Break out the Stretch Pants

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The one week countdown to unbridled gluttony has begun.

It is the time of year when we find ourselves falling face first into a huge pile of mashed potatoes and gravy, which, when you really think about it, would be a helluva way to go.

Christmas in the Gerry residence, for at least as long as I have been married, has been a celebration in two cultures.

The Frau..born in Europe…was raised to have her big meal on Christmas Eve. When she married me she had to adjust to the whole holiday tradition of turkey with all the fixings a day later. This has provided her with the perfect excuse to have me cook the bird,  and I do. I do Christmas dinner from top to bottom and let Angie stay in her pj’s. After almost 30 years you’d think the statute of limitations would have run out on this I-can’t-cook-a-turkey defence.

The Christmas Eve feasts I have enjoyed by marrying a European-born woman have become the stuff of family legend. My mother-in-law did all the cooking and her skills in the kitchen are unparalleled. There was no turkey, of course. Never a turkey. But there were extraordinary platters brought to the holiday table laden with roast goose and duck and venison…even wild boar.


What my mother-in-law can do with braised chestnuts would make you weep.

There’s an oft told tale in our household about the time that my in-laws came to visit for Christmas from their home on British Columbia’s Gabriola Island. The holiday feast that year was to be pheasant which my mother-in-law brought frozen in a plastic bag. I opened the package to find that these were the Ben Johnson of  pheasants. They had the most muscular legs I’d ever witnessed on a winged creature. It turns out that Oma had grabbed a package of rabbit instead of pheasant from her freezer. Did it matter? Are you kidding? Roast rabbit, braised chestnuts, red cabbage….somewhere between Alt and Shift I just drooled into the computer keyboard!


5 Responses to “Break out the Stretch Pants”

  1. MMm,mmmm! I miss those traditional Christmas eve feasts so much, and the mere thought of roasted duck or goose, complete with crisped glorious skin makes my mouth water.

    Dave, I wouldn’t suppose you have the recipe for those braised chestnuts, would you? That was something my nanni used to do every year, and she never taught my mom, and so I missed out too! Lucky you to have two nights of such lavish home fare, and family!!!

  2. Mmm, I know my stomach( and family) would appreciate it! But I do know sometimes these things are family kept secrets too!

  3. Wonderful Dave! I’ve just found your blog coming from Laila’s house on the ‘net…thank you for making me laugh, and cry. Good tears. I’ve found another “visit daily” blog.

    All the best of the Christmas season to you and yours!

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