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Weekend Plans to Start the New Year? Dec.28, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019

The Green Dragon

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Dec 28, 2018, 9:11am Top

Do you have a long weekend coming up? I have to work on the 31st, but have the 1st off.

My daughter was going to come for the 31st an 1st, but changed her plans to arrive tomorrow and leave Sunday. So, rather than the relaxing weekend of preparation for her arrival (I will be making lemon curd for tarts, the dough, and a roast goose), everything will now be expedited.

Tonight I am going to my friend's house to relax with dinner and a movie. These are our debriefing sessions which save our husbands loads of money on psychiatrist fees.

Tomorrow I will rise early, begin the prep on the goose. I'm following a recipe from Jacques Pepín which requires steaming the goose first, then refrigerating it to remove the excess fat, then 30-40 minutes before dinner, roasting it to crisp the skin. I also need to make the dough for the tart crusts (mincemeat is in the fridge and ready), then the lemon curd, which makes enough to preserve some. A new experience for me. The rest of dinner will be roasted sweet potatoes and a spinach salad (I think I will have my daughter make that).

We will probably be trying a cocktail which I created called a "Cowboy Kick" (Grapefruit juice, tonic syrup, jalapeño preserve syrup and gin shaken with ice and poured over bits of grapefruit and preserved jalapeños).

An exchange of gifts, then goodbyes and well wishes.

New Year's Day I'm hoping for a DNBR day. We shall see if I get away with it.

Dec 28, 2018, 9:19am Top

Wow! That's quite a project. Wish I could be there to smell it. I've never had goose. It's crazy expensive here so we just can't justify it.

No plans. We did get a nice bottle of bubbly (California) to have, but we never stay up past 10:00 so it won't be a midnight toast. Might do some a-wandering in the woods. There's a little snow on the ground but not so much as to require skis or snowshoes.

Dec 28, 2018, 9:28am Top

I might be putting the kitchen back together. We've had an upgrade, re-done cabinets, quartz countertop and the backsplash finally came in. Our guy whose doing all this says he'll be over on Saturday to start the backsplash. Then, maybe I can start putting stuff where it belongs rather than piled around on the floors.

Of course if the stuff piled on the floors were books, I wouldn't be as upset about it all, I expect.

>1 MrsLee: The Goose sounds wonderful. If I have enough energy, I might cook the ham we bought for the holiday. We'll see how much a mess the kitchen is.

Dec 28, 2018, 10:50am Top

Tomorrow we’re taking Margaret out to lunch, then will do the main shop for her on the way home. Nowhere fancy, just the restaurant at a garden centre which does very reasonable meals.

Sunday will be a roast dinner (we’ll see what’s available tomorrow), Monday will be an early lunch as Paul’s brother will be heading home to beat the public transport shut-down the following day. We’ll be heading home ourselves on New Year’s Day - Paul has that week off but because I only started the permanent job last month, I could only take 4 days off which means I’m back at work on the 2nd. Fortunately, I’m working from home that week and don’t need to get back on the train until the 7th. {Evil Grin} I get to keep an eye on what he’s up to - there’s a stack of board games to sort out amongst other things.

Dec 28, 2018, 11:55am Top

I'll do as little as I can possibly get away with ;-)

The upcoming two to three months promise to be a nightmare, work-wise, so I'm indulging my inner Miss Lazy. I plan to read, to finish the jigsaw, some light household chores that includes planning for New Year's Eve dinner (husband want lobster, son has asked for satay chicken...), all mainly on my own as husband works over the weekend (but not New Year's Eve).

Dec 28, 2018, 4:27pm Top

>1 MrsLee: That meal sounds wonderful. I love goose, and lemon curd is divine. I don't even need tarts - just give me the curd and a spoon.

I'm having tea on Saturday with some friends from the community garden - I think I'll take the seed catalogues I've received so far so we can dream of what we're planting in the spring.

I'm doing the 5K Resolution Run on New Year's Day - although in my case it will likely be a Resolution Amble since I am massively out of training. I have to go shortly to the Running Room to pick up my race package. I decided I'd walk over (about an hour each way) to help get in training for the race :) I should probably get out and do a short run/walk on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, too.

