First, we went to Rhinebeck yesterday (my wife and I love it as one of those towns around here that's a blend of countrified, old stuff, and a lot of very high end, boutiquey stuff - nice for looking at things and at least getting ideas for decorating or gift-giving, even if you don't buy there). We ate at Gigi Trattoria. Nice on the pasta and cheese, though, as usual, the dish my wife ordered was weird - the sauce on the lamb was too smoky and overpowering. Then we strolled over to Bread Alone Bakery. Took care of today's dessert needs with a walnut/pistachio/pecan torte. Thinking that's going to be pretty good. (I'm not nearly as good a baker as I am a cook.)
Ok, so dessert's covered. The missus went and got our free ham from ShopRite. I'd been thinking of a turkey with it, but that's just too much food leftover, so I asked for a small roast. Haven't decided yet whether to do it in the oven or the stove. Relish dish. Leftover slaw from Friday. Boiled potatoes and carrots. Mashed potatoes. Brussel sprouts. Since we've been watching CHOPPED a lot lately, she brought home a mystery ingredient - anise root. Thinking a salad with that, though I'll check online if there's some way to make cooked anise that I need to try.
EDIT: Oh , almost forgot my scorecard! Pickled garlic is just awesome that I put down last fall. The potatoes that had roasted in the juices of the beef were amazing. I usually hesitate to do them that way but they were perfect - had absored the flavor and were done just right. The beef they were roasted with - moist, tender, glad I did it in the oven. Gave it a good rub with lots of spices and really burnt it first. The ham (I can take no credit - you stick it in the oven) - wow! Moist, not salty, sweet, with a dark streak at the bottom that was dryer and more crumbly like bacon. Couldn't stop eating it. Mashed potatoes were... fine. (The kids love them but they're pretty plain, comfort food.) Maybe a little runny. Brussel sprouts good - the lemon butter was nice and they were very crunchy. The anise root (which I now think is interchangeably called fennel - I thought they were two separate things!) - wow. weird, but good. Can't say I'd want it every day, but the cooked version (with olive oil and lemon juice) had a nice, rooty, nutty flavor, while the raw salad I made was complimented by the sweetness of the apples I chopped in, and the tang of the vinaigrette. probably the most complex thing on a plate of big, bold, greasy things.That nut torte: barely a dessert, it was so not sweet - but a strong, satisfying flavor. So crunchy your jaw got tired eating it so I'd recommend small slices.