Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hey Jesus, It's Your Birthday

It's Christmas Day! I don't mind what you believe in but I believe in family and food on Christmas Day. I'm currently in Quirindi where my Dad's family is from (seeing as it's not really feasible to spend Christmas with Mum's family: that being 15 siblings spread all over the world) and every year we have a few traditions.

Christmas Eve we cut down a tree from somewhere.. I'm never actually sure where we get it from, usually just a hillside somewhere not too far away. Some people think it's a bit sad to have a Christmas tree just for Christmas Eve/Day, but it's nice to have all the family decorate it. We have an assortment of decorations and ornaments and most of them are home-made and/or half a century old. I've decided that next year I will make some new ornaments as the headless bird and legless soldier have probably lived out their lives now.

Aunty, cousins and my brother decorating the tree.

Before Christmas morning and after.
Christmas Day always starts with Lamb's Fry. Lamb's Fry is something that my Grandmother has been making for years and I actually find kinda gross (perhaps that's just the almost vegetarian part of me) however it smells crazy tasty when she's cooking it. Here it's made with lots of gravy and we the family eats it on toast. My 14 year old cousin has recently been diagnosed as a coeliac and on top of that he's allergic to soy products and nuts so it's extremely difficult to cook things for him. Lamb's Fry is a favourite dish and so my Grandmother has tried to adapt it and make it free of wheat but without coating the liver in normal flour apparently it's "never been the same". Anyway I don't really eat it unless I'm feeling super adventurous and have a bit of the gravy on toast.

Of course there are presents under the tree, but let's skip to what Christmas is really all about: food! There are 14 in our family present today and we had two turkeys and two racks of pork (OK, you got me: I don't really know my cuts of meat so that's probably not correct). Normally I don't mind being pretty vego on Christmas Day because the turkey is *always* dry. Never have I ever had a good turkey on Christmas Day. But today, as soon as the birds were off the spit, they looked delectable: the skin was dark and crunchy looking and I only hoped the flesh was juicy. And ohemgee it was the best turkey I had ever had. No exaggeration! I had a mammoth-sized plate of food but that didn't mean that I couldn't fit Christmas pudding in. Christmas pudding in the Greentree household is a "Sago Plum Pudding" and is not the traditional one most people know; but there is nothing better. My Aunties have to make at least 2 puddings every year because we all have two servings and it has been the source of some silly family grudges over the years. My Dad takes pudding so seriously that he has never quite forgiven my Aunty for forgetting to give him some one year (a few years ago!) and now she is never allowed to dish the pudding out.

Turkeys fresh off the spit (note: isn't it weird that the plural of "turkey" is "turkeys" instead of "turkies"? maybe it's just me being a little crazy)
So meat lovers: what cut of pork is this?!

My mammoth-sized plate, as mentioned above.
Every time it gets to this time of the year I get inspired by the home-making abilities of my Aunts and dream up new knitting/sewing/embroidery projects and go through my Grandmother's old books on those topics. I also always find myself wondering at how our family could have been thrown together like this. Or perhaps it's just because I feel so different to everyone here that I think that.. In the end it doesn't really matter and I find that I love them all. Especially my immediate family (even though my sister's a meanie sometimes) Merry Christmas!

The reindeer even came out to play!

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