Otherwise, a quiet weekend and New Year, as far as I know now. Of course, that could change if something fun comes up. I have a couple of movies from the library, and I'm trying to read as many books as I can before January 1 (what a surprise!).

Dec 30, 2018, 5:15am Top

I'm off work until 3rd January, and intend to read as much as I can in that time! Of course, I'm also going out quite a bit too.
Yesterday I met a friend in London to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (the one with the male swans) which was fantastic. We'd seen it before a long time ago and it was mostly even better than I remembered.
Today I'm going to visit my little goddaughter and her family. I got her the complete set of Worst witch books for Christmas so I might get to read one of them to her.
Tomorrow I'm heading off to stay with my other goddaughter and her family for New Year. They are excellent hosts so there will be good food and great company, in a house fuil of books!
January 2nd really will be spend Doing Nothing But Reading!

Hope you all enjoy your plans, whatever you end up doing, and that 2019 gets off to a great start.

Dec 30, 2018, 10:33am Top

Goose was delicious! If one is used to chicken and turkey, it can be difficult to find the meat on the goose. I found enough to serve the four of us with leftovers though. The rest of the meal was terrific too. Lemon curd is time consuming, but since I had people visiting with me while I stirred, the time went by rather fast. We loved the tarts. All in all a very satisfactory day. Love having my daughter home even for a short visit.

We also had other visitors yesterday, though not for the meal. A friend of my son came by with his mother and then my niece and nephew came to visit mom, bringing along their wild, intelligent and wonderful three kidlings. The oldest helped me with the lemon curd, the other two ran around the yard with my husband behaving like kids should. :)

Dec 30, 2018, 10:54am Top

I’m in Istanbul Airport right now on the way back to Doha. I expect to land in Doha about 0055 tomorrow, and then I’m due at work at 0800. Wish me luck. Saving grace is, I get New Year’s Day off and can sleep. Also we may get sent home early tomorrow.

I didn’t get much sleep last night either, because of odd circumstances which I will set out in my own thread (but not tonight).

Dec 30, 2018, 3:38pm Top

I’ve had a relaxing weekend of watching football and reading.

The Husband has to work tomorrow so I’ll have to watch the bowl game with my alma mater by myself. He does get the first off, though. We are planning on going out to breakfast and then watching more football. I will need to go for a run as I’m starting my training for a marathon.

Mrs. Lee, your cooking adventures amaze me! I wouldn’t even know where to buy a goose, let alone cook one! I do need to start cooking again today. We’ve been eating off of leftovers the last week.

Dec 30, 2018, 4:58pm Top

>10 catzteach: We had goose one year at Christmas: basically cook it like duck - on a rack so the fat drains off (keep it for roasting potatoes). I thought it nicer than turkey (less dry). However, Mum wasn’t keen on poultry in general so our family tradition was to eat venison - it didn’t hang around so long as large birds did (and was cheaper). I think the Christmas in France when she had to draw a turkey put her off.

Besides, we generally weren’t feeding a horde so sonething as big as a turkey or goose was overkill for us. Even this year at my partner’s family we had a small turkey crown, and it lasted for 4 meals between 4 of us, and there’s still a batch of soup in the freezer.

Dec 30, 2018, 5:06pm Top

My plan had been to get as much as possible done this weekend, whilst making time to visit my parents today (it's their Wedding Anniversary) and then spending New Year's Day with them. Fortunately I stopped by theirs yesterday to drop in flowers that I'd collected from the florist (so that they would get maximum enjoyment from them while they last) as today I've been ill - something of a cross between flu and a cold, so I've got nothing done at all and haven't even been able to concentrate well on my reading or crafting and bending over to finish my jigsaw was out too. :(

Hopefully I'll be over the worst that I can socialise properly by the 1st with the rest of the family without fear of passing unwanted germs along (plus it's back to work on the 2nd and I don't want to spend the rest of my holiday days feeling grotty).

Have spent most of today on the couch, covered in blankets watching Torchwood episodes (life's not all bad :D).

