Christmas Eve, 2009

My intention was to do a no-fuss cold buffet and let everyone come and go as they please tomorrow, but I was outvoted by the other four people in the party and they begged for a groaning table of hot food.  I can’t say I mind, it’s not exactly torture for me to spend the day in the kitchen after a week of not cooking at all while Old Spouse and I were home alone and eating salads and sandwiches.

Our menu:

Thai Salmon Fishcakes with Tartar Sauce.

Roasts: Chicken, Stuffed Pork Roll, Minted Lamb.

Roasted Potatoes, Mixed Mediterranean Vegetables, Green Beans with Almonds.

Brown & Wild Rice with Gravy and Pearl Onions.

Assorted Pickles.


Malva Pudding.

The chicken and pork roll are done, the sponge for the trifle is in the oven, the jelly is setting in the fridge and I have just prepared the fishcake recipe.  I am going to iron my favourite white linen tablecloth now and have just been struck by something; I have a six-seater dining table, but there are only five of us. 

There will be an asymmetrical empty space at the table. 

How terribly sad that someone, somewhere, will be spending the day alone.


42 Comments Add yours

  1. halfp1nt says:

    It’s always sad to know there’ll be people on their own over this time, more so as Christmas should be a time for families to be together.

    I actually can’t remember when last I did a hot meal for Christmas; but then we’ve never done the traditional Saffa huge Sunday lunch either 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have decided to make a big batch of sarmies one Christmas Eve this year and take it down to the bergies at the lake. They get a nice dinner on Christmas Day itself at the local church.

  2. nrhatch says:

    That’s alot of meat and fish for 5 people.
    Hope none were vegetarians. 🙂

    I could make a meal on those sides. Yum!!!

    1. nrhatch says:

      What’s Malva Pudding?

      1. theonlycin says:

        Malva Pudding is a sweet pudding of Dutch origin, usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. It is made with apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. It is often found on the dessert menu of South African restaurants.

        The pudding’s name is derived from Malvacea wine from Madeira. The dessert and dessert wine used to be served together after main course at Cape tables. It is of distinct Cape Dutch origin with many unique additions which may differ from one area to the next eg. ginger, apricot jam. There are also many variants of this dessert namely the Cape Brandy Pudding which also include brandy and dates and the Tipsy Tart which contains only brandy.

      2. nrhatch says:

        Sounds vaguely familiar. I wonder if my mother ever made something similar. We had Plum Pudding every Christmas and Indian Pudding (molasses and cornmeal) and English Trifle and Junket (like pink custard). Hmm . . .

    2. theonlycin says:

      Think tiny, tiny quantities; a spoonful of each dish for each person.

      1. nrhatch says:

        I was picturing huge roasts to fill the GROANING board. 🙂

      2. theonlycin says:

        I wonder if junket is like a strawberry mousse?

  3. jem says:

    that sounds delicious!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Not doing the same thing this year, Jenny Morris has given me a new challenge to try 😉

  4. gospelwriter says:

    That does sound awfully delicious, and I love the Christmasy colours in the pic. Do you know, I’ve never had pickled peppers?
    It really is sad about empty places at table, and the thought of others going hungry. Good idea about the sarnies…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Pickled peppers are so nice with cold meats 🙂

  5. we are apparently having a hodgepodge as each wants to decide what everyone should have,

    not my idea.

    1. theonlycin says:

      We’ve just – ten minutes ago – had the turkey argument 😦

  6. deepercolors says:

    I think your recipes are a cause for celebration in themselves.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re very kind, Carolyn, thank you 🙂 xxx

  7. souldipper says:

    Did the turkey win?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, but I am not one to harbour grudges and will enjoy the challenge as I have never cooked a whole turkey before 😀

  8. souldipper says:

    There will be one delicious turkey on your table!! I doubt there is anyone who would disagree.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll have to get some tips & pointers from my Amrican friends 😀

  9. Tandy says:

    I love your memories!

  10. I always think Christmas Eve is even better than Christmas day. All that anticipation 🙂 Lovely meal, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I tend to agree, Kate 🙂

  11. Interestingly enough, the first thing that came to my mind when I read this wonderfully well-done story is the parable in Matthew (22:1-14) of the king’s wedding fest. a very edited part of that scripture is: 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not ,,, come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, … and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” Forgive me for leaving out some rather critical parts of this parable, which is quite gruesome in its way, but the part I quoted above is what came to mind. You had (have) an empty chair? Invite someone in! Bet there was (is) someone on your street or neighborhood who would feel as blessed as your own family to partake in such a feast!

    Thanks for this story and the reminder!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the comment Paula, this year we have a table of 10 🙂

  12. slpmartin says:

    What is most sad it that gpverments will spend more on bullets that food to help those in need.

  13. bluebee says:

    Malva pudding – heart attack on a plate but oh, so yum.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahaha bb, too true 😀

  14. theonlycin says:

    Unfortunately very true, Charlie 😦

  15. What an incredibly decadent menu Cindy, a very special Christmas dinner. Any chance you will share your salmon fish cake recipe?
    It is always sad to think of those alone at this time of year.
    Oh yes, good luck with cooking a whole turkey – something I have also never tried.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      The salmon fishcakes will be made again this week and I will post the recipe 🙂

      1. theonlycin says:

        They’re very easy 😀

  16. Yum!

    Malva pudding is the new hot thing around here. They sell it in the grocery now – frozen.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Frozen malva? Well I never 🙂

      1. It probably isn’t like the real thing. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately for the hips – I’m actually unable to eat such foods (allergies) so I can only speculate. I’ve read about it in cookbooks. It sounds like a fabulous dessert … pudding and apricot jam, as I understand. How could one go wrong?

      2. theonlycin says:

        It’s quite easy, will blog it sometime 🙂

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