Christmas Soup, RumChata, and Giant HoHoHos Stuffed in a Can
A few friends are coming over this afternoon for a holiday lunch.
Soup is on the menu. I love soup in the winter. I could actually have it every day and never tire of it. While I’ve never counted, I probably rotate 25+ soup recipes in the fall and winter, and a few light or cold soups in the spring and summer.
Because it’s Christmas and I’m feeling extra merry, there will be two soup choices during lunch: Cream of Crab and Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with wonderful Asian flavors like fresh ginger, Tahini, chili paste, and rice vinegar.
Here’s the Cream of Crab: It’s “souper” yummy (sorry) with fresh cream, Old Bay Seasoning and a ton of lump crab meat
And here’s the Chinese Chicken Noodle: It’s a broth-based soup that’s exotic yet comforting. Exotically comforting, one could say, I suppose. It’s even tastier with Sriracha, but then again, what isn’t? Except maybe, like, blueberry pie. But even that . . .
I’ll show you how to make the Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup next week. And frankly, would happily share the crab recipe as well if you let me know you’d like to have it. Just leave a message! Caveat: the Chinese Chicken Noodle is a little fussy, while the crab soup is as easy as pie (with Sriracha.)
Yes, there will also be RumChata.
I had never even heard of the stuff until a few months ago, however, some of my guests swear by it, so I bought it the other day. And drank a little of it. And immediately invested in RumChata stock. It’s that good.
I also made each friend a little Christmas treat.
Here’s what I created. I rinsed out small, empty coffee cans, covered the outside in colored paper, glued on paper snowflakes, and filled the inside with chocolate cake rolls that look like giant HoHos. Or, given the season, maybe I’ll call ’em HoHoHos.
You remember HoHos, don’t you? Chocolate snack cakes filled with unidentifiable white stuff, rolled up and then covered in silky chocolate. Well, that’s what my cake rolls look like. Only on steroids. I hope they taste good. I have to confess, I didn’t try any. Usually I taste as I go to make sure the flavors are spot on. At least that’s what I tell myself. With this recipe, however, I wasn’t up to it. You see, I’m not at all a fan of dark chocolate. There I was pouring warm chocolate ganache over the tops of the cakes, while the excess ribboned and pooled on the sheet pan below, begging to be eaten.
Yet I didn’t take a single bite, lick, or taste. I rinsed the whole extra, gloppy mess down the drain. Unnatural, I know. It’s probably even un-American. It’s certainly un-Christmas. I mean, come on, who doesn’t like chocolate, of all things?
Can’t help it. And I may as well come all the way clean here: I’m not a big fan of bread either. I think of it as a conveyance to get sandwich ingredients to my mouth. You should see my plate after I’m done with a sandwich. It looks like a Kindergartener was eating it: crusts and random excess chunks of bread strewn everywhere.
Back to the dessert at hand. Here’s the inside of the cake roll. I filled them with my favorite cream cheese whipped cream. Unfortunately, if I served myself a plate of that, not a smidge would remain by the time I was finished.
And to top things off, Burly son #2 came home from school the other day, as happy as a lark proclaiming, “Mom, I’m soooo excited! I won the coin toss in French class, and get to bring in a homemade “Buche de Noel”!
Oh, lucky day.
The kids were apparently hornswoggled into believing that bringing cake in to school is akin to finding Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. What’s more, because it’s French class, nothing but a fancy schmancy “Buche de Noel” i.e., Yule Log would do. So, I took a fork to one of the giant HoHoHos to make it look log-like. I did not spiff it up with faux leaves and sugared berries, a stumpy branch, or marzipan mushrooms. Regardless, Spence thought I succeeded in my artistry and that’s all that mattered to me. He bought my creation hook, line, and sinker, so hopefully the other little Jacques and Gilles in the class will as well. If not, well maybe we just won’t be chosen as one of the “lucky” ones to bring in baked goods next time.