December 19th, 2019
Greetings from Carrboro,
There’s this thing I do. Case in point: whenever I’m at the grocery store and my spidey sense says that I may be out of mayonnaise, I buy a large container of Duke’s. Thoughtfully precautionary. Or, that’s my rationale when I get home and put that jar next to the other five in the cabinet.
This time of year I get that same anxious feeling around the procurement of gift bags. It’s a tad Pavlovian. I’m not sure what I think actually happens to those Santa-centric sacks year after year. Because – here’s the thing – I do actually consume the mayonnaise. In time those jars will eventually disappear. But the gift bags are almost unanimously recycled year after year. Folded and put away in the attic like clockwork on Christmas day. But somehow, if you get me near a sale rack, jacked up on coffee and Cinnabon, and then add a soundtrack of the incessant Michael Bublé crooning like a human laxative that he will, in fact, be home for Christmas, I become frantic. Twitchy even.
This bout of holiday hysteria is only quelled by dropping 90+ bucks on the 11 differently sized bags that seem so, you know, necessary. I cleverly gauge how many of each to buy based on how many are left on each rung. Not many = must be popular = get several. First – this is not the proper workings of a seasonally attuned brain. Second – I should be able to recognize that someone who has bought maybe nine gifts does not require 29 bags for those thoughtful, yet-still-only-nine gifts.
But you see, this particular frenzy also has a rather awkwardly optimistic side effect. Somehow I will feverishly imagine that I’m going to make cookies for people that I haven’t spoken to in seven years and the additional bags will be perfect for gifting those aforementioned treats. Note to self: you’ve never, ever made cookies three days before Christmas. Period. And, guilt aside, you really shouldn’t think to give Christmas presents to anyone if you can’t remember their last name.
So that’s why I’m going to spend the next several days cooking at Acme. My version of holiday therapy. With boundaries. And gravy. But, FYI, if your doggy bag is oddly adorned with snowmen and/or reindeer this weekend, I think that you might guess why.
As I’m typing, there are four glorious standing rib roasts in the oven for tonight’s (12/19) Roast Beast Feast. I’m making drool-worthy mashed potatoes with the drippings, grilling asparagus, and whipping up classic horseradish cream to go along with the roast. It’s going to be old-school amazing; the smells in the kitchen are so damn good.
And, yes, the Acme eggnog is almost ready. We made it three weeks ago. In the classic style, it’s “curing” in the fridge. And let me assure you — there’s enough booze in our festive nog to tranquilize a moose. We’ll probably start dipping into that libation Sunday night. It will be delicious alongside all the wonderful Christmas cookies that we’re making. If you’ve never had real eggnog, all I can say is don’t miss it. One glass will make you like all of your relatives.
Acme will be open Christmas Eve, December 24th, from 4pm – 9pm. It’s always one of the most festive evenings of the year at the restaurant. And one of my very favorites. Seats for the three-course dinner are $45 and can be purchased here. To be clear, there are not many reservations left for the dinner. Please join us. Visions of sugarplums await.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Reservations: online or 919 929 2263