I thought I would show you how we celebrated Christmas Day.
It was held in my parents’ home. The idea was for casual outdoor seating under the shade of the pergola and while the adults sat around talking, the younger generation could be burning off their sugar-high in the swimming pool. But alas, for the third year in a row we had dud weather.
Every day leading up to Christmas and every day hence has been lovely, if not stunning yet Christmas Day was cool with rain. Non-stop rain.
It just doesn’t seem like Christmas unless it’s so hot you have sweat running down your back and you’re puce in the face from leaning over a hot stove while stirring the gravy.
I had a dress picked out for the day but it was too cold to wear it so I went in something a lot less stunning so I could be warmer.
Instead of having lunch outside we ate in the formal dining room which is not ideal for children but anyway. Lunch was served buffet style because unlike on Downton Abbey, there was no butler to bring it to us.
This was an ‘off-year’ for my family which is where instead of spending Christmas with our family, we go to the husband’s side. But Carl’s family is spread out up and down the eastern side of Australia and while that isn’t an insurmountable hurdle, his family can just never quite get it together to come together on December 25.
So we stayed in Sydney. And I helped my mother with the menu. I prepared a turkey and took it around to mum’s oven where it was ever so slightly over-cooked but not to the point of no one wanting any. It was an organic bird that had lived a totally happy free-range life. When I picked it up from the supplier it was fresh and and was of a size I could fit into the oven at 6.6kgs (14.55 lbs).
While I was very excited to have been able to buy a good-quality bird, I was disappointed that when I went to prepare it, a lot of the bits and pieces had been cut away. Like the skin around the cavity so you can secure the stuffing and the neck skin had also been chopped off and I usually use that for the forcemeat stuffing.
Never mind, on Christmas morning it’s on with the show and you make do. I used my poultry pins to secure the cavity and I wrapped my forcemeat stuffing in baking paper, placed it in a roasting dish, covered it with foil and put it in the oven for the last hour of the cooking process.
I also made some smashed baby potatoes cooked in duck fat and they were lovely and crispy.
Cousin Pip (you all remember her), made a green salad that was served on a very pretty oval plater with a pewter edge (wedding present) and my older sister made a mango, avocado, bacon and walnut salad. I made a verjuice gravy and we served the turkey with the spiced cranberry sauce I made a few weeks ago.
For dessert, cousin Pip was in charge. She made a cherry and turkish delight semifreddo shaped in a bombe and meringues with marinated berries and cream for the children.
After all the presents and all the food, the children, full of bravery, ventured into the rain for a time in the pool but they weren’t in it for long. They then ran to the outdoor shower where they hovered until they’d thawed.
Archie arrived at 6.30pm and by that time most of the guests had left. He’d just finished an eight-hour shift where he wasn’t waitering but instead had to be in the servery. All day. He spent Christmas Day polishing cutlery and folding napkins.
And that’s how we celebrated for 2013.
If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it!