For the first time in years, my family actually had a place to go for Christmas, thanks to a family of righteous gentiles. It was a lovely evening spent with friends and friends’ family. My husband even made an appearance at the end of his 12 hour shift. Unfortunately, he left his Santa costume at the hospital.
Speaking of costumes, I have been enjoying any opportunity to get a little dressed up lately, even if it means a little pre-party angst in front of my very poorly stocked closet trying to figure out what they hay I can make an outfit out of.
I was told that all I needed to complete my outfit were glasses on a chain. This necklace would have made my geriatric look complete.
There was tons of good stuff to eat, 99% of which was vegan. Surprisingly, the menu at Chez Padi & Braja’s was strikingly similar to this menu served up on the left coast. They obviously have a much better camera than I do, so feel free to check out that blog and imagine very similar things going into the mouths of me and my friends last nite.
I did manage to snap a few pics from our very special Christmas. Here we go…
Padi is from England. Her husband, Braj, is from New Zealand. Both countries have their own Marmite. And both Padi and Braj are very loyal to their own motherland’s yeasty spread. However, I have to say, that my own personal online research shows that England’s Marmite stands supreme, despite the Kiwi resistance to such claims. Feel free to dispute this in the “Comments” section below.
The parsnips in the melange of roasted vegetables was surely a favorite of the Hayton clan. Everyone was going for the parsnips. Luckily, I was able to snag a few for my plate. I don’t think there were any left when my husband came, however. Poor husband.
The brussels sprouts were exceptionally delicious, winning over the taste buds of fans and frenemies alike.
Sweets. Dude, there were a lot of sweets. Sweets sweeter than the preceding sweets. Just a granite peninsula of sweets. Cookies. Puddings. Custard. Pies. Fudge. And probably other stuff that I can’t remember while awakening from my sugar coma.
Okay. How freaking British is this! Christmas pudding. Figgy Christmas pudding. So what if it was from a box mix. And so what if that box mix rated 8th in England in 2003. What the hell other Christmas puddings do I have to compare it to? None. Nothing. Zilcho.
Not everyone was a fan of the Christmas pudding.
Understood. Raisins. People just couldn’t handle them. But I really
really really liked the figgy pudding. I appreciated it on many levels.
First level: it’s figgy pudding which totally gets mentioned in We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Charles Dickens even set it upon Bob Cratchit’s table. So it’s totally Christmasy. Oh and…it’s totally….
Second level: British! Totally freaking British. British pudding. Which is not like any kind of pudding I have ever experienced. Because it is like a cake. But dense. And weird. And kind of…
Third Level: Alcohol-y. That’s right. There was BOOZE in the pudding. I haven’t eaten anything with alcohol in it for years, unless you count vinegar and vanilla extract. If you’ve seen my Minor Threat vid a few posts back, you will be made highly aware of how I really don’t need any foreign substances in my system to bring about holiday cheer. I am assuming all the alcohol evaporated out of the pudding during the cooking but it did have a rather musty, liquory taste to it. I guess thats fun. As Braj said, “It’s Christmas.”
Fourth Level: It’s Christmas! I totally enjoy event specific preps, especially if they are family traditions. Like matzoh brei and my mom’s kugel, you kind of have to grow up eating it and have a reason for making it. It’s comfort food, but needs to be served within context.
Fifth Level: Did I mention my name at birth was Rose Smith? It’s a rather long story, but to cut it short, I am one of them. That’s right…a good fraction of me is of British descent, so I saw it as a test of my Britishness whether I liked the pudding or not. And dammit, I wasn’t going to be stripped of my British dignity over some pudding.
I could keep typing away here, rambling on about the lovely Christmas evening I had with my neighbor friends, but my daughter is making me repeat the names of the continents with her while I am typing this, so I will just sign off here and leave you with a few parting shots.