Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Miracle

I set out yesterday morning as the family gatherer to score the Christmas roast.
I decided that this year I would try a small market in a neighboring town, a market reputed to have the juiciest, choicest beef around. I thought, Why not? Thought I.  It’s Christmas, after all.

          I pulled in to a spot right in front, found the meat counter, and there, in fact, were gleaming, marbled, lovely cuts of meat. There was also a sign with the price per pound for the roast I was after, easily four dollars more per pound than I was willing to pay. It was hand written in red italics with an exclamation point to emphasize what a great deal this was. 

          So I drove to the wholesale meat market I’d been avoiding. I go there every year, and every year I join the hordes of shoppers, and shiver in the cold as I slowly sidle my way through to reach the bin where twenty pound slabs of beef lie waiting to be cut to order.

          The usual drill is you hover near the bin, waiting for a harried man in a bloody white coat to finish with his current customer and notice you among the other seven people clustered in this three-foot area.

          You then attach yourself to him like a barnacle to a ship, and hope he’s paying attention in all the noise and confusion as you call out what you hope to leave with. He then disappears with the appropriate portion of the cow and you next take up position with the other supplicants outside of the pick up window where you stand and shiver, and think longingly of your fleece jacket.

          Yesterday I entered Arnold’s meats and stood in the doorway for a moment, disoriented. Something was very odd – there was no noise, no throngs. I strolled unimpeded to the beef section. Only two men were there, both without a butcher and looking pretty self-sufficient.

          A tall man with twinkly eyes in a white coat materialized at my elbow.

          I said, “I need an eight pound rolled rib roast.”

          He said, “You’re in luck. We just cut one,” and walked me to a lone roast that had apparently been placed there just for me.

          This was all getting a bit surreal, so I asked where were the crowds, where was the chaos.

          He said, “Oh, don’t worry. By tomorrow they’ll all be here, throwin’ elbows.”

          By now it only seemed right that when I turned to pay, there was a clerk waiting expectantly by his register.

          And the roast was five dollars less than the first place.



As another miracle, I made a batch of Forgotten Cookies and didn’t once lick the beaters, spoon, or my fingers. I know. I couldn’t believe it either.

Here’s the ridiculously easy recipe:

   Preheat oven to 350.

   Beat two egg whites till they begin to peak.

   Very slowly add ½ (or ¾) cup of sugar as you beat.

   Fold in ½ (or 1) cup of chopped chocolate chips.

   Drop in teaspoonfuls on parchment covered cookie sheet

   Put in oven. Immediately turn OFF oven. Go away for 3 hours. Done.

Oh, and 
                          Merry Christmas! 



  1. Being a vegetarian (actually a pescatarian, eating fish), the whole cow thing was pretty awful for me, but the cookies are a different story. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Marty! :-)

  2. I love a rib roast for Christmas, but I was outfitted, we're having leg of lamb. Merry Christmas.

  3. My mother in law always had standing or rolled rib for Christmas. I should also mention, she was one fabulous cook.
    I thought those cookies only came from a bakery. How simple they are, and simply delicious.

  4. I am with DJan. On all counts.
    And about to brave the Christmas Eve insanity. No shopping (fortunately) but I do have to go into town.

  5. I could see a syfy movie about butchers and crowds waiting to eat meat. I do love my meat, but do not like to think about this. ;-)

  6. That is my kind of recipe....Merry Christmas

  7. It's wonderful when things go right.

    Merry Christmas.

  8. A great rib roast is worth every cent! Enjoy.

  9. Those forgotten cookies look great! and so easy. I'm making them one day soon for sure.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family from South Australia

  10. If you don’t order your Christmas meat in advance here you don’t stand much of a chance to get what you want. Because we eat less meat than we used to do we go and buy good stuff from a posh butcher. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s ever so good and there’s a guarantee that the cattle was treated well from birth to death.

    We had a roast beef for the second day of Christmas and it was melt-in-the-mouth tender.

    Happy new year, Marty.


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