I love this time of year. You're out shopping, and somehow the wallet feels just a little bit looser, a little more generous.
Don't get me wrong. We are having a very Scroogey Christmas. We neither need nor want junky gifts. Most of what we buy for the holiday is a joint decision. Then we scamper off on our separate paths and buy trinkets for the stockings.
It is a tradition to meet up after our stealth retail forays at the Italian restaurant in the mall. That's where I found Cranky drinking a Bloody Mary, after he had placed our annual Christmas order for an aged standing rib roast. I joined him, sucking down a mellow Zinfandel (and being deftly chided by a total stranger for "workin' it" so early in the day — it was P.M., for godssake! OK, barely).
Cranky told me about a cut of meat the butcher was preparing, something completely new to me. If you know about this, please fill me in. It's called the Rib Cap, and the butcher carves it off the roast in a single "sheet," and then rolls and ties it. It is heavily marbled with tender fat, and it is USDA Prime. It roasts in under an hour.
I said to Cranky, "Why didn't you buy it?"
"Uh, it's a little pricey?" said Cranky.
"Hell, dude, I'll pop for it," said I.
Has anyone ever eaten a roasted angel? Because I think this is what one would taste like.