One advantage of having family who follow different holiday traditions is that you end up with a longer season to celebrate. Today being the first day of winter--and the shortest day of the year--my sister and her family celebrated Yule. And she kindly invited us over for a tasty dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, accompanied by my mom's knot rolls and followed by pecan bourbon pie and apple dumplings.
Now, I admit, I am not the best at following recipes. In fact, sometimes I downright suck at following a recipe. Today was one of those days. I managed to assemble the dumplings as instructed (mostly--I did put in two pieces of apple sometimes, and for half of them I used my mom's oh-so-tasty apple pie filling instead of fresh apples) but then it all went to pot. My mom was making her pecan pie and the first egg she added to the filling didn't temper right, so I volunteered to use that for my filling. I've made pecan pie before where the egg sort of cooks before it gets fully incorporated into the custard and it's worked out okay, so I just sort of whisked it a bit, added some vanilla, and went on my merry way, blithely ignoring the facts that 1) there was less butter than called for, 2) the pie filling had brown sugar, not white sugar, and 3) the pie filling had an egg in it. Even though it was a little light on the sauce, I went ahead and baked the dumplings. Boy, were they ever good. I love mistakes/experiments that work out well.
After dinner and at least a half-hour of opening presents we drove home. Strange man that he is, my husband sniffed my hair and decided it still smells of a tandoori oven. Now, the last time we had Indian/Pakistani food was last Thursday when we went to this little greasy spoon sort of in a sort of less than good part of San Francisco (place called Shalimar and ate ourselves sick on Pakistani food that was waaay too good. I mean, amazingly good food. The kind of food to dream about on cold, hungry evenings. Mind you, I don't mind smelling like good food, but it's been a few days since we ate there and I've washed my hair a couple of times since then, so for him to claim I still smell like a tandoori oven is a little disturbing. I hope the scent is just wishful thinking on his part. Maybe we need to find a little hole in the wall greasy spoon Indian/Pakistani place in Salt Lake to displace this olfactory hallucination!