Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Special

Yes folks, it's still Christmas!! Happy Holy Family Sunday!! Happy Third Day of Christmas! Happy Happy!

What follows is a General Christmas Roundup--made especially for our American family and friends who--I know--were missing us terribly on Christmas Day...and who we missed very much in return. Despite a slight taint of melancholy/homesickness/loneliness in the days preceding the Nativity, Thomas More and I somehow scraped together a rollicking frolicking holiday for ourselves, thanks to (lots of) good food, (lots of) presents, and--not least--to our Lord, who was born.

And so, without further ado, a (brief as can be--and you know how NOT brief I CAN be!) account of the weeks festivities (complete with menu!).

First, our tree:
Christmas Spirit kicked off with a gorgeous blizzard which covered the Kingdom of Fife. TM and I grabbed the pooch and took off to see St Andrews in the snow:
Marley gathered snow balls which melted slowly on our car seats later.
Back home I initiated culinary preparation!! First I made the Kringle for Christmas morning--a tradition in my childhood home. I filled it with apples and butterscotch on one side and dark chocolate and orange zest on the other.
This was my first attempt at multi-layered butter pastry and I was very pleased with the result! Not perfect LOOKING but perfect tasting, nonetheless. Completed kringle with icing:
Traditionally, my family has Mexican food on Christmas Eve after going to the Pagent at church. Sadly, there was no pagent or Mexican food be had in Fife, so we made pheasant instead. Menu: Pheasant in Fruit; bulgar wheat pilaf; and pears, roasted with walnuts, cranberries and Stilton with a port wine sauce over a bed of arugula. Yum!
After dinner we read the Christmas stories from Matthew and Luke and headed off to a MIDNIGHT MASS in the next town. And 'twas a REAL midnight Mass, my friends--not beginning till AFTER midnight! I found myself quite sleepy by the time we stood for the gospel acclimation, and was looking forward to one of Father's "weekday" length homilies. "Surely," I thought to myself, "if I'm tired, FATHER should be really tired...he is over eighty, after all...Sheesh! he was ordained BEFORE Vatican II!!" But not so, not so! Father pulled off a doozy, full length, action packed and theologically nuanced to boot...too bad I was already falling prey to visions of sugarplums....!

After getting home after 1 in the morning, I in my Kerchief and Thom in his Cap managed a few hours of winters' nap. We arose bright and early to open presents and EAT KRINGLE (which was delicious!)
Since we couldn't find the traditional "little smokey" sausages (which are of dubious origin anyway...) we settled for good homemade Northumbrian sausage, bought fresh from the butcher in Northumbria. Yum!
And then to the presents! (Thanks to my Husband and my Mother for a very full tree!!)
Marley received Father Christmas squeak from his Mother and Father:
And an "Indestructible" rope toy from Mee-maw and Pa-paw.
Here I sport my Christmas wears (jacket and scarf), and my Christmas bag in front of my new poster, which is so quintessentially British, isn't it! So brilliant!
Then we toddled off to a lovely Mass in St Andrews, where I got to listen to Father's homily all the way through again! ...and, after sleep and coffee, was much better situated in my soul and intellect to receive it. After Mass we took a wonderful drive through the snow-covered countryside, the sunlight gorgeous! perfect! and went back to our favorite local castle to take pictures and let the dog try out his new toys.

Once the sun went down (at 3:30--but getting lighter every day!!) I prepared the Official Christmas feast. Menu:

-Stilton and quince jam on crackers
-Foie Gras and date puree on toast
-Fillet of Beef with tomato Madiera confit
-wild mushroom bread pudding
-a light salad with strawberries and toasted pecans
-a nice South African Merlot
And Finally:
-Flaming Plum Pudding! with Zabaoine sauce!

And then, my friends, we went to sleep, and slept the whole night through.

A very merry Christmas to you all. And a Happy New Year! May the peace of Christ grow in you.

Mary of Egypt

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas! I hope you two had a wonderful time, and weren't too lonely! I will be back in St Andrews on the 3rd or 4th (I think), so if you need company, come over anytime!