This New Years Eve was the second time I've spent a major holiday in an emergency room. The first time was nine or ten years ago, when I split my head open playing ping pong (yes, ping pong) on Christmas Day and spent four hours in the ER getting ten stitches above my right eyebrow. This time? We were up in Pennsylvania visiting my sister, and I was cooking a nice big meal for family and friends. I had at least four different pots going, including a large saute pan with pommes savonettes (carefully peeled and bevelled potatoes cooked in water and butter) that had spent a good twenty minutes in a 400 degree oven before being placed on the stove top.
In the rush of preparing the coq au vin, I reached for the wrong pot, and put my hand firmly on the metal handle of the still piping hot saute pan. Sweet baby Moses did it hurt but good. I immediately applied ice and with the help of family and friends was still able to finish dinner. And it was very delicious, even though I had to eat left-handed while the right hand clutched firmly a dishtowel filled with constantly replenished ice. Every so often I would remove the towel, and it would feel like somebody was holding my hand inside a fire. I felt like Paul Atreides being tested by the freaky bald woman in Dune (that's for all the dorks out there).
Anyway, deciding it better to be safe than sorry, I had the missus drive me to the nearest hospital. I rang in the new year on a gurney, waiting for the percocet to kick in, talking to a ten year old girl who had split her chin open. The diagnosis: second degree burns. But they've been healing quickly, thanks for asking. Not nearly as bad as I expected. Wasn't it just last post that I mentioned my nascent food show, "Cooking While Stupid"? And already I have another episode in the can.
Anyhow, I'm too lazy to post the coq au vin recipe right now, and anyway, although it was quite good, it wasn't the best I've made. And Kitchen Monkey only posts the best. I'll make it again sometime this year, and if I get it right I'll take the trouble to post the recipe then.
I will, however, post this picture of swans I carved out of apples. I saw this in a Jacques Pepin cookbook, and yes, I'm aware that it's ridiculous.Finally, the missus made an extremely delicious Baci Tart, seen below. Those are hazelnuts, in case you're wondering. Perhaps she'd care to post the recipe in the comment section?