28 December 2011

Christmas 2011

I arrived home from my travels (by hitchhiking!) at about 7ish in the evening of Christmas eve, which didn't seem too late to get all of the desserts ready for the next day. However, what I didn't foresee was the oven not working at all! I had a pavlova to make and no oven, so after about an hour of fussing around with the fuse-box it was time to go and use a different oven. I went off to my Dad's house but by this stage it was getting rather late and I was in a bit of a hurry. Perhaps I didn't beat the egg-whites for long enough, or perhaps the oven that I was using was just no good. Whatever it was, the pavlova was a complete failure! It has been years since I have made one, so now I have to make another attempt sometime soon just to prove that I can still do it. Luckily there was a store-brought back up - in strawberry flavour!

So after my pavlova failure of the night before, the next day I had to make a trifle and ambrosia. These two things are easy enough, and it would also have been very easy to change into some old clothes before I prepared them, so that I would keep the nice white dress that I was wearing clean. However, I did not do that, and while the preparation of the food went smoothly enough, when it was time to tidy up afterwards I managed to drip bright red berry juice drip all down my front! It was not the disaster that it seemed though - with the addition of the better part of a bottle of stain remover and a quick wash it came out good as new! Hopefully I have learn my lesson now. It all turned out well enough in the end, the desserts were a big hit, everybody made room for some even though we were all stuffed after a late Christmas lunch.

Christmas lunch itself was a hangi, the traditional Maori way of cooking which involves digging a hole, filling it with rocks (or in this case pieces of steel), lighting a fire and then, after it is incredibly hot, digging out all the ash, putting in the food and burying it for a few hours. It is really really delicious and I hadn't had one in years and years. Below is the fire in the hole:

Nobody quite believed that it would be successful, seeing as we had never done one before, but it actually worked and it tasted like a proper hangi! Here is the hangi being dug up:

Finally, here is the food!

After a long day, feeling way to full of food, I had to drive my Nan home, which was OK but can be difficult when she has no idea who I am! On this occasion she actually managed to remember my name but I think she's confused as to who I and my siblings are, on account of us not being children anymore, as she remembers us. She's now nearly 93 so it's somewhat understandable. While the food was really good, Christmas itself was rather hectic and stressful so I'm glad it's over! I did get some nice new clothes and jewellery though ...

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