Sunday, January 04, 2009

Stout & Cheddar Rarebit and a Snapshot of Chronical of a Winter Break

As much as we love Christmas, we also love the days after it is over and before we have to go back to school. Those can be the lazy, sleep in late days. Or the days when we fix an interesting breakfast. Or the days when friends collect at our house. We each do our own thing, but we do it together. I thought you might like a snapshot of one of those days.

We began with a recipe I researched after reading about it in the December issue of Gourmet magazine. A guy raved over how much he loved the recipe. He ended up eating all himself. Rarebit reminds me of our honeymoon in England so I decided I would give this one a try. We loved it!

Stout and Cheddar Rarebit with Fried Eggs

Serves 4
Active time:20 min Start to finish:20 min
Gourmet Magazine, October 2008

The beer and cheese combo gets saucy, turning toast and fried eggs into a truly luxurious meal all about extras: extra-stout beer, extra-sharp Cheddar, and extra good.
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup Guinness Extra Stout (without foam) (I used Fat Tire Beer)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
8 large eggs
4 thick slices peasant bread (preferably sourdough)
1/2 lb extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated
1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
1/2 tablespoon Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Bring vinegar, granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in onion and transfer to a small bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and dry mustard and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Add beer, water, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and simmer, whisking, until just thickened.
Fry eggs and toast bread. Reheat sauce, then remove from heat and gradually whisk in cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Top each slice of toast with cheese sauce and 2 fried eggs. Toss watercress with oil, a pinch of salt, and drained pickled onions and arrange on top.

Recipe by Maggie Ruggiero

Then we invited our friends over. I took the kids to the Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour. We go a few times a year. We love to try out the various teas. You can go to the tea tasting room and try anything they make. It is a lot of fun. I think we must have tasted at least ten different flavors. Arianna had never been there before. She loved the Peach Apricot Honeybush tea best. Ethan really enjoyed the new Saphara Tropical Roobios with citrus and coconut. It turned out that the factory was on a quiet day, meaning that none of the machines were running. That made it less interesting. I love to watch the electronic palletizer. However, we still had fun:

Once we were home we each did different things. Ellie and Arianna had a loud, wild time playing Rock Band.

Ethan and Tom got out the vaccum former machine. Ethan and Uncle Doug made it recently. The boys are molding helmets, body pads, and such for costumes they want to make. I wish Doug were here to be part of this.

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