Saturday, 26 December 2009
Christmas Day memories to build upon . . .
"So now is come our joyful feast,
Let every man be jolly;
Each room with ivy leaves is dressed,
And every post with holly.
Though some churls at our mirth repine,
Round your foreheads garlands twine,
Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
And let us all be merry.
Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if for cold it hap to die,
We'll bury it in a Christmas pie,
And evermore be merry."
- George Wither, A Christmas Tale
Oh, what a lovely day we had yesterday! It started off with a lovely telephone conversation with my mom, all the way from Canada. My mom calls me twice a year, once on my Birthday and then again at Christmas. She gets up really early to be able to do that and it is a real treat for me!!! I know that one day there will be no more phone calls and so I cherish each and every minute of it. Oh we did spend a wonderful hour with each other. Almost as good as being able to spend Christmas together . . . well, not quite, but tis the best that we can do right now!
Then it was on to get my Turkey into the oven and begin my preparations for our dinner together. Can you believe that this is the only picture I got of our turkey??? I know!! I had big plans all week to take pictures of it all the way through so that I could share it with you another time, but completely forgot! (I know what am I like!) The little fella next door kept us company most of the morning. He was over in his pajamas and was sharing some of his Christmas morning excitement and joy with us. It was really lovely.
While Todd left to go and pick up our guests, I set the table. I really wanted it to be festive and special. We only use our good china a few times during the year and so that was all washed up and sorted. I found this really cute salt and pepper shaker a few weeks back along with the santa jug and I just thought they were so sweet and perfect for our holiday table!
We did have a really special time together. We had invited the two sister missionaries and Terri and her little dog Pip. What a day we had. We talked and laughed.
The two sisters sang Away in a Manger for us Accapella and it was beautiful. I know Terri really enjoyed it especially and that was what I had hoped. She was singing along as well. Oh, it was so lovely.
Once I had everything ready we sat down to a luxurious feast. Oh, but it was good. There was turkey and ham and stuffing . . . roasted parsnips and potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, swede and sweet potatoes . . . those tasty little chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon . . . and delicious turkey gravy . . . not to mention cranberry sauce, horseradish sauce and a delicious Christmas chutney that I had picked up in Marks and Spencers.
And then . . . there was dessert! (Like we had room for that, but we all managed a bit anyways!) Yummy Christmas pudding, Christmas Cake, eggnog cake and mince pies . . . along with cream served up in my sweet little Santa Jug.
After that we cleared up, and the Missionaries shared a beautiful thought with us about the Saviour's birth. All too soon, it was time to take everyone home. With goodbye hugs and wishes they set off armed with Christmas cake and Eggnog cake and a special dinner for the missionaries to drop off to a friend that has just gotten out of hospital.
As soon as they had gone, our telephone rang and it was my dad calling from Canada! That was a lovely surprise and very unexpected! After we finished talking, I called my children that were all together at my ex's home and I got to speak with each one of them that were there . . . my Special Olympics Athelete, my Soldier boy and my Marathon runner and her husband. Oh, it was so lovely to speak with them, and be able to share Happy Christmas wishes and some love together.
I had called my older son Anthony the day before and had gotten to listen to my wee grandson Gabriel singing Santa Claus is coming. They did not travel to Nova Scotia this year, what with Anne being very pregnant and her mom not being very well and in hospital. What a delightful sound that was to hear my grandsons little voice singing, a gift in and of itself.
I also called my other son, Doug, who was not at his dad's either, and spent some time with him and his wife Kayla, and got to hear the grandsons, Jonathan and Joshua, enjoying their Christmas presents from us, a lovely drum and musical set, and a dancing lala from the teletubbies. What a joyful sound it was!!! Perhaps one day I shall be able to enjoy it in person, but for now, I enjoy the blessing of having been born in a time and age when modern technology affords us the luxury of instant communication, no matter how far away we may be from each other. Tis so very wonderful!
By then Todd had returned from dropping everyone off, and we were ready to spend the rest of the evening relaxing and going back over the lovely day we had had. Oh how blessed I am to have this special man in my life. I do love him so very much and I am so very happy that Heavenly Father drew us to each other. There is nobody on earth I would rather be spending my life with and that is as it should be. I wish everyone had a Todd like I do!
Soon it was time for bed and I, in my lovely new nightdress, (a very thoughtful gift from my eldest son and his family, dreams do come true!) and Todd wandered off to our bed and lala-land, having spent a wonderful day together. . . having built some special Christmas memories to cherish in the future . . . and feeling very blessed and loved and content.
What more could you ask for? Well . . . that little word on the yoke of my nightgown says it all . . . the reward that comes from a life well spent don't you think??? If all of your Christmas's were only half as special as mine was . . . then you were very lucky indeed!
Now we get to the business of using up all the leftovers from our Christmas feasts and beasts! This is a very scrummy way of using some of that turkey. It's also very tasty done with chicken or lamb! I haven't tried it with beef or pork, but I think Pork would also be very good. With beef I'd go with a more traditional roast beef hash or a bubble and squeak!
*Curried Turkey Hash*
Ok, so this is not an authentic curry, but is simply my version of something that closely resembes a curry and is a very tasty way of using up some of the leftovers from your holiday meal. You don't even have to use turkey in it. You can use chicken or lamb. All three are delicious. It's tasty, spicy and delicious and makes a great lunch or supper dish.
1 TBS sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled, halved and cut into half moons
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 TBS curry powder or paste (the strength of what you use depends on your palate and how
strong you like your curries. I use a Korma paste as we are not fond of knock your socks off heat)
1 TBS tomato paste
2 TBS apricot jam
hot chicken stock
3 cups leftover turkey, cut into bite sizes pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid, over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onions, carrots and potatoes. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften a bit and brown. Add the curry powder or paste according to your tastes and cook, stirring, for a few minutes longer. Stir in the tomato puree and the apricot jam. Add just enough hot stock to just barely cover the vegetables, mixing it in well. Pop a lid on top and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are really tender.
Add the chopped turkey, mixing it all in well. Cook for a further 10 minutes to allow it to completely through all the way and for the turkey to take on some of the curry flavour. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve hot. You can serve this with some steamed basamati rice if you wish, with some chutney and popadoms on the side if you really want to go all Indian!
There's a delicious Winter Vegetable Gratin over on The English Kitchen this morning!