I am writing this at 2 a.m. At 9 p.m. last night, I was so tired I could barely move and so decided to chuck it all and go to sleep, knowing full well I would be awake around midnight. I actually didn't get up until 1 a.m. and when I finish this, I hope I can go back to sleep. But it was a perfect day, so I'm not complaining.
Around noon, Walt and I went to Atria with my mother's Christmas presents. She was in the dining room, so we left her presents in her apartment and joined her. We had coffee while she finished her meal, then we returned to the apartment, where she couldn't understand why she had all those presents. Surely this wasn't Christmas already..
To my delight, she seemed to love it, though at first she didn't have an idea of who all those people were (and identified a photo of Walt and me as a picture of herself and me (I'm not sure which one of us had the beard). She started to recognize people after I went over and over who was who and ultimately said she would have to study it so she could remember who everybody was.
She asked what she was supposed to do with it and I told her she could fold it up and put it on the couch for when she was gong to take a nap and she said "Now, see? I didn't understand a word you said." I folded it up for her.
But she was, all things considered, pretty good so I even invited her to join us for dinner, but she declined, when I told her we would be back today for lunch.
Walt and I came home and he went off to a friend's Christmas party. I stayed home to get things ready for our big dinner. I was VERY nervous about cooking my very first prime rib, especially after I picked it up yesterday. and saw the price. Walt's comment "Just don't burn it!"
I had lots of advice on Facebook about how to cook a prime rib, but ultimately I went with what my friend John Fitzgerald assured me was a foolproof method (turns out he was right! It's nice to know that, though given the price of the roast, I think it will be a long, long time before I cook on again!)
I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped in the house because I had a Facetime call from Walt's sister, brother, and sister-in-law and we chatted for about an hour and a half. I was so sorry Walt wasn't here to join in the conversation.
But eventually I got in gear, finished wrapping the few gifts I had to wrap and got the table set for dinner. Then it started to feel like Christmas.
Ned and Marta stopped by on their way to Marta's family's house for dinner. I had posted to Facebook that the one thing I forgot to get was horseradish. Ned responded that he had some and drop by the house on his way to the in-laws' Christmas dinner, which he did. Crisis averted (you can't have prime rib without horseradish!)
Jeri and Phil texted that they had arrived on time in Sacramento, and it was time to Put The Roast In.
To make the roast the way I did it, you first coat it thickly with butter mixed with herbs and pepper, then sprinkle thickly with kosher salt and then put in a 500 degree oven for a period of time depending on the weight. Our weight was 7.39 lbs, which you multiply by 5 and then round up to discover that it had to cook at 500 degrees for exactly 37 minutes. Then you turn the oven off and don't even look at it for 2 hours. At the end of 2 hours you have a perfect rare to medium rare roast, just the way we like it. And hot damn! It worked! The meat was perfectly cooked and by the time it comes out of the oven it is serving temperature (and you don't need to let it rest, because it has been resting for 2 hours).
Jeri and Phil arrived in their rented Camero convertible. We sat and chatted while the roast did its thing in the oven. And then it was time to eat. I can honestly say this was the very easiest fancy dinner I have ever put together.
I held my breath when I cut the first slice of the roast, but it was perfect. Outer edges medium rare, interior rare, rare, rare. Could not have been better
My gift to Walt had been 3 bottles of fancy Cabernet, which I'd purchased from Char's stash. She says these have already been aged 10 years, so are ready to drink now, and what a perfect complement to a $115 slab of meat.
I had also made a simple salad of romaine, sliced mini tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts with a balsamic dressing, and potatoes I baked in the microwave because I couldn't use the oven.
Dessert was a cheesecake with a caramel topping, which I got from a Pioneer Woman broadcast earlier this week.. I love cheesecake, but this was too sweet even for me. If I ever make it again, it will be without the caramel topping.
And then it was over. We cleared the table, I loaded the dishwasher, Jeri and Phil who are on Boston time, headed off to bed, and I collapsed. It is now 3:30 and I think I can go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
We still have Atria Christmas, with Tom and his family to go this morning. How THAT came about till have to wait until tomorrow. There is another Atria saga involved.