Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Crissy Holidays! A bug on every plate...

We had a lovely Christmas down in Australia. It was about 90 degrees, humid, and it rained off and on.

On Christmas Eve day we actually had a tour through the rainforest--it rained about half of the time, which is usual this time of year. Anyway, after a dinner of leftover lasagna on Christmas Eve (cooked in an actual OVEN two days before) we got ready for Santa. We didn't have any Christmas cookies, so they put out M&M's.

The boys woke up at 6:30. We told them they could get us up (officially, that is) at 7:30. Here is Hugo studying Darrin's ipod, counting the minutes. Alek got some good math practice. ("7:06! That's only 24 more minutes!!!") One of the acquired skills of parenting is falling back asleep, 2 minutes at a time, in between such little outbursts....
Santa had found his way to us:

The boys sorted out the presents first.

Approximately 5 seconds later, everything was open!

Here, Max shows particular enthusiasm for his new jammies.
...and his new legos...as you may know, we are really short on legos in our household.

Santa gave Hugo a big turtle too.

For lunch, we had meat pies, an Australian specialty. Darrin showed particular enthusiasm for these. Meat pie, internal view. As I was eating, I kept having songs from Sweeney Todd run through my head....

Then we settled in for a couple of hours of Lego building in pure, sweet silence....

Raise your hand if your Christmas Day looked like this:

After Lego Time, we went here (70 meters away):

Raise your hand if you went swimming on Christmas, too? That white tube is part of the stinger net that keeps the excruciatingly painful jellyfish out of the swimming area. (As Darrin's colleague says, "Australia is a place where the wildlife can kill you.")

Then we came back home and made our Christmas dinner. We had a kind of fish called sweetlip, and "bugs," which look like amputated lobsters. They tasted pretty good.

Here's a closeup of a bug.
And here is our tropical fruit plate. The red stuff is dragon fruit. We had not had this before. It looks like a beet, but tasted like air. With little seeds inside. As Darrin said, "this is the fruit that aspires... to have flavor."

And then, still in the spirit of indigenous Australian cuisine, for dessert I had purchased one of these. I had absolutely no idea what it would be, but doesn't it look great?

It was kind of like a big round meringue. Turns out that Darrin hates meringue (how did I not know this before? We've been married 11 years!) so...not the best choice.

However, I was mainly interested in the Pavlova's role as as a substrate for delivering this other indigenous food, which I had been eyeing in the grocery store all week:
If you are taking notes at home, please be sure to write down that custard is not the usual thing to serve with a Pavlova--you're supposed to put whipped cream on it with fruit. But the ladies in the dairy department assured me that I could put custard with it if I wanted to, and so I did. I cleaned my plate.

We definitely missed the tenderloin at Tracy's house ("it's DONE! Just take it OUT!") and the cousins missed their cousins....but overall, our Aussie holiday was relaxing and delicious! I hope you all had a great holiday, too....

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