Some last-minute marketing on the 24th. Strasbourg held (allegedly) sixteen Christmas markets. We found a good few, like the one where I had a pretzel and the Croatian one with the limoncello…s (better than šljivovica, friends). The focus, on the whole, seemed more on food than fun Bavarian-ish handicrafts, but rest assured my father added considerably to our little set of miniature village houses. Next Christmas I’ll be getting him a train set to link several growing metropolises.
It was a decidedly unorthodox affair. The apartment we rented, for example, had an olive tree that would do, and we had some enormously Aussie-kitsch baubles and little leaf ornaments from someplace. Thus: a Christmas tree.
And then, with our Austrians we celebrated on the 24th the Continental way; that is, with different food. Although all that was warped again by their being vegetarian, so instead of mountains of goulash and potatoes and, I don’t know, herrings, we had risotto.
As everybody knows, real Christmas is the 25th so Father Christmas can get around at night. It’s only logical. We slept late enough to justify immediate champagne.
Christmas lunch is a grand affair in the British tradition and spanned — count it — five hours. To be honest it all sort of blurs into a delicious meat festival until the main event: pudding. And this is the serious kind, forged by my grandmother over a year ago and doused in about half a bottle of brandy.
And on fire.
The plate is dirty because this, er, was seconds.