14 January 2013

My Christmas Dinner

I try not to spend Christmas in London. I’ve been lucky enough that most times, I do get to go away. Last year, I was fortunate enough to spend it with my family in beautiful New Zealand. All of us – my mom, dad, brother, and sister – went skydiving together.. it wasn’t the most Christmassy thing, but it was crazy and amazing!This year, however, I had to stay put as I’d taken too much time off. I was away for 14 weeks out of 52 O_OMany people had gone away on holiday or to be with family, but there were a few of us ‘sad’ ones left in London, so we decided to have Christmas dinner together…… and for some reason, I, a.k.a. the person who doesn’t cook, decided to prepare FIVE items for the event.

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I spent the night before wrapping a few presents.

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I take pride in wrapping presents.. I like to think of them as boxes of happiness! This year, I included bits of candy, Christmas confetti, stickers, and tissue paper into each box.
I used glue instead of tape on the wrapping paper so it looks neater, too.. erm..

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Finished result!

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The first Christmas card I receive each year is usually from KC, a close friend of mine who lives in Melbourne. He always makes the effort to find out my current address and sends out cards way in advance!

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I made eggnog using the Waitrose American Eggnog recipe, with bourbon.

As I’m not exactly the domestic goddess and don’t spend much time in the kitchen (I’m always out >.<) .. I had to go and buy a hand whisk. And god damn it was hard work mixing everything with that primitive, non-electrical object!

The eggnog turned out great 🙂

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Just the day before, I was talking to my Portuguese friend Luis, who was telling me how he was celebrating Christmas in Porto. Ok fine, I was asking about what kind of festive food they ate there.. and he mentioned leite creme, which is a Portuguese milk custard not unlike French crème brûlée. Except that it’s meant to be much easier to make.. so I did, using this recipe.

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The pic above is of the filling I was preparing for hoddeok, a Korean pancake dessert that I had recently discovered. Recipe here. I used chopped hazelnuts instead of peanuts.

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The end result!

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I also made a Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows. It’s traditionally a Thanksgiving dish, but I thought it would be great with the Christmas turkey. I used Nigella Lawson’s recipe and it was really fantastic! My favourite part was opening each parcel of baked sweet potato and scooping out the juicy flesh to use for the next step.

All the sweet potato mash is then mixed with lemon juice and cinnamon before being baked in the oven with a layer of marshmallows on top, which melt to form a cover that looks like dinosaur skin.

The last thing on my menu was Nigella’s infamous ‘Chocohotopots‘, which I first had a taste of when Joyce made it last year. They were sooooo good. I prepared the batter and kept it in a container to bake at Linda’s house (where the dinner was being held) so it could be served hot/fresh.

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I was really pleased with how the sweet potato casserole came out.. it was so sweet and juicy and went great with the turkey. The portion I made was too much so I got to keep the rest, and oh my it tasted EVEN better after a day or two in the fridge!

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The leite creme turned out fab.. I didn’t have a kitchen torch (of course I wouldn’t have).. so it was a bit of a pain trying to caramelise the demerara sugar on top. I had to use the broiler.

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The ramekins I got were rather large and so they didn’t fill up completely.. but they were soooo delish with the brandy pouring cream.

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Winter candle and decorative xmas stars c/o The White Company. I brought them from home to jazz up Linda’s living room a little. And make it smell nicer. The candle is an infusion of cinnamon, clove, and fresh orange. It makes you want to drink the air.. if you get what I mean.

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Linda, Joyce, Me, Su

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With Jayna & Neena too

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Some of the Christmas presents on the floor.

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Linda got me a DIY bubble machine thing.. I haven’t had the time to put it together yet but I’m definitely looking forward to it OF COURSE.

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Eggnog was served after all the presents were opened.

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The BEST present I got this Christmas came from Jayna. She made a little photo book of our Iceland trip! It was super cool. I miss Iceland.

Other presents I got include Urbanears headphones from Marina (she’s the sweetest), a Betty Boop ashtray, a super cool mood calendar, a knit-your-own-panda-mittens kit, and some yummy things from The Body Shop.

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Yes, I know it’s nearly 3 weeks since Christmas! I’ve been so busy with.. life in general I simply didn’t have time to document it. My very close friend from Melbourne is visiting at the moment and we’ve recently just come back from a fantastic trip to Venice. I can’t wait to write about THAT!

x

2 Comments

Winnie |

Whatttt you are a secret domestic goddess – your food looks so delicious! I love all your parcels, they look like so much fun. I can’t believe you were away 14/52 weeks…haha but oh wait, judging from your instagram etc I definitely can. You definitely know how to make the most out of life!!

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