Happy Holidays Y’all!
Growing up in Canada, my Xmas holidays have always been filled with spending time with family over a table full of festive food. In contrast, my holidays in Hong Kong have always been a lot quieter with simpler food. It’s just a difference in culture I guess.
This year, we wanted to do something different and invited some family over for a home cooked “feast”. I, of course, lacked the experience of cooking for larger parties, so it was a bit of a challenge for me when I attempted a dinner for 6 [yup, that’s a large number compared to my usual dinner for 2].
In preparation for the dinner, I flipped through all my cookbooks, mentally trying to put together a presentable meal. I even tested a few recipes in advance, to ensure they tasted ok and were do-able. I went to the wet markets and several supermarkets to get all the ingredients I needed. That’s the thing about Hong Kong, you can never find everything you need to in one place. I even created a breakdown and sequence of tasks I needed to tackle the day of. Ok, at this point you’re probably thinking I’m a bit neurotic.
On the big day, I started preparation at 11am. I thought I would finish all the prep work by 3pm. Boy was I was wrong. I didn’t finish the prep work until 6pm, and by then I needed to start cooking. I was so overwhelmed in the kitchen, dealing with a counter-full of food, I made so many mistakes I normally wouldn’t. I left my beef skewers in the oven longer than I should’ve. I over-cooked my Brussels sprouts. I under-seasoned my salmon dish. I screwed up my mussels. [I still have no idea what I did wrong.] I guess rookies make rookie mistakes 🙂
I now have so much appreciation for those who have cooked these blow-out festive meals. I didn’t realize how difficult and how much hard work it is until I tried. I know I sound a bit hard on myself, but I need to be self-critical to improve, right? 🙂
As always though, I really enjoyed the cooking experience. And the most important part of it all is being able to celebrate the holidays with great friends and family over a warm, hearty meal.
I hope you all had a wonderful Xmas holiday and enjoyed some good food and spent quality time with family and friends. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
*The photos in this post are by my hubby on his shiny new A7. It’s such a nice toy, I’m so jealous.
This is my new toy, the 24cm Le Creuset French Oven. I broke it in with Gordon Ramsay’s Red Wine Braised Beef with Pappardelle.
Adam Liaw’s Kachumber recipe with Baked Salmon
Asian Beef and Shitake Skewers