Pictured is the somewhat obscene Extreme Meat Closeup of the brisket which was such a crap piece of meat that it needed about two hours longer of cooking than required. Luckily, the cranberry sauce, ketchup and onion soup mix helped to pull it through.
I also made, for what was oddly the first time ever, chicken matzah ball soup. i think that i had been avoiding it for so many years because my mom's is just so perfect. but it's chanukah, and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. though my matzah balls weren't quite as massive as hers, i think i did a great job. they were more like matzah footballs than perfect spheres, but they tasted good -- even better after sitting for a night, which means that next time i'll make them a day in advance. as for the broht, of course, it had to be salted, but that's part of the tradition of the soup.
the vegetables were wonderfully mushy and, unlike my mom, i shredded some of the chicken and included it in the soup -- trying to set out on my own and be my own person and whatnot. her's, a clear broth with no chicken bits, is rather fantastic, but i thought it would be fun to include the meat. it also means i'm not left with a ton of cooked chicken sitting around. i thought it added a nice touch.
our third item was potato pancakes that we, shhhh!!!, make from a mix! i just wasn't filled with the potato shredding spirit. it was okay...my homemade version is, of course, much better. but at least we managed to set off the smoke detector which is the #1 sign of successful latkes.
and now, having just had above items for leftovers, i'm about to pass out and immediately finish this up so i can go take a nap.