Friday, 31 December 2010

Our Christmas in Bulgaria Chestita Koleda

Polski Trambesh Tree
 Phew what a few days, I'm fair knackered now like most people across the Christian world! I hope you all had a very lovely time with family, friends or both!!!! We started Christmas morning with the mark of Yovo! We asked about church at Christmas & was told yes 10am so we said we would be going. Yovo then reminded us again Xmas eve 10am I confirmed the time over & over as I am aware of his foibles! Huh yep Joanna that worked we got to church at 9.50am & waited till 10.45, no Priest!!!!! Bloody Yovo!!!!! When we saw him he was all blah blah other villages, no sorry!!!

Baba Ivanka's Donkey awaiting her work
It wasn't a wasted morning though as it was the first time I had ever been out for a walk on Christmas morning & was great meeting everyone & exchanging greetings & Chestita Koleda's! It was also a beautiful sunny 20c day & a really nice start :D  
The man ringing the bell calling us to church
I spoke to all my children, grandchildren, mum, sister in law, niece & step son on Christmas day, which was superb :D I started preparing for Christmas on Christmas eve by cleaning a functional but unfinished kitchen. before any cooking was to be done Nigel & myself donned the invisible rubber gloves, hot soapy water & polish & set to cleaning the
whole downstairs. It took till the afternoon just to get the kitchen clean of all the brick dust & plaster along with everything in it. Nigel was at the rest all day :D Its amazing though having a lovely clean sweet smelling sink with hot & cold water coming out of one tap! Also being able to have the washing machine & dishwasher on at the same time, with no hoses hanging over the sink, so I could use the sink to clean the kitchen!!! Just like a normal developed world kitchen :D :D :D Then followed three days of cooking!!!!!
I made Mulled wine which was delicious & went down very well with everyone who partook, I will most definitely be doing it all year never mind just winter, its bloody lovely cold too! I adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe, so its a JaimJo brew & I recon in the summer it will be beautiful with ice cubes, yep lets break all the rules & try it like a pimms mix! I also promised Pavlinka a apple & cinnamon cake so that was next. Yovo true to form instead of bringing the turkey he killed for dinner, at midday xmas day, bought it round xmas eve afternoon instead, so that put me out too, not for long though! Well I was so looking forward to our first freshly killed Turkey i was at first a bit shocked! It was the skinniest bird I had ever set eyes on weighing just 5lb!!!! I was really concerned about how it would cook & if it would be moist, but I wanted a traditional English dinner with a Bulgarian twist & this was it. No force fed with God knows what cage reared Turkey for us, I just needed to be extra careful with how I cooked it! Yovo proudly showed me under the Turkey was all the bits like head feet heart etc, he had obviously found out that we have giblets in the cavern when we buy one & thought I needed them to stuff the bird :-( I decided not to disappoint & spent hours over the next two days cooking giblet gravy then used the meaty bits at the end in the stuffing. NEVER again!!!!!
Step 1 million in preparing giblet gravy
The gravy took flipping hours of preparation at different stages & hours of cooking to give something greatly lacking in flavour. In hindsight I should just have chucked in some white wine! The stuffing too was yuckydah. The Turkey was good, very moist I cooked it slowly with plenty of basting so I was well pleased, & I took extra care to roast the potatoes so they were lovely & crispy.  Christmas dinner started with a Russian salad, pickled hot peppers, cheese banitza & hot Rakia, so by the time we had eaten everything there was no room for Christmas pudding which is quite normal in my house but we were then given a plate full with Pumpkin banitza, my Apple cake & something else I nearly died :D Again true to form the food I cook & took round piping hot was left to go cold & soggy even though I drove home the importance of it being HOT, yep to them luke warm & tepid is hot! Christmas dinner as we know it was ruined :-( So the next day I had some good friends, Net & Neil round for a roast pork dinner with yorkies too & got my fix :D We never got around to putting up the decorations. The tree broke, its a fibre optic & this is the first year it didn't work so we threw some lights over it & wrapped some lights around a beam & that's it, a fitting end to 2010 as far as I am concerned!!!
This was our first ever non consumerism Christmas & the cheapest ever in the history of Christmas's!!! No big tins of chocs no loaded up bags of pressies no trolly's full of food, it felt real good to have no waste & we enjoyed all we had. My friend from UK gave us the xmas pud stuffing mix & a box of mince pies. My mum sent over a huge jar of mince meat & my friend here made the pies for me. Mum also sent over some after eights & fruit jelly's we had Walnuts & hazelnuts from the garden & I made cake. I did however miss my family, Christmas was not the same without you all :-( :-( :-(
I hope you all had a wonderful couple of days!!!!!

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