Little A woke up wailing this morning as she wasn’t feeling well. Despite repeatedly telling her that Christmas is a happy time, she was thoroughly out of sorts all morning. She did seem happy with the play kitchen we got her, the one which took our man guest a couple of happy hours to assemble last night while L cooked. It seemed an appropriate gift, what with all the cooking around here. She told us she was making strawberry banana pasta, which is no stranger than some of the things that we have eaten this year, I’m thinking of you, Zippy Italian Popcorn. She was also given a kids laptop computer. Maybe she can blog about her creations. Everyone else went for a pre-lunch walk, while I intended to catch up on some much-needed sleep after a very fractured night. Unfortunately by the time Baby N had worked through her feeding/ excreting cycle, twice, everyone returned. For about ten minutes the three children were all napping, and I could here the excitement downstairs as the adults decided which film to watch. Then, the earth rotated ever so slightly on its axis, and as if by magic, all three were awake. Little A couldn’t stop crying long enough to take a nap, which hasn’t happened since the ear infection days. But there was a return of Christmas spirit later in the day when we played in the snow after a coffee and cake break. We took the girls sledging, which was hilarious, and the snowy world couldn’t have been more picture perfect. The kids’ day ended with the toddlers in the bath pretending to be seals, feeding each other foam fish. Comedy gold.
This evening we ate a most tremendous British Christmas Dinner, followed by all American apple pie and ice cream. Some gin and tonics were orbiting in the room, then we finished with a cup of tea and some chocolate. Baby N was hanging out looking magnificent in her Christmas legwarmers, and gradually becoming much more fussy. Around the time that I remembered that we still had to cook Roast Crispy Mushrooms and Grilled Tenderloin Steaks with Green Onions, she very much needed to be attended to. So L and I sort of did touch-tag cooking, while chatting in the lounge with our guests. The dinner seemed to be low maintenance, so we set it up and left it to it’s own devices…
Bad idea. First we slightly burnt the steak, which had been simply pan fried and seasoned. Next we burnt the mushrooms which were being oven roasted at a high heat, coated in parsley, garlic and olive oil. In fairness the recipe said to resist the tempation to open the oven door whilst cooking, but still… The mushrooms were supposed to be dark and crispy; they were actually pretty much charred and crumbly. The steak was topped with grilled spring onions, and the wole lot was served with crusty bread.
It is hard to evaluate a meal when you are so stuffed that you can hardly move, before you even start cooking. Once you have burnt most of it, it is even harder. Although I tasted the least charred mushrooms, I have to guess a little at the result. This seemed to be solid, yet uninspiring food. The steak and scallions were ok, although the onions were very garnish-like. The mushrooms had promise. All in all, it would have been an above average meal, in other circumstances.
Tomorrows meal, Incredible French Endive Salad with Aged Herb Goat Cheese Toasts probably would be a good lunch if we get our act together; at least either way it won’t be an exercise in futility like dinner tonight. I am utterly unable to keep my eyes open for any longer, so I bid you a very merry Christmas, if you celebrate that sort of thing, and a fabulous end of year to all and sundry.