Christmas at Maggie"s 06

    I have just arrived back from England and am taking advantage of my jetlag to update my blog, instead of packing for my next trip… hm. Anyway, I am slightly shocked to see i haven’t written Anything about Christmas, which was by far my best yet in China. I had 6 friends round and cooked a full traditional English Christmas meal for them. It was quite an acheivement.

    I am going to boast. For my first ever roast dinner (well, I made one when I was little with my mum), never mind Christmas dinner, I made: Christmas cake and pudding, mincepies, associated marzipan, icing, mincemeat and white sauce, roast turkey + bacon, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veg, and prawn cocktail for starter. In China.

    Now as a concession, I did have my workmate Steve (who was a chef in his previous life, and should be one now) to coordinate the cooking of the turkey, pots and veg on the day, because I didn’t know anything about the timing. My parents sent me recipies for Everything. Yen called his supplier for the turkey and bacon. Jess (who couldn’t come to the meal) supplied the icing sugar from Canada. I did however find that all special Christmas ingredients exist in Chinese medicine shops - cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds and the like. And the Chinese love dried fruit. I did everything not cooked on the day all by myself. So it worked out really well! And Walmart has just started selling the most excellent oven, to compliment my crappy one from Shenzhen!

    My friends, one English, one Singaporean and four Chinese, were a rainbow spectrum of enthusiastic, nervous, surprised and entertained. All were very brave, particularly Andy from the countryside just over the border in Fujian - he who does not eat even chips did very well with the raw lettuce and tried everything at least once!

    Twas a good one.

    Maggie Ad