We usually end up going out for either lunch or dinner on Christmas. But this time, with Amit away, I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm. After spending the morning wondering whether a trip to the mall would be worth it or not, I decided at 12 o’clock to go to Nature’s Basket instead and see what could be found. In the end, for the princely sum of 680 rupees, I came back with a feast. At 1 p.m., lunch was served. How? Well, it doesn’t take much time when all you have to do is to throw everything into a big non-stick pan and call it a mixed grill platter. We had bacon bits (which of course lent their fat and flavour to everything else in the pan), a roast chicken breast, chicken with onion and cheese sausages, and – in another pan – spicy chicken wings. I took out some of yesterday’s sauted veggies to lend a bit of greenery to the meal, but we didn’t waste much time with them. The kids got a slice of bread each to mop up the bacon fat.
I’d bought a plum cake from the local shop, which is an off-shoot of All Saints and the kids had been ploughing their way through it for the last several days. When they have eaten well, they are often too full for dessert – something that is quite absolutely amazing to me. I’m never too full for dessert, no matter how well I’ve eaten. Dessert gets a separate compartment all to itself in my stomach.
Anyhow, they managed tiny bits of plum cake.
Tis the season to be jolly, as the song says, and where’s there any hope of that for gluten intolerant folks like me? Well, a couple of weeks ago, Amit suggested that I make a fruit cake. I’ve done this once before, with memorable results. When we went out to shop for dry fruit, he almost gave up the idea after seeing the price tags. But I went ahead and bought everything anyway and made my gluten-free eggless rum-drunk fruit cake. Now, I know that properly speaking the fruit should soak for several months. In fact, my understanding was that the cake should be made several months ahead and should be fed on a steady diet of alcohol thereafter. All I had was a couple of weeks, but I made good use of them. My fruit soaked for a few days, and the cakes have been drinking up their rum for two weeks now. So, it being Christmas day and all, I cut myself a piece. I can honestly declare that it didn’t make me tipsy, but that was only because of all that meat that was already sitting in my stomach, lining it like lead.
You’d think after a lunch like that, I’d be kind of done for the day. But no. After Nature’s Basket, I’d gone to another shop where I’d picked up half a kilo of mutton mince. So it was to be to be either meatloaf of shepherd’s pie for dinner. All that potato didn’t seem to be required, though, so I made a meatloaf. It’s the first time I’ve made it eggless and gluten free. Apart from onion and garlic and salt and pepper, I usually add stale wet bread as a binder and one or two eggs, I’m not sure why. This time, I just added a bit of brown rice flour and that was it. Tasted just as good as ever, if I do say so myself.
Unlike me, the kids had spent an hour playing football in the nearby playground, so they were hungry already. I pulled out some frozen french fries from the freezer, and, since the oven was already in use, stuck them in there. That didn’t work out so well – fried fries are definitely nicer than baked fries. But fries are fries, so we ate them anyway. I added some greens, again, and again we largely ignored those.
Another small slice of drunk fruit cake and now I’m really done for the day.