Growing up New Years was cold and dark in Alaska. I don’t have any special memories of fireworks but my favorite memories are watching the ball drop with Dick Clark at midnight. My parents would have a simple spread of salami, cheese, and ritz.
I prefer things simple still. Quiet night at home with a simple spread. To ring in 2017 tonight it was Crab Salad sandwiches and my most favorite dessert Strawberries with Whipped Cream. My sips came courtesy of my Sokol Blosser fall wine pick up bag – a bottle of 2014 Pinot Noir from the Hyland Vineyard (French oak barrel aged with notes of cherry jam and black currants) and then 2013 Sparking Rose of Pinot Noir.
12 oz cooked crab leg meat
3 Tbs mayonnasie
1 stalk celery with leaves chopped finely
2 whole green onions chopped finely
3 radishes, sliced thinly and julienned
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon old bay
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
black pepper to taste (I like mine a little peppery)
Mix it all together in a bowl being careful to not smush and break up the crab too much. I had some wonderful brioche rolls to use as a vehicle to get the crab salad to my mouth – but use whatever bread makes you happy.
*I like to add my seasonings and citrus to the mayo to mix first so that it all distributes evenly and then add in the chunkier items.
up… Strawberries and Whipped Cream. It is my most favorite. When I was growing up we had strawberry shortcake for dessert often during the summer. I uNextsually would forego the “cake” part and just go for a bowl of strawberries and whip cream.
I just slice up strawberries, sprinkle on a tablespoon of sugar, and a splash of something to get the juices going. Sometimes its a little squeeze of lemon, sometimes its a splash of light fruity vinegar ( I have a fabulous strawberry vinegar I picked up in Dijon that does the trick) but most commonly it is a splash of whatever wine I might be drinking.
Whipped cream is easy too! I like to make mine by hand. In culinary school we had a project where we had to make a cake and the final step was to make a whipped cream for presentation. Knowing this step was coming up I placed a metal mixing bowl in the fridge with my whisk. When it came time to produce the whip cream I got my bowl out of the fridge and started whisking. Chef walked up and joked with me that I was doing it the hard way considering we had mixers available to us. I looked around the room and everyone was preparing to use these larger than home sized Hobart stand mixers to make 1 1/2 cups of cream into whipped cream. I thought it looked absurd. I took it as a personal challenge to make my whipped cream by hand while Chef stood there watching… I stared him down while mixing – he laughed pretty hard, I beat everyone in class and felt like a bad ass although a little silly as well.
There is no recipe for whipped cream. Just pour some heavy whipping cream into a bowl and whisk or beat or mix with whisk attachment. I usually make 1 cup of cream at a time. After you beat the cream for a moment and it starts to thicken start sprinkling in a little sugar. Sometimes I like my whipped cream to be not sweet at all and sometimes my taste buds want super sweet. For last nights strawberries with pinot noir I made my whipped cream with a little bit of vanilla sugar. Last step – grab a bowl and a large spoon
Whatever is beautiful,
Whatever is meaningful,
Whatever brings you happiness….
May it be yours throughout this coming New Year.