Over the last five years a sort of thing has developed with me visiting my daughters and parents over the weekend before Christmas. This has worked well. We have our own family Christmas celebration and I also get to see Mum very close to her birthday.
As Mum and Dad become more frail in their senior years, the extent and complexity of lunch has diminished a little but the joy for food and fellowship has not. About a fortnight ago Mum and I agreed on a menu and we started planning. When I use the royal pronoun I do it thinking I’ve had some small part in this process knowing fully that the arrangement is really up to Mum with Dad’s help. My contribution tends to be buying a large number of prawns, dissecting large bundles of muscle tissue, capturing images of food, plating up, eating and cleaning dishes (and pots, pans and trays) around six times during the day.
We had agreed on two chooks and some pickled pork. Rather than hot vegetables Mum wanted to prepare potato salad, coleslaw and a Summer salad. Mum would also make a pavlova and she wanted to try a Heston Blumenthal Christmas pudding.
We’ve never been a turkey family and in the past Mum has cooked glazed hams, big shoulders of pork, duck and lamb. Lately though we derive a lot of satisfaction from a couple of chooks which can be stuffed and then enjoyed as leftovers over the following day or so. One of the reasons I love chicken is the uropygium which is the rump of the bird. It contains the pygostyle which is the fused final caudal vertebræ which supports the tail feathers and muscles. It is covered in fat and skin and has a delicious taste.
Did you know that turkey butt used to be imported into Samoa but to contain obesity it was banned between 2007 and 2013. It is now allowed back into Samoa.
I love Mum’s simple stuffing based on bread, bacon, egg, herbs and some dried fruits. Mum always makes extra so it gets roasted and can be used with her gravy on sandwiches. On the subject of gravy, Mum uses the pan juices and some flour and makes a really nice smooth flavoursome gravy.
So I’ll tell a story in pictures. Needless to say we all had a good time. Later in the afternoon my youngest brother visited and we went looking at some Christmas light displays around Brisbane.
All in all we had a great day of eating and talking and sharing and being happy.
I hope you also enjoy your Christmas feasting too. Especially if you separate your celebrations with various members of family and friends over the Christmas period.
- Healthy Christmas dinner (ourworkwork.wordpress.com)
- MY MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS IN THE 1950s (rakesandrascals.wordpress.com)
- Holiday Health tips that Santa needs to learn (sustainablefitnesshsv.wordpress.com)
- Christmas in Australia (sheilasmith15.wordpress.com)
- Christmas lunch (dalg1966.wordpress.com)