Dec 31, 2018, 3:58am Top

Postscript to #9: I'm now at work and it's 1150 Doha time. I posted #9 at about 1800 Istanbul time (same time zone as Doha) yesterday, and finally got to bed at 0208 this morning. Up again at 0715. It's going to be a long afternoon.

Dec 31, 2018, 4:31am Top

>10 catzteach: At least then nobody can tell you your goose is cooked!

>11 Maddz: I gather in some circles in Vienna a goose is considered to be a difficult bird to plan around -- too much for one, not enough for two.

Dec 31, 2018, 5:10am Top

>10 catzteach: PS: I do hope that when you produce your perfectly roasted goose, someone at table has the wit to mutter the traditional Viennese tongue-twister:

Ein gut gebratene Gans ist eine gute Gabe Gottes

(a well-roasted goose is a good gift of God).

Or for semi-vegetarians, a Frisian one that almost doesn't need translating:

Buter, brea en griene tsiis
Hva dit niet sizze kan
Is geen oprjogte Friis.

(Butter, bread and green cheese: who can't handle this, is no proper Frisian.)

Dec 31, 2018, 8:25am Top

>14 hfglen: The goose we had all those years ago was more than ample for 3 along with leftovers - it was smaller than a turkey but bigger than a capon. This was a domestic goose not a wild one (which may run smaller). I would consider a poussin or a partridge enough for one, a grouse to be more than enough for one if not two, a pheasant is plenty for two. A duck is ample for four.

It does make me wonder about what else the Viennese are eating alongside the goose. Evidentially they must be dieting as they wouldn’t have room for sachertorte.

Dec 31, 2018, 9:32am Top

>16 Maddz: I think the point is that some Viennese have alarmingly hearty appetites. Either you have large ducks or we have very bony ones, but I have yet to feed more than two off one.

Dec 31, 2018, 9:34am Top

For the last 25 years or so we've hosted a small New Year's Eve party, but between illnesses, weather, and other commitments, it has been kind of fizzling out the last few years. And most of the kids have reached an age where they have other parties to go to. So we are trying to let the tradition die gracefully. I'm just making sure the house is tidy and we have a few snacks available, and informing people that we aren't planning much, but we'll be here if anyone wants to drop in. I'll think of it as the start of a new tradition of quiet relaxation on New Year's Eve (not that we were ever very rowdy).

Dec 31, 2018, 10:26am Top

Just got the champagne flutes down from the cabinet.

What??? I was putting the clean wine glasses away. It is NOT too early!!

Dec 31, 2018, 11:08am Top

>17 hfglen: I was thinking that but didn’t like to say ;)

Domestic again. An 8 lb duck will easily feed 4 at Easter. Trouble is, Paul’s family are all bird lovers and I can’t feed them the sort of birds I’m accustomed to serve up. Chicken and turkey are just about acceptable (in any case, Paul’s brother is almost vegetarian and eats very little meat).

Dec 31, 2018, 11:36am Top

I'm thinking about celebrating the New Year with pgmcc. That way I don't have too stay up late.

Dec 31, 2018, 2:10pm Top

>1 MrsLee: I don't think I've ever eaten goose. That cocktail sounds amazing!

I took a "mental health" day on Friday, and spent the last 3 days reading, knitting, and watching dumb tv shows whilst working on my Flow Free puzzles. I really needed that! Today I'm back at work.

We have parties to attend tonight AND tomorrow evening. I love my friends but I never feel much like doing all the things this time of year. But we persevere.

This coming year I want to do way more reading and way less interneting. That's about all I want to ask of myself.

Happy New Year to All!!

Dec 31, 2018, 3:10pm Top

>20 Maddz: An 8lb duck! Ours are generally barely half that size, bony and very expensive.

Dec 31, 2018, 3:34pm Top

>23 hfglen: I think the extra poundage on our duck is mstly breast flesh plus they may be generally bigger - usually Aylesbury types (which is somewhat bigger than a mallard). They are bony compared to a chicken of the same weight, but given they are not broiler-bred to the same extent, and have far less restricted lives, this is not surprising. The carcase makes good soup after a decent meal for 4 with some pickings left over.

