Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday puttering

I have made a dangerous amount of cookies this morning. Most of them will be packed up and given to neighbors, but a shocking number will remain in the Bradshaw house. Please send help.

Yesterday, I put up the Christmas decorations at my mom's house. Usually, my little sister (who used to still live at home) does it each year. However, since she's now making her life in the snowy north, mom needed someone to help out. Mom's pre-lit artificial tree, though absolutely beautiful, is freaking HUGE and very heavy. After I nearly cracked my skull trying to drag it out of the attic, I lugged it downstairs. I've never put up a pre-lit tree before, and I didn't realize the maze of cords and outlets that would have to be sorted through. I finally got it done, though, and put the ornaments on it (in SPITE of Mom's constant "helpful" comments! Some things never change!). It looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I've wrapped all of our gifts and sent all my Christmas cards. Pretty much all of our Christmas shopping is done (YAY!), so maybe now I can coast a bit.

Oh, and my extended family has decided to do something a little bit different for Christmas Eve dinner this year. For years and years, we had turkey at Thanksgiving and ham at Christmas. It became something of a tradition. Well, last year, we decided to make steaks topped with crabmeat for Christmas Eve. YUM. That turned out really well, so we've decided to continue our experiments with beef in 2008. This year, we're having a standing rib roast. (Very English, no?) Now, I have never made one of these things before, but since I'm kinda the default entree-maker, I'll be giving it a try.

If you don't know what a rib roast is, it's basically the big honkin' piece of cow from which ribeyes are cut. (It's NOT the pretty round crown roast you're probably thinking of. That's a pork cut.) Anyhoo, I went and bought a huge one this morning. To feed all the people we've got coming for Christmas, I ended up with a 9-pound roast. (No, we aren't giants. But there are alot of us, and some of the fat will cook away in the oven. Plus the meat's bone-in, so you need more ounces per person than you might think.)

I have a meat thermometer, and there are tons of good-looking rib roast recipes on the internet (They all actually look pretty basic.), but here's what's freaking me out a little: once I bought a big enough rib roast to feed all of us, I ended up with a $90 piece of meat. So if I screw it up, I am going to be one sad little lady come Christmas Eve.

Wish me luck.


HEATHER said...

You may want to think about using a roaster bag from Reynolds. Or even using a big slow roaster oven(like a slow cooker). The thing you are going to have to watch out for with a big cut like this is drying out and getting tough. Low and slow is the best way to cook large cuts.
I hope it turns out great! Good Luck!

Kayra said...

Good luck! Although I'm sure you will do just fine. once you choose a recipe, make sure to share it.

Susan said...

Let us know how that works out. I'm pretty scared of expensive meat. I'd get so nervous trying to cook it I know I'd make a big mess out of it!

A. Boyd C. said...

That's pretty intimidating. Will your oven be big enough?

At 9 lbs I'm imagining a roast only slightly smaller than a soccer ball.

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Thanks, guys! I'll write a post-roast recap and let you all know how it goes!

Boyd, my oven is deifnitely big enough, but I might have to buy a bigger roasting pan. Eeek!

HEATHER said...

Nicole, my local wal-mart has a 17 quart roaster oven by GE for $24 this week. Say's it will hold up to an 18lb turkey. You may want to have this as an option, in case you want to use your regular oven for other things the day of the meal.
I have a slow roaster and I love it. I can put on an eight pound brisket before I go to bed, turn it on low, let it cook all night and part of the next day. It makes it so tender, it falls apart.
I have used it with good results for turkey breasts, pork tenderloins, pork roasts, baby back ribs-you name it. And everything is just fall apart tender and juicy.