Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas time

Let me see, Christmas is the time for giving, loving, sharing, forgiving and best of all, food!
It’s a friend’s birthday a day before Christmas so I was invited to their place and join the celebration. Since it’s also Christmas Eve, we planned to stay up celebrating all night. There were a lot of dishes prepared for that day. The main dish for the day was a roasted turkey, courtesy of the celebrant and her uncle who combined their grocery bill 2 days before so they can avail of a promo where if you spend $75 on groceries, you get to pick one whole turkey for free. And since its Christmas and her birthday, they were able to buy more than $75 worth.
Aside from the turkey, there were other good dishes served. There was Menudo, spaghetti, lumpia sahnghai, rice cakes, pizza and of course a birthday cake for the celebrant courtesy of her dad. I contributed a vegetable salad for that day. Hmm…which one to start with? Hmmm..everything looked so good and tasty.
Let me start with the turkey. The turkey was tender and juicy and very tasty, not dry and bland tasting. According to my friend they started marinating the turkey the night before in some herbs and salt rock. Then earlier that day wrapped it in foil then placed over charcoal for 4 – 5 hours then placed in the oven to brown it. They also prepared mashed potatoes with the roasted turkey. And what is a roasted turkey and mashed potatoes without gravy? Sure enough they were able to have someone prepare good gravy to match the two dishes.
Then there is the spaghetti which was prepared by the celebrant herself. The sauce was made of meat, plenty of herbs and some spices and lots of cheese. The aroma of the sauce itself would make your mouth water. When she told me she would be the one preparing the spaghetti dish, I said I would come early and see how she does in cooking the sauce. But when I came she it was almost done, with the help of her aunt.
Also prepared as a request of the birthday celebrant, was a thin crust pizza. They prepared the dough ahead so by this time it was just a matter of putting in the ingredients on top. There was a 3 cheese mix and a pure mozzarella cheese available, olives, ground beef and green bell pepper as toppings. I was hoping to see how they mixed the dough but then I would ask them later on.
I prepared a vegetable salad that day. Lucky me huh! Anyway, its lettuce, tomatoes, dried cranberries, dried apricots, ham and roasted almonds all tossed together. For the dressing it was Vinaigrette or otherwise known as Italian sauce or whatever; it’s just a mixture of vinegar, sesame oil, salt, sugar and mince garlic, onions, ground pepper and bell peppers mixed in proportion to suit the taste of whoever prepares it, in this case me!
Tere were Leche flan and some guest brought a very sweet and tasty rice cakes. And again of course, the birthday cake. The host put out some red wine and soft music to set the mood. Everything was set in the garden and good it did not rain, or should I say, it just drizzled for a few minutes during the party and eventually poured after the party.
So we started eating after singing to the celebrant a happy birthday song and the traditional blowing of the candles. Food was a plenty that night and everyone ate at their own satisfaction. For me no diet for this evening and really enjoyed the turkey.
At midnight we all greeted everyone a merry Christmas and the host started his gift giving. I was surprised to receive a gift for myself. Merry Christmas. But the best part of the night was when a friend’s daughter got her gift.
You see, she is the Goddaughter of the host. Every time she would visit the place she has her interest with the hammock that the host owns. That night upon after arriving, she requested to be placed of the hammock. They were teasing her that if she can remove it, it hers. But she would just look at her mom and contend herself using the hammock. Then at the strike of midnight, Christmas day, the godfather gave her her gift and insists on her to open it up. And when she did, wow, the priceless smile, the jump of joy and the excitement on her face, says it all. And yes, it was a hammock, just like the one she really likes. That was a picture of a very pure happiness and innocence of a young girl.
Well, everybody gets to go home happy. My birthday celebrant friend was also happy with what she got that night for her birthday; I get to go home with an unexpected gift and bag of left-over for the following day. Well, the following day was another birthday celebration, and this one I will attend the party in church. Merry Christmas everybody……….

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