It's a little weird, living in a Muslim country for Christmas. There are no Yuletide songs or decorations in our little shops --although people are shooting off fire crackers for "the Noel," as they call it. Love that.
For our part, we've decorated our tree and wrapped the presents,
(note the cat, laying in the pot), but the season lacks the hustle-bustle, the stress, the gift giving and the money-spending. It's perfect!
(We did see a street salesman with a ton of gaudy, gold and green metallic tinsel draped around his neck while lugging a 4' fake Christmas tree down a dusty dirt road -- these guys go car-to-car and cater to people stuck in traffic. It was so funny I had to really concentrate to not let him see my face; it was so incongruous, such a hot day, poor Muslim guy, and my God that tinsel was so tacky. He looked generally completely demoralized, but then he saw me laughing and he started laughing back.)
Anyway. It is hard to be away from our families, but otherwise we have everything we need for a great holiday.
Only thing is . . . Christmas dinner. That should probably be special. The OTHER only thing is, for the past two months I have been feeling increasingly that eating meat just does not jive with my values. So I've been serving up a lot of dinners that look basically like a series of side dishes: Dahl and roasted eggplant. Squash and a salad. Risotto. Eric's been a pretty good sport, but nonetheless he hinted that for Christmas maybe we should have a "nice" dinner. (His words.)
So, chicken with tarragon curry, roasted in banana leaves it is! And here is the very beginnings of it, defrosting in my sink this morning. I had set it to defrost on its other side, and when I flipped it over, this.
Do you see that? That there? That chicken head folded over with the BEAK and the EYE? (You have to look for it a little bit. If you're so inclined. The head is about 1/3 of the way up; the beak points to the right, to about 2:30, and is very big!)
So, I will do this. We will have chicken. But I am blogging about it this morning because ... I'm out. I'm out!
Maybe for Christmas I am getting a vegetarian cookbook.
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