Friday, December 25, 2009

My 2009 Christmas Dinner With Jordan Neighbors...

Photos By John Hoff

It was another divorced daddy (with visitation) magical NoMi Christmas as my son and I were taken in by kind neighbors and treated to a wonderful dinner. This year, we went to the Jaramillo residence in the Jordan neighborhood. Tyrone and Alexandra Jaramillo are very active and involved citizens who have given a lot of time to JACC, including that really tumultuous period of time when the "Old Majority" was making as much trouble as possible.

But who wants to think about THAT on Christmas?

These photos show the...

opulent Christmas dinner shared with my son. We had (let's see if I can remember it all) ham that was lovingly baked for a little more than 7 hours, with an orange and brown sugar glaze, plus pineapples. The collard greens had bits of smoked turkey. Tyone is incredibly fond of authentic homemade Hmong fried rice made by his friend "Fuji," so this dish was featured at the table as Fuji came to visit. Another family favorite is "whiskey dogs," which are "Little Smokeys" sausages cooked in ketchup, brown sugar and a small bottle of whiskey.

(The recipie called for a cup of whiskey, but Alexandra says, "I always tend to add more.")

Though mostly an abstainer from alcohol--MOSTLY--Alexandra loves to include alcohol in various dishes to add flavor. The pecan pie had a tiny splash of bourbon, and so did the WHIPPED CREAM. A cranberry ambrosia had no alcohol in it, but a lavish berry trifle had blackberry brandy "made specially to the Polish taste," according to the bottle.

Some other dishes I wouldn't want to neglect to mention--mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, and a sweet potato casserole lavishly decorated with pecans. (Alexandra calls it a "casserole" because it's in a casserole dish, but I found it a lot like a sweet potato pie)

Not wanting to appear empty-handed, on the way to dinner my son and I stopped by Good Deal Grocery on Lowry Avenue North and picked up a selection of four Asian candy-like items, including blueberry mochis. We'd never been to "Good Deal" before and found it comparable to Bangkok Market, though bigger and more impersonal. I used to joke when I drove by the place, saying, "Why would you shop at any OTHER store besides 'Good Deal?' Think about it. Nowhere else is a good deal." There's a tattoo parlor in Stadium Village called "Steady Tattoo" which is another example of an extraordinarily good business name.

But I digress...

Luckily, it turns out Alexandra loves to sample interesting Asian desserts. In fact, she is something of a foodie and tries all kinds of things. Tyone and Alexandra are from the Bay Area of California--an amalgam of various cultures--and say they picked up the habit of serving collard greens from their time in North Minneapolis, but everything else came along with them.

After dinner came my son's favorite part of Christmas--playing new video games like "Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2."

Here's the delightful berry trifle with Polish blackberry brandy.

One of the Jaramillo family dogs is named Chupacabra, or "Chupi" for short. The Chupacabra is a mythical animal in Latin America, known as the "goat sucker." After watching Chupi endlessly eying my ham with his big, googly eyes, I can see why this is a good name for the dog.

In case you're wondering, Chupi is a designer dog called a "bug," half boxer terrier and half pug. Some young couple paid $350 dollars for the dog and took it to Plymouth, but they didn't have time to care for the dog, so they just gave Chupi away when he was 12 weeks old. Nobody remembers what Chupi used to be called. Now Chupi's life is in NoMi, just like my life and--for certain regular, frequent periods of time--my son's life.

Thank you to the Jaramillo family from the guy behind the Johnny Northside Blog and his son.


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Looks like I've got some competition for the title of "best fruit salad in NoMi."

Michael Spivak said...

And you didn't stop and say hi?? You were four houses away from me! Heck, I had my Jewish Christmas dinner at the Good Deal restaurant! :p

Anonymous said...

It is Jaramillo.

Johnny Northside said...

I'll go back and correct. Thank you.

carey joe howell said...

Hey, I know a lot of obscure dog breeds but what is a boxer-terrier?

Anonymous said...

Oh that would be boston terrier and pug, hence Bug.

MeganG. said...

I love how the cute little dog sort of LOOKS like a Bug. He's cute!

Anonymous said...