How was your Christmas?
I was hoping – planning – that it would be slightly different from every other day, but when by midday I had fed everyone (many times), cleared the table (ditto), emptied the dishwasher, confiscated sweets, broken up fights, picked up a week of dog shit, and HOOVERED ffs, I realised that my resolution for ’23 has to be to be more realistic about my plans. I even did a load of laundry, because as we know, laundry waits for no woman, not even on the birthday of Our Lord. (Laundry not only waits for men, but actively ignores them. Which is ironic in its symmetry.)
The curveballs were few and minor, which is what I call a Christmas Miracle:
An exploding new coffee machine (What’s worse than cleaning a just-cleaned kitchen on Christmas Morning? Cleaning it of shards of glass and a billion coffee grains).
A delayed, then missed, house-call (Although I concede that it’s not really a curveball if I bring it on my self through lethargy and laziness);
Spending a small fortune on ready-prepared food from a ludicrously over-priced, and ludicrously feted, local deli to make Christmas Day just a bit less stressy (because I’m worth it!) – which was, by and large, entirely inedible. (Again, not so much a curveball, as a disappointment of my own lazy-making.)
Hungry / Angry / Mean foxes. With a shoe fetish. We foolishly left our shoes on my sister’s front doorstep, to avoid traipsing mud and dirt and leaves in to her house. Unbeknown to us, we were Being Watched. Cleverly waiting until a biblical rain lashed down, a fox snuck up on our footwear and tackled it all to the ground before flinging it to the four corners of the earth (or at least the garden) where it sat, sodden, until we – barefoot, bedraggled, bewildered – came tumbling out of the house in the dark, full of drink and turkey, wondering who the fuck had taken all our shoes? And chewed up the fake Ugg? (I can’t imagine that a mouthful of Chinese polyester was what Mr Fox had in mind for its Christmas dinner, and I feel bad for it, but there’s a limit to my pity. And that limit is reached when I have to wear soaking wet fake Uggs home on Christmas night.)
Unwittingly eating animal – I swore off God’s Baby Creatures several decades ago – which were coating delicious roast potatoes. Explosive diarrhoea at 4am was God’s way of smiting me, I fear. Still. It got me out of a traditional post-Christmas walk, and it turns out that champagne is excellent for settling dodgy tummies. Who knew?
Offsetting these curveballs was my Christmas triumph: a hastily-made Banoffee Pie, my first ever. The trick, it seems, is in the pastry – both making it as buttery as you can, and lining the tart tin as high as you can with it. (I used Paul Hollywood’s shortcrust pastry recipe, which is on the BBC Good Food site. Of course if you want to be a total domestic slut – and don’t we all? I am in my PJs, drinking champagne in my empty house as we speak, which is blissful sluttery– just buy ready-made pastry. Or, go all out domestic ho-bag, and use a ready-made tart case.)
Fool’s Banoffee Pie
Into a cooked (and cooled) pastry base, spread two jars of Bonne Maman caramel sauce (or any ready-made. That was the brand my supermarket had. You could of course make your own – and who am I to judge, I make my own pastry ffs – but caramel sauce just seems like a step of hardship too far). Top with a few chopped bananas (I don’t know how many – as many as you want? Although next time I would make it a double layer) – then stick into the fridge for a while to set. Whip some cream, dollop on top, then present to Oooohs and Aaaaahs at the Christmas Table. Before sneaking another crisp-roast-potato-of-perfection into your gob, because To Hell With God’s Baby Animals, really. (Sorry God. And Animals. They were delicious tho’.)
(*Apologies if you already read this on another, short-lived, blog I started just before Christmas. I decided to screw the expense – 19 whole euros! – and just redo RL. Because it turns out that while you can take the girl away from laundry, she’ll ALWAYS come back to it, eventually. Sigh.)
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