Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Eating Humble Pie

Well, after 18 straight hours of rain it finally got cold enough for....

...wait for it...


Okay, to be honest it actually snowed for the first time (this winter) a few weeks ago. But that was such a piddly amount it didn't bear mentioning. This time we're talking about snow that actually gathers on the ground and can picked up and formed into snow balls. The kids loved it. Us big kids did too. Even if it meant frolicking around in the dark, rather than risk having the illusive stuff disappear on us by morning.

Picture, if you please, Mike and Oli facing off against each other. In the red corner is Mike, armed with a snow ball the size of his head (and we all know that's pretty sizeable), Oli in the blue corner proudly toting a snow ball the size of... well, a marble. You can probably figure out who came off best. Well, we all know Mike throws like a girl. Hmm.. might not let him know I've updated, just this once.

So I recant my former position on the existence of snow. I bear witness to the presence of snow in my yard, right now. Never let it be said that I can not admit it when I am proved wrong.

Snow is real, and if any of you are still in doubt let me know and I'll post you some to prove it.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Tale of Two Turkeys.

There have been quite a few requests from family and friends as to how our Christmas went. I shall endeavour to please.

Firstly let me say right off that we have seen no sign of the white stuff I no longer believe in (see 'Ice, Ice baby'). No white Christmas for us. Not even that horrible dessert variety I remember from my childhood. Do they make 'white Christmas' over here? Must remember to ask someone (and then tell them not to bother, if they don't already).

Our first Christmas in the USA was very enjoyable (despite the distance from home). It did, however, last for the whole weekend. By the time we ate Christmas Eve lunch with Ryan and Heather, attended the Christmas Eve service, rang Australia to wish the family a merry Aussie Christmas, opened presents Christmas morning, attended the Christmas Day service, ate Christmas lunch with Sue and Carl, opened presents at Sue and Carl's, received phone calls from Australia from family wishing us a merry US Christmas, and then ate our own little Christmas meal at 'tea' time (that's 'dinner', for some of you - or 'supper' for those of you in The South).... well, we were exhausted. A good exhaustion though.

Two important issues need to be addressed. Firstly, I have to say that Ryan smokes the best turkey I have ever eaten. Ok, so it was also the first smoked turkey I had ever eaten. I never before knew anyone who smoked their own meat. Well, as far as I know. I suppose meat smoking could have some sort of enthusiastic underground following that I am unaware of, and that just about everyone except for me is doing it. Somehow I just doubt that. Anyway, it was a fabulous meal which we all thoroughly enjoyed...

...ok Ryan? So stop harrassing me for a blog review or it will affect your star rating (so far you're at three and a half).

Secondly, I have sad news for those of you who have been begging me to let them know how the deep fried turkey went, at Carl and Sue's house. The turkey did not get fried. Apparently there were some very sound reasons for the non-frying of the turkey. Well, it did rain - so that would make the cooking outdoors thing less appealing to some. All the same the regular oven-cooked turkey was lovely, as was the company (four stars Sue).

Now some of you might not have been aware of this, but over here they deep fry their turkeys. No, really. The first I became aware of this was at Thanksgiving when there was a story on the news about a family who had burnt down their home trying to deep fry a turkey. Naturally I assumed I heard that wrong. 'No, ' I told myself, 'They mean deep frying turkey pieces, like KFC - not deep frying a turkey.' But no. It did mean a turkey. As Mike said "Trust the Americans to take a healthy food and fry it in oil."

So that is our Christmas story. True, it was not as filled with pathos as some of the Christmas movie offerings we have been subjected to in recent weeks. But then, neither was the original Christmas story. We have, however, had the opportunity to experience self-less generosity from others in the form of gifts, hospitality and love.

You know who you are.