Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Two weeks of excess

Ugghhh. I ate so much in the final two weeks of 2007 that, now I'm back to reality, my stomach is convinced it wants roast potatoes and apple pie a la mode 24/7. Uncharacteristically I just downed a dinner from Del Taco's drive-thru, mainly because I haven't had time to get to the store and buy anything to make at home (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

My holiday vacation ended this past Sunday when my parents got on a plane back to England. As always, it was an emotional affair, watching them walk away beyond the security check at SFO, stretching my neck to catch the last glimpse of them before they dissapeared into the sea of travelers. It's always hardest to see them go after Christmas and New Year because it not only means the end of their visit but the end of my favorite season. I'm never happier than when it's cold outside, the fire's on, my house is decorated for Christmas, the carols are playing non-stop, and I'm baking Christmas cookies. This year it was extra special because this was the first year in our new home and the first time my Dad had even seen the house - hubbie and I were so excited to show off our new digs to the folks!

Now it's January and back to reality. But before I let go of the holiday season for the next 11 months, I thought I'd allow myself the indulgence of recapping the festivities here on my blog.


Christmas began for me on December 23rd with a festive brunch for my sister-in-law, her husband, her 14 month old daughter, as well as my friend, Kim, her husband and new son (aka: Santa Baby).

I got to make my favorite breakfast dish - a frittata made with eggs, oodles of cheese, spinach, bacon, and challah bread. Hubbie made his coconut pancakes with pear and cardamon sauce and, of course, manned the griddle for hash browns.

But the stars of the show weren't on the menu; they were the kids opening their gifts. In true childhood fashion, the hit of the morning was the box the Tonka truck came in. Santa Baby used it to practice his developing walking skills then, all worn out, fell asleep in my arms. The perfect end to the perfect day! See more photos from Christmas Brunch here.

Christmas Eve: we were all pumped-up to eat at Austin's Steak House in Thunder Valley Casino. As you can see from the pics, we dressed ourselves up to the nines and readied ourselves for a red-meat fest.

Unfortunately we had the waiter from hell. When my Dad ordered after Hubbie he asked for "the same" but the waiter heard "the salmon". An honest enough mistake you might think but the halpless waiter continued to chip further away at his tip by leaving all our meals on the table while he ran away to beg the chef to put another Filet on the grill. Of course we weren't going to begin chowing down while my Dad had no food, so our food got cold while we waited for his Filet to be cooked. The chef butterflied the steak to speed up the process, thus ruining it, but even so all the sides were cold by the time it arrived on the table. Then, when we requested new sides, we got uncooked potatoes and broccoli. Yes, a total disaster. Needless to say that waiter turned a potentially great tip into an iddie-biddie one. Such a shame.

Christmas Day: Where does one start? Too many gifts? Too much food? Gift-receiving highlights include a pretty new bike (see pic), a sewing machine, spa gift certificates, a macro lens and tripod for my DSLR, and lots of DVDs from my wishlist. Gift-giving highlights included my Mum tearing up when she opened the framed photo of my grandad that I personally restored and retouched for her, Mum and Dad's delight at getting Jersey Boys tickets, and Hubbie's wide-eyed look when he realized he'd got a laptop. Despite fighting a crappy electric oven and range which burned a first-round batch of stuffing, Mum's Christmas dinner was absolutely delicious as always.

Unexpected fun came from a Planet Earth DVD which had everyone glued to the TV while Mum and I cooked dinner. If you haven't seen or heard of this DVD, it's a compilation of BBC specials that cover the wonders of our planet in vivid film. Narrated by Richard Attenborough, the production has an unlimited budget (God bless the British TV licensing system) and so is really something special. Some of the angles the film-makers got on mountain ranges were truly spectaular. Keep your Survivors and American Idols: this is good reality TV. If it were all this good, the writers would be permanently out of work.

Then with full stomachs full-to-bursting and bags-upon-bags of gifts we had no time to put away, we set-to packing for warmer climates...

Until the next post...!


e said...

I don't see how this is in any way excessive. Sounds like a wonderful family time was had by all. Perfect!

Mala said...

OMG! Hudson looks adorable. Its been so long that I've seen him. I missed you this holiday season. Without you it didn't seem too festive to me - no one I know has your energy that time of the year.

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