Blucy.  I opted for the deep fried green beans as a side.  Though it was a close call because their tater tots are worlds beyond your fondest memory of them as a kid.  Really.  They are that good.

So if you ever find yourself in St. Paul (specifically, Highland Park) swing on over to The Blue Door Pub.  It is without a doubt worth the wait in line.

P.S. A quick shout out and a thanks to Miles for letting me use his pictures (the top and bottom ones).

Christmas Fruit and a Citrus Kick in the Ol’ Boxers

I had forgotten about a particular tradition until Lindz visited one of her professors before Christmas.  Her professor receives a box of citrus from one of his former students every year during Advent.  When Lindz showed up to visit, he had just gotten his yearly present and he realized that he couldn’t eat it all before it went bad.  So, Lindz ended up with a box of fruit.

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The Red Navel oranges (in the red tissue) were by far the best ones. Sweet, but with a prominent citrus tang.

The tradition that I forgot about was the giving of a certain bag of “goodies” at Christmas time.  This bag consists of an orange (maybe an apple too), nuts in the shell (usually peanuts), and some form of candy (candy canes, old fashioned ribbon candy, chocolate coins, etc).  With a bit of research on the good ol’ internet, I found that a lot of people used to get these in their stocking from their parents.  Personally, I received it from our priest every year as a youngster.  I’ve heard of this custom off and on over the years, but never knew the origin.  I’ve always assumed that it was a “healthy” and/or “inexpensive” gift.  But the more that I heard about it, it slowly dawned on me that this wasn’t just a local Catholic thing, it was far more widespread phenomenon.  This year I finally took the time to do the research.  It turns out that the actual origins are pretty murky.  Frustrating, but not surprising.  On the web, a lot of people remember this as a kid, and many continue it with their own children.  Most people are comfortable with the answer of “I don’t know.  It was just something that grandma (or whomever) always did.”  They assume that it either came from the old country, (Italy, Poland, England, etc) or it dates back to the time when oranges were a rarity and hence an actual treat, or some combination of these two factors.  While I can see these two reasons being factors, it just didn’t feel right for how widespread and long lasting this experience is.

Wiki to the rescue!

In his (St. Nicholas) most famous exploit, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes . Hearing of the poor man’s plight, Nicholas decided to help him . . . and drops the third bag down the chimney (where) the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking.

Ok, but how do we get from a bag of gold to an orange?  Here is where symbolism comes into effect.  The best explanation is that an orange is a similar color to gold and that oranges are similar in shape to bags of the shiny stuff.  Also, in some European countries, oranges have symbolized Jesus’ love for the world.  I’ve listed a bunch of the more interesting links that I’ve found at the end of this post.

Now that the history lesson is over, on to the food!

We weren’t eating the box of oranges as fast as we should have and they were in real danger of going bad.  So I had to come up with something to use a whole bunch of oranges at once.  I’ve had a venison loin sitting in the freezer since last fall and it seemed like it would be a perfect pairing for an orange pan sauce that I had in mind.

Since the sauce was going to be the star of the show, I simply cut the loin into medallions and pan fried them in a bit of oil.

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I’m not sure why I keep posting pics of frying meat, but it always look so good.  Well, that I love to see my cast irons being used.

As a side, I went with roasted potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic all mashed up together.

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I really love roasted root veggies and mashing them up makes for a nice variation. Especially if you plan on putting some kind of sauce on them.

Once the venison was fried off and resting, I made the pan sauce.  The recipe that I borrowed quite heavily from is the Orange Pan Sauce with Middle Eastern Spices from the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook.  I really wanted the sauce to be a “Friday-night-drunken-barroom-brawl” explosion in your mouth, so I went very heavy on the OJ and zest.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 C Orange Zest
  • 3 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 C Orange Juice
  • Salt

Pour off all but 1 1/2 Tbs fat from the skillet (of whatever meat you are making).  Place skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute.  Stir in sugar, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in vinegar, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the fond.  Add the orange juice, increase heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to about 3/4 C, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Off heat, season with salt to taste.  Spoon over meat and serve.

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Yes, it tasted even better than it looks.

I managed to create the citrus barrage that I was intending.  Plus, the other spices weren’t lost in all of the citric acid.  They were a nice background note in the sauce.  What is even better, is that the sauce worked equally well on both the meat and the roasted veggie mash.  All in all, I was quite pleased with this meal.  In fact, I am hoping the bag of lemons that we have in the fridge right now linger around a bit so I have an excuse to try this with a different citrus.

p.s.  Sorry if there is less snark in this post than usual.  Lindz has been hoarding our household’s share of it lately.

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An informative page, with emphasis on the Canadian Prairies.

A well-researched page (much more effort than I put into mine) that is a nice narrative.

This page looks at this Christmas tradition with regard to its English origin.

A sugar- and food-centric page that emphasizes the sweet and preservative aspect of fruit.

An interesting audio story from Minnesota Public Radio about the impact of a couple from Minnesota and their influence on the Christmas orange tradition here.

A not very helpful page with regards to Christmas oranges, but a still very interesting read.

A wonderful page full of Polish Christmas time traditions.