Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas in Australia has been lovely. Everyone here keeps asking us if we miss the snow, and we can honestly answer that we do not. There are things about winter that I love, but as we finished off our evening in the breezy backyard of a friend I couldn't help but think that a summer-time Christmas wouldn't be difficult to get used to.

Christmas morning was delightful this year as Eliot is becoming more involved in the festivities. We didn't have a chance to get up a tree this year but he and I have been singing carols out of a little book that he loves and rearranging the Nativity to the tune of Away in a Manger. He enjoyed handing gifts to others as much as he enjoyed opening his own and was happy to assist Peter. He helped bake cookies and assemble a plate for Santa, which of course involved a lot of sampling (no second best for Santa).

Peter breezed through his first Christmas with as much grace and charm as can be expected of someone who's cutting teeth. He liked the puzzle he received, and the books, but thought that the wrapping paper was especially delicious.

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me if I was upset to have to celebrate Christmas in summer-time. It made me a little sad to think of what this indicated about encounters this person has probably had with others from my homeland, but that's for another blog post. I told her (partly because I've also had to deal with people griping about a home that I love, but mostly because it's the truth) that Christmas is still Christmas, no matter the season, and that we are delighted to be in this beautiful city and celebrate the birth of the Savior with new friends. We miss family and friends back in North America and are thankful for the technologies that help us to feel close to them. But Christmas is still Christmas, with or without the snow, and always will be.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More kangaroo please.

The other day I bought a brownie mix and on the back of the box there was a 'Creative Tip' that suggested I serve the brownies with ice cream to mix things up. It even included step by step instructions for accomplishing this. I mean, where I come from that's what we call Eating A Brownie Properly. If they offered a recipe that used the brownie mix as the principle ingredient in a savory chicken dish, that would be a creative tip.

We have dabbled a little in culinary adventure since we've come here. Lamb is a popular protein source, particularly in the spring, and I think I ate more lamb in the first month here then in my entire life up to that point. Even Peter got in on the action.

But the best was our first meal in our new apartment. Kangaroo steaks. We found the steaks in the meat cooler of our local grocer and since they were already marinated I thought, why not. I seared them in a pan and then popped them in the oven to slow cook them a bit. Eliot supervised and was pretty impressed with the finished product. In the weeks to come, even if we were eating some other meat, he enjoyed asking for 'more kangaroo please.' Let's face it, it's just a lot more fun to say 'kangaroo' than it is to say 'beef' or 'chicken.' For those of you who are wondering, kangaroo is pretty good. It is very lean and has just a slightly wild taste, but not too much. We've since had it for supper a second time.