I generally roast them on a rack with potato rounds to catch the drips. This is after pricking the skin (to drain off the fat) and rubbing it with a bit of butter and sprinkling with sea salt and black pepper. I then serve them with redcurrant jelly, cherry sauce, the potato rounds, bunches of water cress (not that I can eat it raw), and whatever green vegetable that takes my fancy plus some gravy. New peas are one of the traditional veg but they’re something I can’t digest (literally).

Once eaten hot with some cold leftovers, the remains of the duck are put in the stock pot with any leftover veg, watercress, sauce, gravy, and get onion, carrot and other bits and pieces added, and simmered for an hour or so. Any fat is skimmed off, the carcass is stripped when cool enough to handle and everything is whizzed in the liquidizer.

Dec 31, 2018, 3:52pm Top

I found some dried black-eyed peas in my cupboard. Decided to cook them up tonight and use them as a catch all for the tidbits of leftover things in my fridge. Mostly bits of veggies. I know the goose would be great in them, but I might decide to eat it on the side. Too expensive and yummy.

Dec 31, 2018, 9:02pm Top

I'm just spending the time recuperating from 2018. I have four consecutive days off and instead of cleaning house and putting things away as I ought, I've spent this weekend reading. Happy new year to you all (in all time zones!)

Jan 1, 4:01am Top

In Cape Town there's an unofficial holiday tomorrow (Tweede Nuwejaar or second-of-new-year) that celebrates the end of slavery in 1834. The descendants of the slaves form themselves up into minstrel troupes dressed in gaudy uniforms, and parade loudly to Green Point. I predict that tomorrow's news here will be a blaze of colour.

Jan 1, 6:41pm Top

I ran my race today - a not impressive 44:55 time for 5 K. However, as mentioned, I was out of training, so I ran 2 minutes and then walked 2 minutes, repeatedly, for the whole race, and despite running on streets, there was a lot of loose snow, which also slowed everyone down. It was lots of fun, though - everyone very cheerful and friendly, some nice dogs enjoying the run with their people, and a breakfast after.

Jan 1, 7:02pm Top

I spent a pretty quiet last few days of 2018, slept in, went for a ski in the afternoons, and didn't accomplish much around the house. In the evenings I read, watched DVDs, and knitted. We had a snowfall warning, which didn't amount to anything significant, and a New Year's Eve power failure. New Year's Day we had a chinook, with gusty winds and temperatures up to +5°C, about 25 degrees warmer than the -20 of Monday morning. Most of the day was around -2, though. Wednesday I am finally back to work full time; I think it will be a shock to my system.

Jan 1, 10:00pm Top

>11 Maddz: I’ve never had duck, either. Chicken, turkey, and Cornish game hens are the extent of my poultry (fowl, bird) eating and cooking.

>14 hfglen: ha! True! :)

Jan 2, 8:56am Top

I have eaten duck, always prepared by others. When my father and brothers hunted, I think my mom only cooked the breasts. Perhaps using the rest of the carcass for broth? That was a very long time ago.

Jan 2, 9:15am Top

>24 Maddz: AFAIK ours are mostly Muscovies. They cost about 5 times the price of a free-range chicken of the same weight -- no wonder they're rarely seen in this household!

Jan 2, 9:18am Top

We don't eat duck much at home, but I order it in restaurants quite a bit. Duck confit done right is heaven.

So we got some blue sky yesterday. Something we don't see too often in winter here. So out I went in search of abandonment. Boy did I find it.

This was one of many old buildings and cars just falling apart. The barn was still standing, but one wall was coming down and so it won't be long.

Jan 3, 9:50am Top

>33 Bookmarque: Interesting. Is that a mud daub between logs? Or different types of wood?

Jan 3, 10:08am Top

Reverting to the header of this thread, Cape Town's weekend extends by long tradition to 2 January. Here's what happened there this year, in very brief.

Jan 3, 10:13am Top

Yeah, it’s some kind of chinking compound. Not sure what. Even though more traditionally cut lumber is used, the construction technique requires it. There was an old trunk at the side door. No. I did not open it. Yikes.

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