Saturday, 22 December 2012

Cancelling Crimbo

Now, before the hoards "You godless heathens shouldn't celebrate Christmas" descend on the comments page, let me tell you. I've always celebrated at this time of year, whether as a christian, a pagan and now as an atheist. I believe that there is something quite lovely about taking a single day out of our immensely busy year to celebrate relationships with whomever we define as important. Whether that be family or friends or any other definition.

The fact that we're actually celebrating the axial tilt is another post.

So last year we hosted an Orphan's Crimbo, for anyone in Lae whose family was away, and had nowhere else to go. And it was ace. We had prawns and fish and ham and chicken and pretty much all the trimmings.

Some of the said trimmings had to be adjusted slightly. It's 35 degrees Celcius up here, with 90% humidity. I am not making a goddamn plum pudding.

But I make a mean plum pudding icecream.

So this year's Crimbo-ing began with me having a full on bat shit crazy meltdown because I couldn't get the ingredients for said plum pudding icecream.

And ramped up from there.

I'd previously seen all the ingredients but had chosen that fateful decision that proves I'm still a noob up here: I'll buy it next week.

IF you see something you want or need up here BUY IT WHEN YOU SEE IT. Because it may never come back.

Apparently the ingredients I needed were in Lae, in a shipping container that was going to be unloaded in the New Year


This is a supposed christian country and you don't have glace ginger??? WTF?? It was one of the gifts bought to Baby Cheezles by The Wise Men!!


But that's Lae. No currants prior to Crimbo but there will be shelves of the little fuckers sometime next April.

So after the Great Suet Rage, The Husbang gently suggested that maybe.. just maybe.. this year I didn't HAVE to host Crimbo, and if I did, it would be okay NOT to have a version of a pud.

Now that's just some bat shit crazy right there, my friend.

No pud on the Crimbo table? No hand made shortbread, or rum balls or apricot slice? No Grandma's Punch (secret ingredient: cold tea), no stickjaw taffy?

Once, many years ago, The Husbang bought me a ZILLION DOLLAR full-on full-size Italian profession chef oven,

And I tried to rotisserie 6 chickens in it, because.. well.. because I could.

And it didn't work, and I got more and more frustrated and more and more insane and I was all up in that damn ovens' grill (Hah! Punster Iz Me!) screaming "WHY DO YOU HATE ME?", and The Husband gebtly took my sobbing, wracked face in his hands and said to me gently::

"You  Are Not Your Food"

We slept in different suburbs that night.

I'm a wog, ok? That movie :My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? That's my family. NOT my family of origin, but the family I have created around me. You come to my house and the first question I ask you is "Are you hungry? Would you like something to eat?"

To me, I hear "I love you", when I say those words.

I don't have blood in my veins, I have gravy. And salsa and mole and coulis and balsamic reduction.

So the thought of not spending hours in the kitchen preparing for Crimbo is an anathema to me.

Doesn't not cooking up a Crimbo feast mean I am a bad person?


So The Husbang pointed out, that under the circumstances maybe this year we could just go all simple. (Although he used the word 'deconstructed" and made an analogy to food which helped my mind make the switch. "You'll be like Heston, getting back to a more deconstructed lunch").

And we got talking, and he gently eased my into the idea that I can still be a good person without scaring the bakery staff at Food Mart because they had spelt flour last months, and I didn't buy it.

So he sent the email for me. Cos I am not yet at a point where I can actually take responsibility for  clearly being a bad person who hates my friends canceling Crimbo. And he cc's me in on it and you know what?

When I read it, this most enormous sense of relief flooded over me.

I will still get a Crimbo, but it's just us this year. And we're still planning Crimbo shenanigans, but instead of a turkey with 2 different stuffings (chestnut and bacon for the neck, orange and sage for the cavity), we're going to buy a ham.

You can buy hams!  Pre-hammed!

Who knew?

And we're going to buy cheese and mustard and his concession is that I can roast a chicken and stuff it, but I am not allowed to bone it and use anything that requires goose fat or larks vomit and the words confit and de-glaze have been banned.

And we're going to sit on the couch and watch "Love, Actually" and get out the panini press and have ham and cheese and mustard toasties and then eat icecream out of the tub.

And you know what?

It feels okay. Better than okay, actually. It feels nice.


  1. You are much more than just your food. And Husbang is a smart man. Tell him one of your American friends said so. And have a lovely holiday, sweetie!

  2. you, too. What are you and yours doing for Crimbo?