A Christmas combination
Boxing Day, the house is tidy (ish), and smelling sweetly of the remains of the Christmas chicken as it slowly boils itself to broth. I have recovered from what was an exceptional couple of Christmas-themed days. Christmas Eve was spent chasing gifts around and infuriating various shop assistants who “were supposed to close half an hour ago”, in the woodshop making last-minute cutting boards, and at some friend’s house eating Maine lobster and making merry. On Christmas morning Lex, Skye, and I opened our stockings, to various degrees of surprise, and exchanged our gifts (Skye isn’t really in a position to be giving gifts, except for the occasional face-licking when one is on her level, being that she is a dog). We then joined Lex’s parents for a bike ride in Bidwell Park with the dogs followed by a late brunch and more gift exchanging back at Vertolli H.Q.
This year there was a shift in our shared Christmas experience. Usually, there is the joined gathering of the families on Christmas Eve, which, this year, was another fantastic event, enhanced by the surprising punctuality of the notoriously tardy guests and my being able to win three games of pool in a row through the mistakes of my opponents. Following the consumption and merriment of Christmas Eve, Christmas day itself if usually a laid-back minimalist day spent relaxing and watching football with little or no importance put on the eating of vast amounts of Brussels sprouts. This year however, we decided to host a meal at our wee flat for the family and a couple of friends.
I decided to produce a traditional dinner as I was brought up to know; roast chicken, tatties, veg, gravy, Christmas pudding, and all the accompanying consumables. We also had the pleasure of sampling some of Lex’s Dad’s home-made raviolis and secret sauce as an added side. So, following the compulsory and rule-loaded gift exchange (in which I did extremely well), we set to work on demolishing huge plates of what can only be described as the perfect match of two gastronomic Christmas traditions.
An added bonus was that the meal saw the last of our own pasture-raised chickens meet its destiny on our table, and a more fitting time, place, or meal, could not have been imagined.