DSCF0892 (2) (1024x246)1) here’s our view from the condo (double-click to open full size) … we get this sort of creepy fog at this time of the year

We opted, surprisingly, to stay home this year for Christmas and New Year’s which was quite a change for us after our adventures over the past several years:

It was a nice change and we actually had to go out and buy holiday decorations and such as it was back in 2009 that we last holidayed at home and just a minimum of our holiday decorations came West with us. We even had snow in Vancouver in mid-December which is – really – exceptionally rare. It may snow once a year (usually in February) but it rarely stays on the ground. This year, we had 2 days that almost made it to three with snow on the ground and one day, it was a blizzard (at least for Vancouver standards).

There were gifts of course and plenty of food. For Christmas dinner, we did a full on turkey served with Gordon Ramsey’s excellent holiday stuffing, a lobster mashed potato, and individual spinach gratins that were OMG amazing (how could it not be though as it was essentially just cheese and butter!). For dessert G made his take on a s’more – that included a pecan shortbread, earl grey marshmallow, chocolate mousse, and a pecan brittle. It was excellent.

DSCN3176 (2) (1024x753)2) the view looking east to sunrise during the days of snow and fog

IMG_4269 (2) (1024x765)3) look at the snow!

IMG_4318 (2) (1024x765)4) look at the blizzard; this was one morning as I walked to my office around 0630 

IMG_4327 (2) (765x1024)5) here’s our tree and gifts – that big box you see happened to be – with thanks to my foks – the complete boxed set of Nathan Myhrvold’s exceptional Modernist Cuisine (which won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and is acknowledged as the most important cookbook of the 21st century)

IMG_4328 (2) (1024x1024)6) the table is set

IMG_4331 (2) (1024x708)7) mmmmm doesn’t he look good!

IMG_4333 (2) (1024x765)8) here’s our individual spinach gratin

IMG_4334 (2) (1024x765)9) and the lobster mashed potatoes

IMG_4332 (2) (1024x765)10) the turkey with the stuffing (which contains, spicy sausage, pork, pistachios, dried apricots and is wrapped in sage leaves)

IMG_4337 (2) (1024x854)11) G s’more

New Year’s was a two-fold event. Part one was supposed to be us, Blee (who was in town visiting), and Barb and Darrin heading up to Mount Seymour to partake in a nighttime snowshoe excursion that hiked into the woods and ended at a candle lit clearing with a chocolate fondue and drinks, but, as it was raining and warm, the event was cancelled. Boo! Instead, Barb and Darrin joined Blee, G and I at the condo whereupon we drank, watched the ball drop in NYC and then celebrated again when the fireworks went off in Seattle. Part two was the following evening when Blee, G and I prepared a seafood New Year’s dinner.

IMG_4346 (2) (1024x1024)12) Happy New Year!

DSCF0879 (2) (1024x768)13) course one: oysters on the half shell

DSCF0880 (2) (1024x768)14) course two; caviar with the accoutrement

IMG_4356 (2) (1024x1024)15) and yes we made those blinis ourselves

IMG_4357 (2) (1024x765)16) course three: a pea soup with a sous vide shrimp and champagne foam. Looks pretty but it was a failed course I’m afraid. The pea soup needed more blending and the shrimp was a disaster.

DSCF0886 (2) (1024x768)17) course four: a seared scallop with vanilla cream sauce

DSCF0888 (2) (1024x768)18) course five: halibut with soba and a mushroom consomme

Our first culinary purchase in 2014 was a professional Blendtec blender. These machines blend components more smoothly than even the very best traditional blender you can imagine. We are delighted with it and tested its capabilities out by making a broccoli soup. The results were fabulous and we are Blendtec believers indeed!

IMG_4367 (2) (1024x765)19) the new Blendtec arrives home

IMG_4368 (765x1024)20) how exciting!

IMG_4369 (765x1024)21) in goes the broth and broccoli, garlic and seasoning

IMG_4370 (2) (1024x765)22) 90 seconds later you have ….

IMG_4371 (2) (1024x765)23) … this wonderful soup, we served with sharp cheddar and a crouton

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