Sunday, January 06, 2008

Christmas 2007 flashback

Ma & Pa arrived on December 21st and while I was preparing dinner, Orange-X drove to the Basel Airport to pick them up. Their flight was delayed by 40 minutes, but they made it safely. I was quite shocked when I saw Pa. He was out of breath and his face and feet were swollen from the medication he has to take. Frankly, it looks pretty scary on a fragile man like he is. Amazingly enough, the swelling disappeared after only 2 days. Ma swears it’s the fresh air here and the exercise he gets from all the stairs in our house.

Orange-X had organized a demo wheelchair from his work so that we could take Pa with us wherever we went. At first, he looked at it reluctantly, but soon discovered that it was a great way to travel and keep up with our fast pace. We had added a lamb skin to keep him warm and taken a blanket to cover his legs, and in the end, he really appreciated the wheelchair. We wheeled Pa through Christmas shopping, the groceries, the Christmas market and much more.

But the shopping was only part of the fun. Now it was time for some serious wrapping. Heat the glue gun, out with the bows, the ribbons and colourful shiny paper, hand me the sticky tape and that ornament, too. Creativity at its best. First the girls wrapped the men's presents, then the men wrapped our presents and the parcels were cafully put under the tree.

And this was the result:

There was one "present" however, that was not wrapped. Our new dishwasher! The old one had broken down just a few days before and I didn’t think that we would get a replacement in time for our upcoming New Year’s Eve party. Ma and I had a lot of cooking ahead of us and I was horrified at the thought of having to wash everything by hand. Believe it or not, the new toy was delivered and installed by noon on Christmas Eve.

We spent a quiet Christmas Eve, just the four of us, had a nice dinner and waited until midnight to open the presents.

Between Chrismas and New Year's Eve, Ma, O-X and I spent much of our time in the kitchen preparing for the party. Ma taught me to make these wonderful pasteitjes. She did the first batch as I watched, taking notes in my head, and a few days later, I did the second batch with Ma looking over my shoulder to make sure that they would come out right. And they did! I even learned how to make the nice rim. It's not as easy as it looks, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast. All in all, we made 58 of these beauties. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce! YUM!

But we didn't stop there. We also made about 60 Schinkengipfeli (croissants filled with finely chopped ham), a hearty goulash soup, and I even baked chocolate chunck cookies.

Orange made his pangsit (fried wontons) with his home-made sweet-sour ginger sauce.

We really had a good time preparing these dishes. We chatted, enjoyed a glass of wine and laughed a lot, too. I don't know if you see it the same way I do, but I find this kind of activity relaxing and very social.

BTW, I'm glad that I cleaned out the freezers before Ma and Pa came over, because by New Year's Eve, they were both cracking full with goodies for the party. And that, my friends, will be the next post.


Xmichra said...

one of these days i so want to have a meal with you two!! Such great food!!

Happy new years guys!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Let me get this straight... Ma and Pa are O-X's parents?

Expat Traveler said...

oh that sounds like a lot of fun and here i thought you'd share a pic of you guys wheeling pa around.

But the food sounds amazing. I'm so tired of not having a dishwasher here but it still amazes me that everywhere else you can change up an apartment but here I guess you just can't...

Congrats on the new dishwasher..

Shortie said...

Oh yum! Glad you had a grand time :).

CanadianSwiss said...

Xmichra: You're always welcome and we still have plenty in the freezer :)

Ex-S: Yes, that's right. It helps differentiate from Mom and Dad (my parents).

ET: He liked the wheelchair, but I dont think he actually wanted to posted on the web in it ;) And the dishwashers are pretty standard equipment included in the rent, here.

Shortie: Yeah. I really love the fact that OX, his mum and me enjoy cooking (and eating) together so much :)

tinakala said...

Yum. I send me some leftovers. And I tagged you. Almost.

The Big Finn said...

Damn, I could really go for one (or twenty) of those pangsit right about now!

Jay said...

OH, I just love cooking with someone. I think it's a great way to spend time together. And I'm so happy for your hands that you got that new dishwasher in time!

CanadianSwiss said...

Tina: I would, but I'm afraid some things might defrost on the way in the post offices.

TBF: I guess we'll have to teach you how to mAke them. We're all out of those. I think you ate at least 20 on New Year's Eve ;)

Jay: Well, at leat I used Palmolive during the fall-out ;)

swenglishexpat said...

Seems you had a lovely family Christmas, just like it's meant to be. Doing stuff together, preparing, cooking, eating and eating. Happy New Year!

Ginnie said...

What you have described, CS, makes me think of heaven on earth! Seriously.