It has been quite a while since I crossed of an item on my Life List, that list with the things I'd like to do one day. And even though giving birth has been an amazing experience, it was time to cross of another one. Well, actually, I can cross of two, but let me tell you about one at a time...
For some years now, the Basmati family has come together at my parent's house on the 26th of December to celebrate Christmas. And for maybe exactly that many years, I have unsuccessfully tried to convince my mother that it would be safe thing pass on the golden panhandle to the next generation. Unsuccessfully until last year.
With a bit of planning ahead, scheming on part of my older brother's wife and me plus a bit of bad luck, my mother ended up in hospital for a full week before Christmas and realized that this special circumstance my prevent a proper preparation of the big feast. So my time had come.
At my parent's, we eat dinner at lunchtime. That is perfect, because there is ample time to digest tons of food before it prevents a good night's sleep and all the little children can be driven to their own beds before their PJ time. Unfortunately, someone has to cook dinner before that lunchtime.
So if you are planning that first Christmas Dinner that you cook for a larger family that is hungry at lunchtime, cross off all those meals that involve roasting a turkey for several hours. You just don't want to get up at 5 to start something that is supposed to be impressive. And which will be hot as hell by the time you want to drive it over to your parent's house. No way José.
I made Boeuf Bourgignon. I knew that it would turn out great - beef and red wine. I could make it the day before and then just heat it up at my parent's while chopping tons of salad ingredients, not having to care about the exact time it would have to be done. I like it relaxed when it comes to cooking.
My sister in law made potato gratin and as desert we had a gazillion calories hidden under a chocolate frosting topped with cream.
It was not at all what I had had in mind when I put that item on my life list. I had visions of people sitting at the same table at the same time, eating that glazed Christmas Turkey after a surprisingly yummy starter and with a heavenly desert to follow. Wine would flow abundantly and digestives would be needed desperately. Laughter and a white table cloth, with cheers for the cook and tons of presents for everyone. But then again, I have always dreamed about riding a unicorn. Life happens while you are busy making plans, right? And on the plus side, it will be easy to improve the performance this year.
It was a really nice day. A bit different from what it is usually like, as my mother wasn't really her normal self, my younger brother and wife were at her parent's and the children needed catering to and prevented that everyone sits down at the same time part of the plan with bouts of fever, general destructiveness and a very urgent need to try out all the toys they had been given earlier. Bad timing, I know.
2013 will be The Year of the Turkey. I have a plan.