I usually go home to Chicago for Christmas, but this year for various reasons (dog not withstanding) I decided to stay put in the UK. It had all the makings of a terribly homesick day – I love Christmas and my family does a great job with food, music, snow, lights thrift-store grab-bags and all the other little things I love about the holidays. But as things turned out, Christmas in the UK was bliss.
I’ve been very busy these past many months with work and travel and it was wonderful to have such a calm, peaceful day here on the farm. Tim, also away from his family in NZ, helped make the day special. We bought a real tree and Christmas stockings, and even England got in the spirit by giving us a solid dose of snow for a proper white Christmas and a beautiful Christmas morning.
After an early morning dog walk, Tim got us off to an excellent start with an awesome breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and hot tea.
After breakfast, we shared a few presents from under the Christmas tree – Jay dog had a terrific time helping us unwrap:
I got a mortar and pestle! (And a Wacom Bamboo tablet! Not shown…)
Like a proper Christmas, ours was adequately focused on food. Tim made a partridge, while I made a veggie loaf with tofu, mushrooms, sage, celery and a few other bits, served with cashew gravy. Here is my veggie loaf, looking a little timid next to Tim’s partridge.
For fixins, brussels sprouts, roasted veggies and cranberries. In other words, a pile of the least photogenic food imaginable:
For dessert, I made ginger ice cream and pumpkin pie. Alas, the pie did NOT go well. I bought a jar of pumpkin puree here in the UK, but after inspecting the jar I saw that the pumpkin was a “Japanese Kokkaido pumpkin” with added WATER and salt! Hello, where’s my can o’ Libby’s sweet pumpkin when I need it? I made the pie anyway, but it was a goopy mess. Oh well, at least the ice cream was a success.
And I made up for the failed pie yesterday by baking an apple pie (something much easier to get right in England).
I finish this post with a photo of something that’s truly impressive, even to a vegetarian: Tim’s Christmas roast, a collection of partridge, sausages and prunes, all wrapped in bacon, ready to be baked for 45 minutes until done:
That much meat wrapped in meat is surely the sign of a Christmas day well done. And according to Tim, the partridge was delicious. Jay, however, prefers the gamier taste of Rudolph.