A Pavlova too far?
I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas. How was it for you? It was officially a White Christmas for us up here in Tyndrum. Very pretty too! We did still manage to have the typical Tyndrum weather though – snow turned to rain, then turned back to snow…. with the odd glimmer of blue sky thrown in! Just to top it all, as soon as it was night-o’clock, everything that melted froze. Solid. That was interesting! Then it snowed again!
We had the usual family Christmas planned. Drinks at my brother and sister-in-law’s where our live-in staff come up for a wee tipple. It’s always lovely to see them all on Christmas morning… nursing hangovers and full bellies – their Christmas dinner is on Christmas eve, unlike us. All the Eastern European staff have a get together, all of them cook and by all accounts it takes them about 3 days to do the cooking!
Our tradition is going down to Mum’s for dinner. Kick off is always in time for Lizzie McQueen’s speech, a wee drink in hand, whilst we run around as Mum’s elves, doing as we are told. (Hmmm, maybe not!) It’s funny really, this year, we called out “Dinner is served.” and no-one moved. We had to resort to shouting “Don’t take a seat, you don’t get to eat!” That worked.
Mum makes the most amazing spread. We did however, opt out of the intercourse…. oops, middle course, which normally has melon, smoked salmon and avocado making its appearance. This year we decided that we would try to make it to the pudding by taking it out of the menu! Mum’s ‘award winning’ Green Pepper Soup was superb. I had to stop myself racing through to get another bowl. Too good. Then came the main course:
Turkey, ham, parsnips, roasties, mashed sweet potato, caramelised onions (oh, the farts were not good after these), brussel sprouts with bacon and leek (more farting), pigs in blankets, mashed turnip, stuffing, bread sauce…. was the plate big enough? Have I missed anything? I think I had a bit of everything…. even the brussel sprouts. (Oh god sprang to mind after that pile.) I was glad to help clear dishes and Ellen and I were elves once again, helping Mum with the pudding…. profiteroles, orange chocolate mousse and pavlova. How does she make a pavlova all lovely and chewy, 12″ across with only 5 egg whites???
I couldn’t help myself. I had a slice of the pavlova which was piled with fresh cream and fruit (come on, at least it was contributing toward my ‘5 a day’ quota!!). It wasn’t good. It was fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I managed to reach pudding. I may have to give up the smoked salmon inter-course more often.
After all that, I found it hard to move. I really wanted to, but it wasn’t really possible. A wheel barrow home was looking inviting. All that was left was space in my tummy for wine. Well, I couldn’t exactly leave it behind, could I? It was ace, lovely to have family round the table, and having Andy and Ellen come for dinner too was extra special. I can’t remember whether it was Andy or Ed that won the ‘most heaped plate of the day’ award!
The sofa called, I answered. Meantime Jessica, Blair and Ed went for a session in the hot tub. I would have drowned. They wouldn’t have been able to pick me up out of the water. I think Jess’s hangover must have been rather spectacular on Boxing Day.
What is it with Boxing Day? You have filled yourself full on Christmas Day and then WILLINGLY pretty much eat the WHOLE LOT again! Not only that, you hit the chocolate that you rammed in the fridge on Christmas Day, knowing that there was no way it was going to be ignored for long. Then you can’t help wonder why you feel like a stuffed pig unable to get upright without rolling yourself off the sofa onto the foot stool. Why do we do it to ourselves? OK, once a year is ace, a great excuse to get round the table and eat your weekly quota of calories in three hours.
Just for good measure, we are going to do it all again! Our best friends are coming for a New Year dinner party: Mum, Mike, Ronnie, Annie, Andy, Ellen, Neil and Jenny. The only friend missing at the party will be Ronnie’s beloved Jack, who sadly passed away on Christmas Eve. Rest in peace, Jack …. gone, but never forgotten..