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My Christmas

Christmas Day started early round mine's with me putting on a last minute spring cleaning in the depths of winter, which was just as well as my first guest (my mother) arrived shortly before noon. As she's a member of a small faith community with only one minister catering to several churches/places of worship in the area, of course she'd gone to the wrong church for this year's Christmas service, and then decided she might as well come and get in my way help me with my preparations.

My sister and the kids arrived right on time for drinks and nibblies, my spring rolls and deep fried shrimp in batter, the salmon and smoked eel. Romeo was disappointed to find my telly wasn't working (and failed to see it was because I had unplugged it from the socket); I'm afraid I've dropped a few points in his estimation, but not only do I believe he's watching far too much television as it is, I also believe, and I believe this most strongly, that when people come round for a social occasion, the idiot box should be off. However, I will allow exceptions to confim the rule -- and yesterday's exception was the The Voyage of the Damned Doctor Who Christmas special, which my relatives had been informed they would be obliged to watch with me if they wanted to have dinner at my place.

I'm not made of stone though, so I put in The Polar Express-dvd I'd gotten a few weeks back, and kept my littlest nephew amused and out of mischief for a while.

Christmas dinner was a cracking success, thanks in large part to the Raymond sisters' recipe for cheese & cranberry pasties, which turned out exactly as promised: quick, easy, and delicious. I served them with a chicory salad with a capers and anchovies dressing; roasted asparagus with cherry tomatoes and olives (both straight out of one of Jamie Oliver's cookery books); and Brussels sprouts, for that traditional Christmassy touch. For dessert, I treated them to red fruit tartelettes with vanilla-mascarpone cream; then followed that course with one of handmade (not by me) chocolate pralines, coffee and liqueur.

So after dinner we sat around and watched Doctor Who which left my mother, my sister and Romeo unimpressed. I...kinda liked it; or rather, I liked the idea of the Titanic as a spaceship, and Richard Bucket as a befuddled alien with a degree in Earthonomics. It explains a lot about how he could stay married to Violet all those years...or it would have done had The Doctor actually abandoned him on earth sometime in the latter half of the previous century.

Romeo and my sister helped me do the washing up, and after a few more drinks, they all left. I stayed up for a little while longer, during which I watched the To The Manor Born one-off Christmas special (somehow not as funny as I'd hoped), then tumbled into bed exhausted.

It hasn't been a bad Christmas, this.


( 16 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Dec. 26th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun!

And I'm glad the recipe worked out OK :)
Dec. 26th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
It worked out brilliantly; thank you! My sister went home with the recipe; it's now going to be a favourite in our family, too.
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)

I'm cooking them tomorrow as I have friends to lunch
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Bon appétit!
Dec. 26th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
We watched Polar Express on the Beeb. I got Mary Berry's Christmas Collection, and thought of you, as it has a recipe for a festive nut roast.

We are having a red and green stir-fry tomorrow - I reckon the 3rd day of Christmas is stir-fry day....
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
I'm having some more of the asparagus tomorrow -- I bought way too much of it; but it's alright -- I love asparagus.

Today, for the first time ever, or at least in my lifetime, I could go out to the supermarket on a public holiday, and get stuff. Sadly, they're not planning to offer the same service on New Year's Day, so I've got to start thinking about stocking up for it soon.
Dec. 26th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Your dinner sounds divine! Lots of taste (sweet, tangy), color, and texture variety. I, too, had asparagus, which I'm thrilled to find even in the depths of winter.

Happy Holiday!
Dec. 26th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, asparagus could only be had for something like a two week period in late April/early May, and only in one variety: white. Nowadays, you can pretty much have them fresh year round, and I much prefer the green variety, if I'm honest.
Dec. 26th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
To The Manor Born was rather disappointing I thought - more like a pilot than a special.
Dec. 26th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
It did feel more like a pilot, didn't it, what with the references to the nephew -perhaps- having a bit of a thing for older women, and the way he was paired up with Marjorie...It was a shame really, I used to like this series so much back in the day, and have remembered it as one of the funniest ever.
Dec. 27th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
That sounds like a very nice Christmas, and I saw the cranberry pasties. I will have to give those a try at some point, because they sound very yummy.
Dec. 27th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Maximum enjoyment for minimum effort -- the best dishes are usually made that way.
Dec. 27th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)
Sounds like a lovely day - even with the parental excess.

I too, wish to try the camembert/cranberry parcels soon. :)
Dec. 27th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
You'll love them, I'm sure.

You'll probably have your own cranberry sauce recipe, but I made mine with orange juice and port. It combined really well with the flavour of the cheese, I must say.
Dec. 27th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
People MAKE cranberry sauce? I'm sure it's simple enough, but we've only ever bought it from the shops. Though... the cranberry sauce we had at this Xmas just gone was all berries and not very pulpy at all, I will have to enquire where it was bought from.
Dec. 27th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Certainly they make their own! Much better than all that rubbish that comes in jars and is full of additives and colouring agents...not to mention cheaper and dead easy to make! For mine, you'll need:

1 bag of cranberries (or about 360 grams)
1 big orange
1 apple
5 tbsp port
175 grams caster sugar

First, you grate the zest of the orange, and you squeeze the juice out of it. Then you dissolve the sugar in the juice and add 4 of the tbsp of port wine to it.

You chop up the apple, and dump it in the pan with the grated orange zest and the cranberries, and you cook the mixture for about 10 minutes.

Then you stir in the last of the port; and serve either hot or cold. Voilà. Delicious home-made cranberry sauce in under 15 minutes.
( 16 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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