Taste of the Week – December 20th-26th

Ah, Christmas week! Is there a better
week for riotous, extravagant eating? Sure, Thanksgiving is
wonderful, but that is all about the bird and its fixings and is really centered on that one day. While
there may be some latitude with tradition, by and large, tradition
keeps that week pretty fixed culinarily. 
Meanwhile, for someone such as myself, who enjoys spending time with my family and friends 
as much as great eating, Christmas Week, during which tradition is prominent, but ultimately anything goes, is the
epitome – at least it usually is.

This week started out promisingly
enough with a wonderful Greek dinner party held by that fabulous
Greek Goddess herself, Pat Sheldon and her wonderful husband, Albert
that featured a succulent Greek style leg of lamb and a number of
different “kopitas” amongst other delights. By a certain view, that
lamb should probably have been my taste of the week, as it turned out to be the tastiest meal
that I actually ate over the course of the week.

You see, by Wednesday, I began to get
sick, very sick, with a nasty GI bug. I was supposed to be at work,
on-call that night, but though I tried, I couldn't physically do it and had to rely
on a generous colleague to cover me. By the next morning, Christmas
Eve, I thought I was doing a little better and rather than stay home alone for Christmas (I'm no McCauley Culkin), I made the decision to
go with my family to drive to New Jersey, where we would spend
Christmas Eve with my family and their Italian based goodies (it was
for there that I had ordered cheese, but that is a story for another
time – if we are friends on facebook or you follow me on Twitter,
you already likely have an idea about this), and Christmas Day with
my wife's family, where another fine meal was planned. It was going
to be especially convenient this year since both celebrations were in
the same town with the homes literally no more than 5 minutes from
each other.

When I arrived at my niece's house on
Christmas Eve, mistaking the feeling in my tummy for hunger, I started sampling some of
the delights including crab, lobster and shrimp cocktails, fresh
mozzarella and baked clams. I didn't actually have much of any of
them though, as it turned out that my taste was way off. Of the various things I tried, only my brother's shrimp cocktail tasted "right" to me (I don't know if that meant it was good or bad). In addition,
I was no longer feeling better, but returning to chills and fever
and frequent visits to my namesake. I had no energy and plenty of
abdominal cramps as well. It was no fun and I was no fun, so
ultimately, I slunk away and rested in a guest bedroom with an adjacent bathroom for the bulk
of the evening.

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With the help of ES Tylenol and
Immodium, I made it through the night with only a few disturbances
and I spent the bulk of Christmas Day in bed sleeping, while my
family was out at my wife's brother's house for brunch. I managed to join the land of
the living for dinner, but while they enjoyed beautiful beef
tenderloin, I feasted with orange gatorade. That orange gatorade was
my staple all that day and for a good part of Saturday as well. For a
long time, it appeared that it would actually be my taste of the
week.

Fotunately though, it didn't have to be
as I was well enough Saturday night when we arrived home to take
nourishment in the form of a goose-stock enriched chicken soup. I
like a good chicken soup, but it has been some tiome since a
relatively plain broth tasted so good to me or was appreciated so much by me. For that reason, my
wife's home-made goose-chicken soup is clearly my Christmas Week Taste of the
Week!

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As with many things associated with
Christmas, the most appreciated items don't always come in the prettiest packages.


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