Did you have a wonderful holiday? I did. I am relaxed, recharged, and ready for what 2011 has to offer. Our Christmas was very quiet. Most years, we have whoever is around over for at least one of the nights, but this year, it was just us. As nice as it was to not have the pressure of entertaining, I will admit that I missed having a house full of people. People other than the ones that live here that is.
I had a full blown kitchen fail on Christmas Eve that involved burning a pot so badly that I needed to throw it away. It happens to best of us. I guess it is a good thing that we were not having people over. My elegant soup and salad turned into fried egg sandwiches and pancakes. There were some tears (mine) in the kitchen that evening. I realized in the whole scheme of things that the memory of me burning Christmas Eve dinner will be more fun and memorable than the memory of the dinner that I was supposed to make. Breakfast for dinner after Mass was so much fun, that it may become a new tradition after all.
A fairly new tradition are these Cherry Thyme Champagne Cocktails. I started making them last Christmas and loved them so much that they carried on to New Years and many, many times last winter. I love champagne and I love champagne cocktails. The thyme really makes this drink elegant and delightful. You can make the cherry mixture days ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge until you are ready for a drink. I use an inexpensive Prosecco to make these, but you can use whatever sparkling white wine you like.
I got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle newsletter, Goop.
1 bottle of Prosecco or sparkling white wine
1 (10-ounce) can of whole cherries (not pie filling, but canned cherries)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Drain the cherry juice into a saucepan. Put the cherries in a jar for later.
Simmer the juice and thyme over low heat for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool.
Pour the cooled juice over the cherries.
Put about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the cherry juice in the bottom of a champagne glass. Add one cherry to the glass. Pour the Prosecco over the cherries. Garnish with a small sprig of thyme. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice in each glass. Someone told me once, that lemon is to cocktails as salt is to food. It enhances the flavor. It really makes a difference here.