I spent more time than I ever wanted to at the DMV yesterday and today registering our car in the state of Virginia. So, now it's official! I can stop driving in fear that our 2-months-expired Utah plates will draw the attention of a nit-picky police officer. The only glitch is that we didn't know we needed an emissions test, so our new plates expire in one month. I think we can handle getting it all done in a month.
I have to admit that I also spent more time than I ever wanted to eating sugary confections over the last week. But it was Christmas, so I don't feel too bad about it. We had a lovely Christmas, just the three of us. Bria didn't fully understand it all, but she did get it enough to continue asking me for presents (or "puppy" as she calls them) for several days after. We were happy to have two of Sam's brothers living in the area, so we had a Christmas dinner with them. I have to retract a former statement, I think. The turkey we had on Christmas was SCRUMPTIOUS. I had three whole servings of turkey. It was a tryptophan spectacular. Sam's brother Marc prepared the bird using brine-- which I've heard does wonders, and now I have proof. It was so moist and juicy and full of flavor. Man alive! I loved that stuff. It's seriously weird to me how much I liked it. I'm feeling all anxious and giddy at the thought of someday cooking my very own turkey. Joy and rapture abound in my imagination right now.
Which brings me to the next topic. Jello. The McPhie family Christmas dinner usually takes place on Christmas Eve (more on this later), where we have the usual stuff, but also jello. Not just any jello-- and certainly not green Utah jello with carrots or cheese or cottage cheese or any such weirdness. This jello is spiced with cinnamon and cloves and then stuffed full of citrus. Topped with freshly whipped cream, it's simply delightful. The only picture I could get was of the last two pieces, all disheveled in their tupperware, right before I devoured them (and licked the tupperware clean!). And while I'm sorry to have not shared this with you before Christmas, I will assure you that this jello's place does not reside solely with December 25th. This jello would be happy at any holiday party. So if you're thinking of something snazzy to serve at a New Year's Party. This is a delicious way to make jello a little more posh and exciting.
6 ounces raspberry jello (the big box, and don't even think about using sugar free)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t (heaping) cinnamon
generous dash cloves
2 c boiling water
1 c cold water
1 small can cranberry jellied sauce
In a bowl (or a mortar and pestle if you're lucky enough to own one) mix the jello powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together. Make sure there are no clumps of the spices.
Dump the jello into a 9x13 and add the 2 c boiling water. Stir until the jello is completely dissolved, then stir in the cold water.
Dump in the cranberry sauce and stir until it is fully incorporated. This can be a little tricky and frustrating. I ended up dumping the jello through a sieve into a new 9x13 and then mushing the little cranberry sauce chunks through. This worked really well, but then I had two dirty pans. So, it's your call on that one.
Stash the jello in the fridge while you prepare the fruit. Cut the oranges and grapefruits into small, bite-sized chunks, removing all the pith (and I mean all!) (and pith is the white stuff). Cut the apple into small chunks as well. This will take a while and it will be messy, so just prepare yourself, or have your husband do it, like I did. :)
Dump the fruit into the pan and stir it all to distribute the fruit evenly. Then smooth the top back out and stick it back in the fridge. You might not use all the fruit. Just add enough to suit your tastes. I like mine very fruity.
Refrigerate for at least four hours. Cut individual squares and serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. This would look particularly lovely with some pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top.