Jo-Anne, Louise, Constantine, Peter and Carolyn hard at work!
At 10.45 we'd finished all we could do, so Grant collected me and Carolyn. His secretary, Ciah, had given us a beautiful Christmas card; Grant felt he should give her a gift, so he took us to the local shopping mall to look for one. He waited in the car while Carolyn and I went into the little shop. I'm well known to the proprietress as Amanda and I support her regularly. When we buy for the Albino center children, we take dozens of each item (girls'underwear, boys' underpants, combs, toothpaste, lollipops, sweets,sodas, biscuits) so she ultimately has a very good sale for the day!
Shop owner and Carolyn
Carolyn went to the Guest House to have lunch with Steve; Grant and I had lunch here at home as usual. After lunch she returned and we made snacks for the sun downer evening at our home. (see earlier post)
That evening I made arrangements with my night askari, Zechariah: at 3 a.m. I'd be going across to the Guest House where I needed help to place the turkey in the large oven. As arranged, he was waiting to unlock our small gate which leads into the street, accompanied me across to the Guest House where Mayunga opened that gate and let us in.
I'd Googled the cooking chart for roasting a turkey. For our 10kg bird, I'd have keep it in the oven for at least 3-4 hours.
We put it in and walked back to my house. Zechariah took this task very seriously and asked when I'd like him to come and check on the turkey with me. I told him 4.30 which is when we next went across to the Guest House to do the first inspection.
Zechariah carefully lifts the hot pan with the turkey out of the oven
Not a normal job for a gate guard (just as assisting me at Princess' pups birth 13 weeks ago isn't in his job description either), yet note the willingness to help. When we checked the bird the second time at 6.10 a.m, I cut off a slice for Zechariah to test. He said it was perfect!
Meanwhile back home between 3 and 6 am, I'd cooked the ham in the oven for about an hour. At about 4.30 Grant woke and joined me in our kitchen. He cored a fresh pineapple and cut it into rings. I painted the warm ham with smooth apricot jam, we pegged the pineapple rings to the meat with toothpicks and added a cherry in each center.
While I made an apple and cranberry stuffing, Grant started on the trifle. He's been making this pud for forty years; it's his paternal grandmother's recipe and when he put the finishing touches on it, he said:"I'm sure Nan's looking down with approval this very minute! "
The cherry on the cake - er - trifle was the cherries! They were fresh cherries which had been preserved in a syrup. They still had stalks and were pip-less. They were the best cherries we've ever eaten
Ouma/granny Joey was one of the first guests to arrive. She took photos and enjoyed the ambiance while we got ready for lunch
Once everyone had arrived, we had a short Scripture reading (in English and Afrikaans) and then we sang Christmas carols which I'd typed out. We had no music, but Carolyn, Louise and I gave the note and we all enjoyed a lovely time of singing
Everyone sang in his or her own language. It was glorious!
Next Carolyn and I carried the turkey from the electric hot tray to a tiled area near the BBQ grill. Here Grant carved it and the gammon with surgical precision.
The end product of our smoked gammon
The turkey and gammon which Grant carved perfectly
A feast fit for kings and queens
Although it's never intended, we all ended up eating too much. But it was delicious!
A selection of desserts to die for!
Afterwards everybody took chicken, lamb, turkey and gammon away in foil packs which I'd brought for this purpose. I also had an ice-cream container in which I brought home some meat scraps for the dogs, and another in which I kept the biscuits, salad and other scraps for Regina's chickens and ducks. When we arrived at home, and I'd taken enough for Grant to have cold cuts for several days, I made up two boxes of turkey, gammon and chicken. These I handed to Michael and Joshua who had been on gate duty all day. I also had a sealed container of ice-cream and an unopened Christmas pudding which I gave to Michael to take home for his six children. Boxing day was a day early at our house!
We had a wonderful Christmas in the bush. As usual...
Here's wishing you all a blessed Christmas weekend.