What are the three most important aspects of Christmas...?
Family, giving and food right?
Well I was spending my first ever Christmas away from my family. This was a little odd to say the least. I come from such a close family and this time of year especially, we don't spend a moment away from one another. Yes bickering is inevitable but it wouldn't be Christmas without the odd tiff right?
But let's face it, I wasn't spending Christmas alone
eating Chinese take out in front of the TV weeping into my chicken chow mein. This year I was spending Christmas with some of my closest friends in this fantastic city.
With my friends not flying in from Miami till late Christmas Eve, it was my job to go Christmas food shopping. Now, as you all know eating is perhaps one of my favourite past times, but shopping for food may be even better. With no Waitrose or M&S to elbow my way through the isles to grab that glorious turkey, I opted for Whole Foods Market. Now Whole Foods isn't any old grocery store. Specialising in every cuisine imaginable and stocking all types of foods I couldn't wait to dive straight in to tick off my rather long list for our Christmas dinner.
Now, I am used to a family feast. At least 18 dishes cooked by the whole family, and let's face it, I'm usually on 'laying the table' duty. This meant I had to call on the resident family culinary expert. With Daddy on FaceTime we tottered around the store together picking up everything from cheeses for our cheese platter, brussel sprouts, 3kgs of potatoes - yeah I was planning on cooking enough to feed the whole upper east side. But better to much than too little right?
Several bags later and much needed help getting into the taxi/apartment I got prepping. Chopping veggies all evening long whilst skyping my sister in Australia (it was already Christmas for her) and of course the family back in London just to make sure I was preparing everything to the family standard.
Greeting my gorgeously sun kissed friends at the door they were all extremely pleased that all was prepared meaning that minimal time could actually be spent in the kitchen on Christmas Day.
Waking up bright and early Christmas morning with the sun streaming in through my window and blasting my all time favourite Christmas tune 'Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time'.
After a deliciously traditional Dutch Christmas breakfast we all got suited and booted and headed off to Central Park for a Christmas Walk.
We were totally astonished by the ridiculous amount of runners in the park, who were spending part of their day working out rather than eating. Mind-boggling!
Admiring the view on the beautifully cloudless morning, and taking a million photos as only the foreigners do. We continued on our stroll through the park as any effort to warm up in the absolutely freezing temperatures.
Yeah, -6° meant it was too cold for that coveted white Christmas, but plenty of icy patches for Claudine to skate over to her hearts content.
For those of you who have been to Central Park and specifically the boating pond. You'll know that it is never empty. As a matter of fact, no matter what time of day you go, there are always people around and especially tourists taking photos with Alice. But on Christmas this seemed to be a little different. Seeing the statue with no people at all around we seized the opportunity. Unfortunately none of us had brought gloves so climbing the brass structure was pretty damn freezing and near impossible.
But… we made it.
The whole of Central Park was dressed up in their Christmas best.
Even the pooches!
Hopping in a cab to save ourselves from the absolutely freezing weather, we popped home to watch my favourite Christmas movie of all time, It's A Wonderful Life before starting on our Christmas feast.
Going a rather non-traditional route in terms of starters this year we opted for Bruschetta. Which was not only super easy to prepare, but catered for our resident veggie too - which is often rather difficult to do on Christmas.
Et Voila, our table was complete… Roast chicken, roast potatoes, mash potatoes, roasted vegetables, cauliflower cheese, brussel sprouts and of course gravy. Let the feasting commence.
A fantastic celebration with a wonderful posse. A little different from my traditional Christmas' (click here), but none the less an absolutely wonderful day.
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!