It came, it went, it conquered

Our roast chicken dinner on the 25th was surprisingly good. By which I mean that it was simply delicious. Was it surprising to have enjoyed it so much after not having had Christmas Dinner for what must be 12 years or more – probably not!

I had planned to keep it simple and to do no more than if I had been roasting a bird for a Sunday lunch however, I did add a few flourishes in the mood of the moment. Although those flourishes were few, we did seem to have a massive plateful each. In fact we both completed our meal without any second helpings, though feeling very much that we should like some more.

I made Roast Chicken – the chook was a free range bird, slow-grown in Scotland. To this I added roast potatoes, making just four of those each (we served three apiece) and parsnips (I made three, one for me and two for the one who likes them). Gravy and Bread Sauce being de rigeur with a roast bird, those naturally appeared on the table. It may be immodest to say so but the gravy, over which I had taken much time and great care, was sensational. My bread sauce is always delicious, of course.

To this lot I wanted to add a green vegetable. I had broccoli in the fridge and offered this as a choice but also the option of half a crinkly cabbage, long malingering in the salad drawer.  Mr L chose the cabbage and so, to make it a little perkier and stretch it a little, I added the seasonal flourish of bacon lardons and chestnuts because I had both to hand. I also decided to try out Tom Kerridge’s carrots, glazed and spiced with Star Anise. I made us two each and had doubts about them but they were in fact delicious and I could easily have eaten more of those. There was Paxo too. I offered to make a good stuffing but we felt that the retro touch was more appropriate and as we only really wanted it for leftover sandwiches, it tends to stay in the sandwich better than a home-made one. Paxo has a certain old-fashioned solidity about it. It makes a good sandwich glue.

So, that was it. Very simple, not at all OTT but perfectly delicious and nicely satisfying. We had no starter. The dessert was my Christmas Pudding ice cream (I forgot to make the brandy snap baskets) and we forwent the cheeseboard, so overall it was a relatively light meal – there was no overeating and no self-loathing.

There  were candles on the table, champagne in the glass (chosen as the best accompaniment to the food on the table) and Elbow on the mp3 player. After dinner we had a glass of port and got the Trivial Pursuit sets out.

We enjoyed the low key approach and Mr L asked if we were going to go the whole hog next year. What did he mean? Christmas, he said, are we going to do Christmas. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather – this coming from the man who professes to hate Christmas. He did qualify the idea – basically suggesting a similarly low key event but with the addition of a tree and fairy lights – no nonsense involving cards or presents or “other decorations” (whatever that means) and definitely no marathon eating sessions.

I qualified it too. I agreed we might try it but only if we invite somebody round. It still feels pretty pointless doing it just for we two atheists… and an awful lot of work, even doing the basics such as we had this year.  Now, if there is one thing he hates more than Christmas, it’s socialising. It will be an interesting experiment (if we don’t bottle out over the next 360 days.)

Mr L having thrashed me at Trivial Pursuit, we checked the clock and noted that Dr Who had completed broadcasting. We set it away to download and took the lappie to bed to watch it. Except at 9:30 pm it was still downloading and was nowhere near completing. We gave up and went to sleep.

That was our Christmas and it was OK.

They are sensible folk in Scotland and Boxing Day… isn’t.  Christmas is over. Done, dusted. Brilliant. Except we still have the company of a 7 pound roasted chicken and that means that Christmas was going to drag on a bit.

We cancelled the day – no getting dressed, no shower, no computers – and instead slobbed about in bed all day. Mr L did the routine animal stuff and then came back to bead, bearing bacon rolls. I love that man! The time passed.. amiably. Eventually we watched Dr Who, and enjoyed the romp. There were two games of Trivial Pursuit – this proved quite difficult to play in bed until I had  the whizzy idea of finding a phone app to throw the die for us. Things improved after that. Lunch was bagels stuffed with chicken, salad, double gloucester cheese and Paxo. We watched two films and shared the remainder of the Christmas Pudding ice cream straight from the tub.

It was a lovely way to spend a day!

The weather is beautiful today. We are preparing to pay penance for yesterday and are booted up ready to go. The Land Rover however is being recalcitrant, which explains why I am still here typing away.

Today’s dinner plan involves that old post-Christmas favourite, bubble and squeak. As I had carefully portioned the food to feed two there is not a great deal left apart from the bird, the gravy and the bread sauce, but there is a little of the cabbage and bacon, a couple of roasties and a parsnip. I shall need to boil up some extra potatoes and I’ll cook some white cabbage to up the veg content too. We’ll finish off the breast meat and add gravy and bread sauce. Then I think I shall tear the two legs from the carcase and freeze them. I don’t want Christmas to drag on for too long. Much as I like a chicken pie or a chicken curry, I think they’ll be better separated by some time and space. Back to fish and veggie food, I think, until we feast again for our wedding anniversary.

Awful to see the flooding in that place we have long called Wet Yorkshire. Not such a funny joke at this time, is it. I hope all friends and loved ones are safe and dry and thankfully I cannot actually bring to mind any friends who are on low ground – luckily they all live up hill sides. Family in Pock are “only” in an orange warning area. We are grateful that we no longer live at Methley and are both pondering on our memories of being evacuated overnight and the relief of arriving home to find that the house had stayed dry. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the floods.

Knitting News: There is none – nothing done for two weeks now

Puzzle News: There is little to report, had a couple of days off

Other News: likewise

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