Mussels and Marrow

This year tops my list of all-time Christmas gluttony. When I was younger, our Christmas culinary indulgences included Eggs Benedict, prime rib, and the requisite solid chocolate Santa. This year, though, the planets aligned to create the most indulgent of Christmas indulgences, starting with Christmas Eve dinner and ending, well…considering I’m currently typing with fingers betraying the last bit of Taleggio-induced stickiness, let’s just say it hasn’t quite ended yet.

We eat in this house. And we eat well. Give us a special occasion and we’ll do our best to be subtly spectacular. For three of us celebrating three days of Christmas cheer (we live with my mother in law – more on that later), we stocked up. Booze included bubbly, Peppermint Schnapps for hot cocoa, White Russian makings, Maker’s Mark, red & white wine and gin.

And, even though drinking one’s Christmas smorgasbord isn’t entirely a bad idea, we had some pretty ridiculous eats to complement the booze, including duck confit pot pie, tamales, infinite dips & crackers that kept us satiated an entire day, this stew from this month’s issue of Saveur (cooked with whole, in-shell eggs! I’d never heard of such a thing!), apple & pumpkin pie, and, finally…

Sunday dinner: Mussels and marrow. Two things I’d never had before. The mussels were so nicely done with a white wine sauce. I felt almost terrible digging into them for the miniscule amount of meat they had to offer. The marrow was doled out to each of us inside its original cow femur, now roasted, if you can believe it, to an approachable hue with dark, crispy ends.

I was instructed to scrape the hot, golden marrow from inside the femur, spread it on a slice of toasted baguette, then top this concoction with a parsley/caper/shallot/onion salad. Oh my goodness. I haven’t really decided if I’m going to swear yet on this blog, so maybe I’ll just try it out and see how it goes. Because the only thing you really want to say after biting into hot marrow spread on a piece of toast sprinkled with parsley and capers is FUCK YES THIS IS SO FUCKING GOOD! HOW HAVE I GONE MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE WITHOUT THIS?! Until it cools down and becomes a bit filmy and sticks to your tongue and teeth, creating that odd ‘sweater-mouth’ feeling reminiscent of the mornings you wake up after a hard night of boozing.

The best part is, we ate *good* food, so I don’t feel overstuffed or gross. So, here’s to Christmas: here and gone like that warm first bite of marrow, but leaving with it memories that remain like the cavities induced by Neighbor Jim’s annual marshmallow fudge.

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