My sweetheart and I celebrated the holidays quietly at home this year. Thus, we decided to make it a full-fledged staycation featuring plenty of food and time together.
Our Xmas Eve celebration, then, began around noon with preparations for an early homestyle dinner – 5:00 ish. Our kitchen is very small: we are not. Since we were sharing the responsibility for dishes, we had to work out a kitchen schedule. What a fun challenge for us and a test of our collaborative skills. I’m happy to say we passed the test!
The dinner was a simple one consisting of crab cakes (from our local Whole Foods seafood section), pearl couscous with mixed bell peppers, and a cucumber/radish salad. It doesn’t seem that difficult at first blush till you factor in the substitutions we had to make (because we really are follow-the-recipe cooks) plus our “make ahead” work on dishes for Xmas Day dinner. After much excitement, we finally got the meal on the table around 6:00 … maybe 6:30. I confess the delay was mostly my fault. With our meal we enjoyed a bottle of Vermentino from Trader Joe’s under the VINTJS label.
After dinner, we finished watching the first season of “The Crown.” This TV show is one of the best historical dramas I’ve ever seen. If you like the genre, you should see it. Sumptuous cinematography and solid performances across the board.
Then we put together a little snack tray of cheese, crackers, prosciutto, and nuts. After all, we’d worked hard on the couch helping get Queen Elizabeth through the trials and tribulations of her early reign. Next we turned out all the lights except the tree and sang our favorite Xmas carols. And that was that! Time to hit the hay and rest up for our Xmas Day festivities.
Appellation: Lodi, California
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: For me, this light white had a strong, zingy bouquet of citrus, peach and spice. On the tongue I tasted orange, grass, and citrus zest. It had a surprisingly long and pleasant finish as the orange lingered on the palate. I liked this VINTJS Vermentino. I was a little surprised that the piquancy of the bouquet didn’t translate fully to the tongue, but perhaps that’s just part of it’s character.