In the immortal words of Miss Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there."
Instead of wandering through a pastoral, Adonis-studded Eastern European landscape of tasty, nutritious sweet treats, however, we spent Boxing Day in our usual post-Christmas food coma.
Dinner was something of a success, although it really was rather ridiculous for us to whip up a full-scale dinner for just the two us. The leftovers teeter mountainously in the refrigerator, and a large turkey casserole now resting comfortably in the oven hardly made a dent. We did make one momentous discovery, pulling an unlikely victory from a minor domestic catastrophe (as well as surviving with less glory another minor disaster). Despite doing a grocery-shopping of epic proportions, we arrived home having discovered we lacked two necessities: a red bell pepper and a bottle of port (whatever happened to the one we used last year will, I think, forever remain a mystery, although personally I suspect a temporary domestiche who had occasional access to our flat last year).
The missing bell pepper resulted only in a corn pudding moderately less colorful than is that buttery dish's wont. The lack of port? Ah, pure magic. my friends - magic pure and simple. You may recall that a staple of holiday dinners chez nous is that longstanding family favorite, Port Wine Salad, an ingenious, likely Eisenhower-era combination of black cherry Jello, canned cherries in heavy syrup, and port. I was initially cast down, thinking that our dinner (despite turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, glazed carrots, and Mr. Muscato's heavenly jam mousse, this time with his papaya-and-persimmon triumph) would be sorely lacking.
But I was not to be so easily defeated. I surveyed our (surprisingly, all things considered, streamlined) liquor cabinet and thought to myself, "Self, what do you suppose the combination of black cherries and Cointreau might be like?" Well, I can now attest: celestial. Lighter than its port wine cousin, Cointreau Salad has a sparkling, citrus clarity that teases the palate even as it satisfies. I don't know that it will replace our older iteration, but it is definitely a dish with charms of its own.
So know we loll aimlessly about, admiring the tree, pampering the dogs (both in little food comas of their own - they are shameless turkey scroungers), and generally vegetating. Well, we had a busy December - a busy year, for that matter - and it's nice to have a day or two of calm. I'm sure there's more than enough idiocy heading or way to make a little recharging a necessity...