Have A Burger For Christmas

IN-n-Out BurgerFor me I grew up with the tradition of ham on Christmas Eve and Turkey Christmas Day. I ate it, but luckily I discovered my parents were putting the presents under the tree at an early age so we switched to turkey on Christmas Eve and leftovers Christmas Day. I was never very fond of turkey so after my Dad and Grandmother died I switched us over to prime rib. I mean it’s prime rib and 2-3 bones worth would feed us for a few days.

This year was different. We had decided after last Christmas that we’d do things quasi-Jewish style. Prime rib on Christmas Eve and Chinese food on Christmas Day. This came from the fact that Jews only had Chinese restaurants to go out to on Christmas Day for dinner instead of other restaurants. Why they just didn’t stay home and cook something was beyond me.

We had a couple of friends come over Christmas Eve during the day and when they left my wife informed me that she hadn’t taken out any food for dinner. So what were we going to do? Chinese food? The Pizza Place? El Burrito Express was probably closed to give the girls a day off so they could spend all day sitting at home cooking and not getting paid. My wife came up with In-n-Out Burger. At first I was a bit horrified. Burgers on Christmas Eve?!?!? There was something in that made that feel wrong, but we went.

I have to say for under $9 two burger, fries [make sure you ask for them well-done] and a coke wasn’t a bad idea. Now for me being on a low salt diet at first I thought it would kill be, but then I thought about how much salt I had that day and figured I could get below the 2000mg [1500mg was my total for the day]. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought of this as there were several people there. Not as many as usual, but still other people thought of it. The fact that it was the first hamburger I had in over a month made it taste even better. It actually was worth it, but I’m not sure if I’ll do it again.

Christmas Day we had a NY Strip Roast that I had never done before, but considering it’s a bunch of New York steaks all together in a roast made the idea even better. ours was 5.26 lbs which means we’ll be eating beef for the rest of the week. We would have gotten prime rib, but the cost was too much. This was boneless so it made it even easier to cut. I made the gravy and pulled out our gravy boat and made sure it was boiling hot because my wife like all her food to leave blisters in her mouth.

Christmas Day made me happy at least except half way through I forgot that I usually make some Yorkshire pudding to go with the roast. It didn’t really matter to me and I can whip some up for tomorrow. We both were satisfied by this as she got her burger and I got my roast. To top it all off we had all the dishes done afterwards so we didn’t have any clean up in the morning like we usually do.

It was a good Christmas for us even if it included burgers.

Merry Christmas To All!

[imagebrowser id=7]Every year I get into the holiday spirit early, but this year it took me awhile. Twas the night before Christmas Eve and I had to take a trip to 34th and Quintara to get in the mood. There’s a guy who owns the corner house that for every holiday puts up a display for everyone to see. Whether it’s Valentine’s day or St. Patrick’s day he does up the house, but Christmas is his biggest time of the year.

I have no idea what his name is, but tomorrow I’m going to knock on his door and introduce myself to him. Cars that drive by his house slow down and people bring their kids to have their pictures taken in front of the house. His house is so magically Christmasy that even during the day it looks beautiful. Why he hasn’t been written up in the paper yet is beyond me, but I’m hoping someone from the Chronicle or Examiner or even SF Weekly will stop by and interview him.

He works hard to do what he does and i feel he should be acknowledged for it. We take our daughter down every Christmas and Halloween [the two biggest times for this houses decorations] just to see that WOW look on her face. He is the Santa for all the kids that need something more than the mall Santa’s. He doesn’t get paid to do this, but he does it anyway. That’s a rare thing in this day and age and I feel he needs to be recognized for it.

If you get a chance, definitely go by and see his house. It is a wonderful Christmas tradition that is non-sectarian like the Christmas’ I knew as a kid. In honor of his work, I did a little work tonight and put together a video tribute to his house and it’s decorations. I hope you enjoy it and drive by and see his place. He and his wife are doing a great community service for what they are doing and they deserve an award. My video is the best I have to offer so far. I’ve included a slideshow at the top from pics I took last year and this year. While I can’t give a gift to all of my readers I hope you’ll all accept this. Enjoy!


Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Well, it’s the Christmas season and many years ago while attending the Dickens Faire in San Francisco we walked out and found a guy selling roasted chestnuts. This of course brought back to my mind the old song line Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… so I had to try some to see what they were about. I think we paid about $2 for  a newspaper wrapped cone of them. I was lucky enough to be able to try them again because some friends of mine dropped by last night and handed me a bag of them  That they had gotten from Skyline Chestnuts that they wanted to share with us.

Now I haven’t had a chance to roast these yet, but I have to say after looking at these nuts before they’re in the sellable form they’re pretty ugly. They look a bit like a hairy scrotum to be honest and to understand the reason why people would want to pop one of these in their mouth is kind of like my old question about broccoli, why would anyone be interested in eating something that smells like ass when it’s being cooked? Well chestnuts are different. After being roasted they have the consistency of a baked potato, but with a nutty and buttery flavor that rather interesting and no to shocking in taste. They don’t taste like ass one bit, but can actually be rather enjoyable.

I never had learned how to roast them as my family never got into them so I did some research and found that the trick is to first split them in a X shaped pattern prior to roasting them. Then pop them in an oven at about 425° for about 20 minutes turning them halfway. If you want them to have a more moist texture you should cut the X then soak them in water. Salted or not. I’m thinking salted water soak is the way I’ll go for these.

Christmas is one of those holidays that I don’t associate with Jesus being nailed to a pine tree. I just like the tree with the ornaments and lights and the warmth of your home in the winter cold that is hitting San Francisco this year. This time of the year is a time to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it through another year and hoping for ourselves and our friends that next year will be even better. If sticking a few hot salty nuts in my mouth helps bring this about, well then so be it.