The food abides…

Merry Christmas from the Food Dude!

As I said last night, I was unfortunately not able to spend the holidays in Connecticut with my family again this year. However, I was lucky enough to be able to spend them with some great Tampa friends whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for over 20 years now.

Christmas Dinner 2015

My friends hosted an incredible Christmas dinner in their Westchase home and I’m still drooling over the grilled honey-glazed pineapple, the gruyere scalloped potatoes and the pear and bleu cheese salad in addition to the Christmas turkey with all the fixings (I swear I’m like Ralphie’s father in a Christmas Story with turkey).

Christmas Limoncello 2015

My friends also made some homemade limoncello. Limoncello is my favorite after-dinner sipping drink and this stuff may be the best I’ve ever tasted. It most certainly beats the hell out of anything you could buy in a store.

Christmas Limoncello 2015-2

Not only did they serve their chilled Limoncello throughout the day, but they made a batch big enough to send everyone home with a bottle. I do not expect this to last through New Years.

Nib Smuggler and Tinsel

And speaking of gifts, my friends are as avid zythophiles as I am, if not more and we almost always give each other something booze-related. This year they knocked it out of the park with Barley Mow’s Tinsel Holiday Spiced Ale (which I JUST had last week at the Brass Tap and loved) and Funky Buddha’s Nib Smuggler Chocolate Milk Porter. Can’t wait to dive into a couple of these while I’m on vacation this week.

Christmas Toys

And last, but not least, I leave you with something entirely non-food-related. A photo of my dog Kira on Christmas morning, passed out among some of her new toys like Randy from a Christmas Story. Because who couldn’t love that. And yes, I realize I’ve now made two references to a Christmas Story, but it’s been on for the last 24 hours and I haven’t changed the channel once so it was kind of unavoidable.

With that, I leave you with a heartfelt Merry Christmas from the Food Dude. I hope you’re all savoring each and every the flavor that the holidays have to offer and even better, sharing them with the people you care about.

And remember… the food abides…

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