Saturday, December 10, 2011

can i do this without an oven?

I've been stressing a bit lately over the prospect of entertaining my family on Christmas Day and my friends throughout the season without a working oven. I know I've mentioned often that though I am not a baker, I rely on that oven a lot. It is highly unlikely that it will be back to its old self this month. Other pressing matters and preferences are demanding our attention and resources, and the oven will have to wait. So now what?

The good news, oven-wise, is that the heating elements kind of work, and the broiler seems to work just fine. Aside from adjusting my menus, all should be fine, though it's still frustrating just a bit. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Depending on the weather cooperating, we're considering using our Big Green Egg for some of the Christmas Day cooking. Since weather could be an issue, that's something I can't count on---much like my oven, now that I think about it. Still, braising, boiling, steaming, frying, (stove-top) grilling are all easily accomplished without the use of an oven. If I can only get the vision of perfectly roasted root vegetables out of my mind, this could work.

Currently, meaning post-oven meltdown, my Christmas Dinner menu's shaping up like this:
  • grilled sides of wild salmon
  • grilled lamb chops
  • lamb stew
  • meat-free "meatballs" in mushroom gravy for the unconverted vegetarians
  • my paleo-ish version of a green bean casserole made with coconut cream and sauteed onions
  • root vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, onions, maybe a few potatoes, and heads of garlic (cooking method as yet undetermined)
  • steamed cauliflower
  • spaghetti squash
  • winter fruit salad
  • almond flour biscuits
  • almond flour tarts
  • grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free gingerbread and berry trifle (if I can master whipping coconut cream)
 This may be a bit optimistic given my oven woes, but I'm still hoping to pull it off. Wish me luck.

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