Can we all say eeeeeeeewwwwwwww!
I was going to regale you with the tale of my making a fancy, Black Forest Yule Log for my dad's birthday tonight, but the cake didn't turn out and I've had to resort to plan B - a pretty plain, rectangular chocolate cake. I'm pretty peeved that my roulade didn't work out, but luckily I had enough ingredients left over to make the second cake.
So, instead of sharing the story that never was with you, I'll now share with you one of my family's Christmas Eve traditions: steak and kidney pie for my dad's Christmas Eve birthday.
My dad's a Brit and really proud of it, and steak & kid is his like favouritest meal ever. When we were kids and all living under the same roof, my mom usually made my dad a steak & kid pie from scratch for his birthday. She went to the local butcher's and got a kidney, and then put it in the dishpan, in the sink, to soak. To this day, one of my clearest memories of Christmas Eve day is walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water or whatever and seeing a kidney soaking in the sink, oozing it's fluids into the water. It was disgusting.
None of us kids ate the pie. It stank and it was gross, and we got hot dogs. But my dad was in heaven.
Since growing up and moving on, I know my dad has made himself some steak & kidney pies, but none that I can recall recently. In 2005, when I was home for Christmas for the first time in 7 years, someone at my work gave me some steak & kidney filling for a pie, and I made some pastry and served it up. Ah, the smell! What memories! Ew! I even wrote a post about it here.
This year, my SIL is going to the great effort to make Dad his steak & kidney pie. She got a kidney from the local butcher. She made a steak filling using:
1 soup bone
1 eye of the round roast
1 porterhouse steak
1 can guiness
carrots, onions, garlic
salt & pepper
This part smelled and tasted just great. After this had cooked for a while, Shan set aside some of the steak filling for my brother so he could have a steak pie, then she added the kidney to the mixture. She slung the whole thing in my slow cooker and put it on in the back room, where there is a door between it and the kitchen and a decent draft to help reduce the stench of cooking kidneys.
Because cooking kidneys - and I am not exaggerating - smell like ass.
Apparently, they didn't smell too badly (I didn't hang around to verify this for myself), and they sure looked pretty. Shan made the pastry herself, too, putting the first initial of my dad & brother's name on the top to tell the two pies apart. Here is the final result:
Pretty nice, huh? My dad was very impressed and enjoyed every last morsel!
As for the rest of us, we had to make do with Shan's homemade chicken cordon bleu, twice stuffed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, broccoli & cheese sauce, and salad. The cake, though not up to my usual standards, was edible and everyone enjoyed it except me. Here are some photos of the rest of the feast.
Twice baked potatoes on the left, and broccoli on the right.
Chicken cordon bleu on left, roasted cauliflower with garlic chips on the right.
And that concludes this year's Christmas Eve/Dad's birthday for this year.
I hope eveyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas, however you celebrate!