We had a nice, quiet, Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my parents. Then my sister Erin, her boyfriend Erik, and their dog Lane joined us on Monday, to have Christmas with my mom's side of the family.
Jackson, in his stocking
We spent the rest of the week eating too much food, drinking great beers, and entertaining ourselves with a few activities. The boys won Trivial Pursuit (for the 2nd year in a row), with the winning final question being about Ol' Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan. We all went snow tubing at a local ski resort, while Jackson hung out in the Lodge with the grandparents.
Can't tell if he's going for the chili-cheese fries, or the Fat Tire!
Yes, there was hardly any snow at the ski resort
Leah and I also took Jackson on his first hike. A five miler in the George Washington state park.
I miss the mountains
Leah got quite a surprise on the trip up, as she thought that she spotted a bear, so I turned around to check it out. Sure enough, she was right!
Now including authentic blood stains!
On New Years Eve, we went to visit some of my VT friends that had rented a cabin in Front Royal. We took Jackson on a cave tour at Skyline Caverns, then dropped him off and went to a wine tasting.
Jackson in his bear suit while caving
For Christmas I managed to get a few things for the Big Green Egg, including a Virginia Tech Apron, grill grate gripper, insulated food gloves, and my favorite Bear Paws, which are both used to pull pork. I also got my dad a plate setter for his BGE, so he can start trying out some smokes and using it for pizzas. We broke it in my smoking a chicken and some trout, using alder wood chips.
The chicken was pretty simple. I butterflied a whole chicken, coated it with butter and olive oil, then rubbed it down with a new spice rub from my sister. It turned out juicy (as always), but I didn't pick up much of the rub. I've run into this problem before with my chicken, and need to find a way to get more of the flavor into the meat...
The trout was just as simple. I de-boned the filets, used a little salt and pepper, then covered them in lemon slices. This was my first attempt at fish, and it turned out pretty well. Next time just need to get some bigger fish!