Thursday, 23 December 2010

oh, come let us mash potatoes

light snow, mild - temps minus 2

Another picture perfect day as we approach Christmas. The forecast here is for good weather, which is great since my brother Doug is coming Christmas Eve, and two of Michael's son's are arriving just after Christmas. Hope the weather's good chez vous.

We got up early and headed to the Cowansville hospital where Michael had a stress test (for heart). All terrific - thank heaven. To celebrate we went to The Station for breakfast. Then back to the village to do a big Christmas shop. Oh, my God. The trolley was overflowing. Vegetables, treats, pannetone (which we consider a staple), fruit, treats, vegetarian stuff for Doug. Cranberries to make the sauce. Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, butter, milk, treats, sour cream.

I suddenly realized, in the middle of the night, that I hadn't done any holiday food shopping. Or food thinking. Or planning. Or cooking. the IGA in Sutton was packed - and we seemed to know everyone! We stopped and chatted with Joan, Emilita, Charles, Wayne and Shirley. Then there were a lot of people we only had time to wave to. Very fun, really. It feels like what it is - a community.

After the shop we went around distributing gifts and thank you cards. That's always fun. Then off to visit a neighour with a gift and have a chat.

Then home. And cooking. Just now have had time to sit in front of the fireplace, Joan Sutherland's Oh Holy Night on the stereo - and relax. Sweet potatoes made (maple syrup is the secret ingredient), and regular mashed potatoes done. Always feels better when they're both done - quite labour intensive (at least for me, who 'cooks' peanut butter sandwiches).

Oh, Lise sent me her Sucre a la creme recipe. She said she'd made her grandmother's a few years ago - took a very long time. And then found another one, made it, and frankly saw no difference - so she's sending you the 'new' one. Here it is:

My Assistant Lise's Sucre a la creme

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Stir together in a large microwavable bowl and microwave for 10 minutes, stirring twice during this time. Remove from microwave and let sit for 5 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat for 4 minutes and poor into either a parchment lined loaf pan (for thickness!) or a 9x9 square pan (lined also). Put in refrigerator to cool completely and then remove from pan to slice into squares. It does crumble a bit, but those crumbs are payoff for making it.


Hope your holiday season is enjoyable and not too hectic. To be honest, I get fairly anti-social at this time of year. I love peace and quiet and am looking forward (now that those potatoes are mashed) to doing not much of anything except eating and sitting by the fire.

Speak to you tomorrow, I hope.


PoCoKat said...

Going to have to try the recipe! My husband is French Canadian and I know he will love this (sounds like something his aunt makes for him when we visit). Have a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to your next book.
Kathy in BC

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Kathy,

You're in for a treat, and I suspect your husband will be quite moved by the experience of tasting something from his youth.

Merry Christmas.