Today, the Sunday before Christmas, made a perfect day for cooking. So with plenty of time, and to help ward off the cold, wet weather, this was a day well-suited for Mulligatawny soup. It took awhile to find the recipe, hand-written years ago, on a file card tucked in one of our oldest recipe files. One of the problems with liking cook books is that you can't always remember where certain recipes are, especially like this one, from a now unknown source, and a soup that haven't been made in awhile. It isn't a hard recipe, but working from scratch you have to cook some chicken and make a spicy soup broth. And then quite a few ingredients get chopped up and all of that takes some time. Mulligatawny is a chicken soup that takes a lot of its character from the Indian tradition so the primary flavoring is a curry powder as well as ginger rhizome, Indian bay leaves, and cloves. It also includes a chopped up tart apple to add a fruity highlight. This will make a nice hearty soup for din-dins. But that wasn't all. Unable to pass up a bargain, TPP bought a package of chicken gizzards for $1.35, and turned them into an escabeche, basically cooked gizzards marinated in vinegar and oil with green pepper, onion, a lot of chopped garlic, some pimento stuffed olives, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Mrs. Phactor who missed lunch today because of charity gift wrapping is giving it a try right now with a very superior glass of rioja, a gift from a client. Got the last few presents put together, some decorated boxes with cookies and candies for a couple of people who deserve being remembered with a gift. The hardest part of cooking is the underfoot cats who think your only purpose in life is feeding them no matter what time it is. Of course all of this left the kitchen a disaster, so just now TPP got time to get a cocktail and some escabeche for himself. Ho, ho, ho.