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My Christmas

This year, I spent Christmas at a friend's. It was arranged kind of last minute, but it worked out well. We tried out Nigella's Spanish Chicken & Chorizo Tray Bake for our Christmas dinner, and it was a complete success. I find that, the older I get, the more I appreciate my Christmas dinners becoming less and less complicated. I can't be doing with stuffing a goose (as turkey is probably my least favourite bird to eat, I've stuck to the traditional goose longer than most people of my acquaintance) and faff about cooking a 6-course meal anymore; I just want something that's tasty, moderately festive, and relatively easy to make.

Another thing we tried out this year was the novelty of going food shopping on Boxing Day, as for the first time ever, some supermarkets in Amsterdam kept their doors open all through Christmas! We didn't buy anything, as we'd done our grocery run in the days leading up to the festival, but it was amazing to see how many people were actually treating it as a normal shopping day. I suppose it's another sign of the ongoing secularisation of Christmas, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. Part of me is weeping and wailing for the loss of tradition and decorum, and yet there's another part that thinks it's wonderful you can now go out for bog roll instead of having to make do with paper napkins for two days if you're anything like me and you've forgotten to stock up on this most essential of supplies.

Anyway, lots of wine was drunk, lots of pastry and chocolate was eaten, and I have put on weight, but who cares? I'll go on a diet next year.



( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Dec. 28th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
Ooooh. Thanks for linking to that recipe. I bought a chorizo the other day, thinking to use some in scrambled eggs, but I'm going to get some chicken and potatoes and try to make this!
Dec. 29th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
I heartily recommend that tray bake. It really is easy to make and it tastes delicious!
Dec. 29th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
Looks great, we're definitely going to try that recipe.

Hubby and I have pretty much decided that if I am not working next Xmas, we will be going away alone. We enjoyed Xmas this year, but we would prefer it without all the fuss, I think.
Dec. 29th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
I meant to add: as to the shops opening, in the bad old days when it was a disaster to forget something on Xmas day. And then when convenience stores began to appear and there was ONE open for the entire city, it was a revelation! You could now go buy that missing can of cranberry sauce if you forgot it.

And now there are petrol stations open and even some supermarkets and all sorts of things. And you don't have to stock up with a week's worth of food before Xmas because the shops reopen Boxing Day. While this is a loss of tradition, it's a darn sight better than before in my opinion.
Dec. 29th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
I'm sure our more conservatively Christian politicians will try and put a stop to shops opening on Christmas when Parliament convenes again after the holidays, but I don't think they'll be able to ban it completely now that we -the general public- have had a taste...It'll probably be like the big Sunday opening debate: they'll fulminate against it for a decade or more, but nobody will take any notice.
Dec. 29th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
TBH, the thought that you don't have any Xmas trading doesn't gel with my mental picture of Holland as an egalitarian liberal utopia.

For at least the last 15yrs, this backward country has had awful Boxing Day sales that start at the ridiculous hour of 6am, where large department stores advertise massively discounted stock and people get up at 5am or worse to be at the front of the stampede when the stores open. I think they do it in London as well.

Admittedly, large supermarkets are still not open on Xmas day, but smaller convenience stores are and some of the non-chain supermarkets open so we can get the desperately needed items. And that's all we need, for the moment.
Dec. 29th, 2011 12:50 pm (UTC)
A utopia? That doesn't sound like my country at all ;-)!

I think one of those overrated 19th-century German poets had the right idea when he quipped that he'd move to Holland if the end of the world was nigh, as over there everything always seemed to happen 50 years later to the rest of the world.
Dec. 29th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear you had a good Christmas!
Dec. 29th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you and Tyson had an enjoyable one as well ;-)
( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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