Thursday, January 15, 2009

Irish Christmas: A Guest Post by the Irishman

~Jenny is not allowed to edit any of this. She may however provide a glossary at the end!

(Okay so I do not follow directions well...I added my own comments anyway!)

Christmas Eve in Ireland is always a special evening. Last minute preparations are completed around the house to make ready for Christmas Day. Cooking and cleaning and the wrapping of presents all combine to make it a busy evening. As usual we all went off to midnight mass (10pm Irish time).

(Note from Jenny: That always reminds me of the Jeff Foxworthy skit. "What time is Midnight Mass?")

It was great being back in my local church and to have all of the family together. Squeezing into one pew, and taking a couple of seats in the next few show how numerous this Irish clan is. Mass finished up at around 11 and we made our way back to the house.

While there may not have been chestnuts roasting, there was an open fire that was warm and cozy. Within minutes the cups of tea were being poured and glasses of Tanora were being knocked back. Add to that some of Robert's delicious roasted ham sandwiches and we were all ready and waiting for Santa's arrival. Typically Santa arrives just after midnight. Santa has many helpers in our house and this year was no different.

As we all sat around the fire, we all handed out our presents one by one. With all of the family handing out gifts to everyone, there were soon presents all over the floor, with any available spaces being taken up by the discarded wrapping paper and the dog, Sprig (who was trying to sleep on the floor).

Finally the Santa Claus pillow cases arrived. (Yes, we do pillow cases in Ireland as you can fit so much more in there than a stocking!) I do not know how he does it, but Santa and his helpers always seem to outdo themselves every year and all were thrilled with all that was given and all that was received. By 1.30, we were all ready to head to bed, bringing the Irish Christmas Eve to an end.

And so we arrive at Christmas day! Following the late night on Christmas Eve, we all slowly got up on Christmas morning. My mother as usual, was up first, and was in the kitchen preparing the first steps for the Christmas dinner. A very light breakfast is the norm on Christmas morning with all aware of the large feast ahead!

(Another note from Jenny: The Irishman seems to have neglected to mention that he and his father snored on the sofa in front of the fire during all of the dinner preparations. Notice in the pictures he was ready to help once the food was cooked!)

We sat down for Christmas dinner at 4pm. A feast of every kind of food was enjoyed by all. Turkey and ham and spiced beef and brussel sprouts and broccoli and corm and carrots and stuffing and roast potatoes and creamed potatoes and thymed potatoes and sweet potatoes (and that was only the main course).

(Jenny here again: Did you notice the many varieties of potatoes? The Irishman always insists that they don't really eat a lot of potatoes. I beg to differ...)

After dinner we decided to take a little break before diving into the now legendary sherry trifle. As ever, the sherry trifle was worthy of being served in any top class restaurant around the world.

(Jenny: It is good enough that the Irishman and his father both almost cried when the first triffle went bad before they could finish it. We had to pry it out of their hands and promise to make another!)

After all that, I fell asleep on the sofa in front of the roaring fireplace in the front room, with coal and turf keeping us all warm into the evening. Christmas night is also a time for visiting family, and we also stopped by our cousins house for a few hours before bringing Christmas Day to a close

Jenny's "glossary": I linked to Tanora before. It is a tangerine soda that is very popular in Cork at the holidays. Spiced Beef is very nice and also a Cork thing. I think we had everything listed on this site. I can't think of anything else that needs a glossary.

The Irishman did well! Thank you sweetie!


Soliloquy said...

Props to the Irishman for guest blogging! I just love a supportive blog-widower.

SO fun to see the pics from Ireland. Fascinating!

Shannon said...

Sounds like a fabulous and festive time. I would so enjoy a meal with than many potato dishes!