Monday, 24 December 2012

The day of the turkeys

One of my birthday presents...
what makes peoplethink i enjoy coffee and Cath Kidston??

I think having me not in my nightdress is a rare occurence
Well i looked up four turkey recipes yesterday. They all said different things. But not sooo different that you think, yeah i think that one makes most sense. The first one said, brine your bird. The second one said, make the foil like a large oven. The third one said, use bacon to cover the white meat. The fourth one said something which was slightly different. By then i had become completely confused. All of them said do not over stuff the turkey which is a pity cos the stuffing i like more than the turkey.

Please do not get me started about how sane people do not cook turkeys. Oisin wanted a turkey and so did Ghin, and since they did not have a tree (we have a very lovely Christams branch) i thought, we'll indulge them, will we? So i am now quaking in my botties going, turkey, turkey gobble gobble gobble.

Then there is all this basting and equipment and then the serving. I am now silently regretting i did not do more chicken trials in run up to this day of the year. To make things better Peter has invited home some foreign student from China. Now messing up in front of an Ang Mo i don't mind. Messing up in front of an Asian person is oddly disconcerting. Its like i'm letting the side down or something. So i will be anxiously waiting in front of the oven going bird, when you gonna be done?

I remember Christmases in Mama's house, actually around the age Oisin is now, starting to do the full Monty. We'd have the turkey, yes, but also the roast pork, the lamb, the ham, the Christmas pudding... and then we;d have curry, korma, and macaroni chicken. Then we'd have acar and bubur cha-cha, sometimes we'd have gula melaka with sago pearl pudding. We'd have singing and guitar playing. Christmas was singularly the BEST time of the year for me because of all the laujiatness (i apologise if you are not related to the Chan family and thus much of this posting won't make sense to you.) But the idea that Christmas could be a terrible time for anyone is something which was shocking to me. Why are people sad during Christmas i asked Peter once? Because they have nowhere to go. They have no family. What? What is the problem with that?

Sometimes i think i may betray a streak of psychopath. But seriously, if you have no family, get some sleep and then wake up the next morning and go for a walk. Enjoy the cold. Go and get a cheap book from Oxfam, read that. Of course this sort of unempathetic response is why i could never join the Samaritans. My cousin once told me, you would make a terrible counsellor. I agree. At times like these it is clear i am choleric before anything else. The never say die do something about it attitude runs strong in my migrant bones.

I must say that though i have said something which may make you think i can't be arsed with family, nothing is further from the truth. I miss the noise and the hubbub and the shouting and the running around and the possibility of accidents and being scolded for jumping up and down on Mama's bed. I miss the talking at 2393 decibels and the unpretentious expressiveness which was my mom's family. We all agree that while we had a great childhood, most certainly that level of familiarity was something which was unusual and really, really, really it is not to be expected anywhere else. Ever after other people's Christmas parties will be dull and polite and ridiculously unfun in comparison. Ever after we'd bring home prospective in laws and they would be completely bewildered by the unrestrained teasing and jibes and rude questioning they'd receive. There is this Russian fairytale called the Stolen Turnips and in it a man finds himself in the middle of a forest with four hundred imps running around and throwing turnips at each other - it reminds me of Christmas at Mama's.

Ah the boys have come down the stairs. Today i think i said i would tidy up this table and read another few turkey recipies. And i think i may try and organise the kitchen. And then do some laundry.

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