Well, I was rubbish this Christmas.
We hosted Christmas for our family for the third year running. Usually (if I may say) we have our lunch prep nailed. By the time our family starts to arrive, the kitchen is [reasonably] tidy, the smell of roast potatoes and turkey wafts enticingly and I have a glass of ice cold bubbly awaiting everyone.
This year, I don't know what happened, but I was so disorganised. Maybe I got complacent. I dunno. Here's my sorry tale:
- Roasted a gammon joint on Christmas Eve thinking my dad (who doesn't eat turkey) could have it for lunch. Forgot about it, left it in the fridge, threw it away untouched yesterday. Sigh.
- Made mashed potato after a special request from stepson. Forgot to give him some.
- Fell out with my sous chef [Andrew] over the brussels (cooked for too long) and the apples (not chopped finely enough for the red cabbage dish).*
- Took more than 90 minutes to roast the potatoes (put them on the wrong shelf of the roasting oven). Guests arrived starving. Lunch an hour late. Guests *forced* to eat sausage rolls and Quality Street as amuse-bouches.
- Burned a pan of maple roasted parsnips. To be fair, I do this every year. I always roast two panfuls: one roasts to perfection, the other burns to a blackened crisp. Kind of an accidental tradition now I think.
You know what though, it was the loveliest day. The table looked pretty, my nieces turned up in crazy cute party dresses and the food (again, if I may say) was plentiful and delicious, if a little late. We began our celebrations with white peach bellinis and finished off the day with a few competitive rounds of Giggle Wiggle.
Come Sunday we were ready for round two: mum and dad had a little gathering for my extended family. It was cray cray, involving nine children, two of whom were riding around the ground floor on a mechanical mouse. Two others were playing football (soft ball) in the hall. Two more (and a couple of dads) watched Escape to Victory in the living room. My thespian cousin (13) bravely performed songs (beautifully, tear-jerkingly) from Les Mis in the conservatory. The biggest, Tom, spent the day dolling out huge hugs and the littlest, Ellie, simply ran everywhere observing all of the above, admirably avoiding the two on the mechanical mouse who could not stop grabbing her to pat her tiny ponytail.
Of course, we still have a few remaining days of Christmas to celebrate. These lovely long lazy days as we prepare for a new year. Reading, knitting, pottering and not doing very much at all. Perfect.
How was yours?
*If my MIL is reading this, I'd like to point out that it was a mini squabble and we laughed about it ten minutes later. We are not about to get divorced or anything.