If you spend most of your time off the hill in your dungeon bedroom playing Wii, we’ve got some tips for making the most of holiday ski town get-togethers. In the December issue we provided a recipe that screams Yuletide greetings and may have you signing more Christmas carols than Bing Crosby by the end of the night. Here are our other tips to follow:
Wear Grandma’s Christmas Sweater: Remember the sweater your grandmother wore to dinner when you were 10? If you can find something similar (either in your elderly neighbor’s closet or the nearest Goodwill), wear it. If it doesn’t have Rudolph or jingling bells on it, don’t bother. People will appreciate your humor and ability to make fun of traditions.
Bring Something: Even if you have been eating canned tuna all winter, muster up the coins to bring something, like crackers and cheese (we could suggest a good cheese to buy that’s classy but not too pricy? Maybe Brie?) or a bottle of wine, but not Carlo Rossi. Try an in vogue varietal, like a Borsao or Shiraz, a perfect compliment to the minestrone recipe below.
Eat Beforehand: Also, if you really have only eaten canned tuna for the last couple of weeks, eat a can before you go, so that you don’t gorge in a gluttonous state once you hit the appetizer table.
Do Some Research: Know a little about the people who will be there. Will you have any friends in attendance? If not, ask the host kindly if you can bring a plus one. No one will want to talk to the strange person standing alone wearing the hideous Christmas sweater.
Trade Plastic for Leather: They don’t even have to be leather shoes. Just don’t wear your ski boots or slippers, unless you are in Europe where they wear boots après ski. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to swap the Carhartts for a pair of jeans or khakis.
Pretend to Drink a lot: But don’t actually drink that much. Two good points here. (1) People will be impressed by how well you handle your liquor. (2) You will be skiing powder when the other partiers are hung-over the next morning.
Don’t Bring your Dog: Nobody cares that when you ended your last relationship in order to fight the loneliness you got an Alaskan malamute and named him “Talkeetna”. Leave Talkeetna and his fur at home.
Minestrone Soup, serves eight. Straight from the kitchen of Whitewater’s Fresh Tracks café, this minestrone soup materializes from a skier with a lot of practice in preparing meals for other skiers.
4 slices bacon or prosciutto, sliced into small pieces
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 carrots diced
1 large onion diced
1 leek (white part and a bit of the green) cut in half lengthwise then sliced thinly
3 cups shredded green cabbage
2 zucchini quartered lengthwise, then cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 potato, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
5 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 tsp black pepper
salt, to taste
1-14 oz tin red kidney beans drained and rinsed
4 fresh tomatoes, diced
½ cup small pasta (macaroni or small bow shape)
½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, for garnish.
Method: Fry bacon pieces in large soup pot until cooked. Add the butter, garlic, carrots, onion, and leek. Sauté until vegetables are translucent. Add cabbage, zucchini, potato, stocks, wine, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add oregano, 2 tbsp parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer another 15-20 minutes. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, and pasta. Cook until pasta is done. Adjust seasonings, and add the rest of the parsley and the basil. Serve with parmesan cheese.
2 cups Brandy
1 cup Rye Whiskey
1 cup Dark Jamaica Rum
½ cup Sherry
10 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 quart milk
1 quart cream
Nutmeg and cinnamon to taste
Method: Mix the liquors. Separate the eggs. In a bowl, mix the yolks and sugar. Slowly add the liquor to the yolk-and-sugar mixture, then add the milk and cream. Beat the hell out of the egg whites, then fold them into the potion. A heavy pinch of the spices will do. Stick it in the fridge for oh, about five days. Stir it once in a while if it separates, and pound it cold.