Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas eve night.

In about 13 hours, we'll be leaving for Christmas day lunch with The Other Half's family. They live just under an hour away, next to a nice reserve.

When Jordan and Rufus were young, we used to walk off our Christmas lunch there. There were rocks to climb, a wide rambling dirt track to follow, pools to cool off in and water lizards to harass.

Christmas day is almost invariably hot and steamy here. I didn't think we'd get that this year. We've had no summer to speak of so far.

Then today, the sun came out. It was so suddenly hot, the vegies and herbs for my Christmas salads wilted in the 10 minutes it took to get them home from the market. They were in a cardboard box, tied to the back seat of the bike. My heart sank when I saw them.

I'm The Family's Christmas lunch salad lady. God knows why. I'm not even a salad fan.

Over the years, I've experimented with all kinds of salads and dips. We bring 2 or 3 different ones each year. I usually start panicking and googling for recipes at the start of December. In meager years, I top up our offerings with that old Aussie favourite - a can of beetroot.

I think The Family particularly enjoys my [extra creamy] potato salad, prosciutto, blue cheese, mesclun and pear salad, caesar's salad [from scratch including dressing] and Thai mango salad.

This year, I'm making 2 Thai salads. The always popular Thai mango salad, and a Thai carrot salad.

I've never made Thai carrot salad before. In fact, I've never even heard of or eaten it before, and have absolutely no idea what it should taste like.

But Uncle STeve, whose recipe it is, assures me it's a crowd pleaser and he's not usually wrong about food.

I've already done most of the prep work today, and there are little cartons and plastic bags of bits and pieces in the fridge, waiting to be assembled just before lunch. Tomorrow morning, I'll get up bright and early to start slicing, chopping and grating the rest of the fresh [haha] herbs, fruit and vegies.

I hope Thai carrot salad goes with turkey and ham. I know they'll both be excellent with the cold prawns. If it doesn't go down well with La Familia, maybe I'll get a new job next year and become the ham lady. [That should be easy since we all know there's a lot of pig in my neighbourhood.]

I shall keep you posted, and will even share the recipe if you like [with Uncle STeve's permission, of course].


Here we go. Our 1st Christmas without Rufus.

It felt a little strange, having to prepare only 1 Christmas doggie lunch.
If cousin Ralph, The World's Grumpiest Jack Russell, turns up, Georgia will just have to share. Anyway, there's always plenty of leftover turkey and ham to add to the bowl.

So much for a jolly Christmas post.

I miss the old fella.

**      *


Team Kenzo said...

These days always remind us of those we loved and are not at the table anymore. I am sure Rufus' spirit will be with you.
Merry Christmas GLP and family!

verobirdie said...

I'm sure Rufus will be watching over you.
And that the salads will be appreciated
Here, it is vety sunny... And very cold with a very strong wind.
Take care and enjoy your Christmas.
Give GLP an extra hug from me.

Pamela said...

So sorry you're missing Rufus. I completely understand.

I hope you have a joyous Christmas and that GLP, lovely young lady that she is, does you proud.

What Remains Now said...

Thinking of you this first Christmas without Rufus. I too am the "salad" lady this year, although my family is getting a pretty plain offering. They actually prefer me to keep it simple since I've had some spectacular failures in years past. In fact, I'm never put on a dish alone. I always notice there's another offering in my category. Can't blame them. Hope you all have a lovely day.

Sage said...

There's that little place in your heart where Rufus resides and he'll be with you always.

Sounds like some mighty fine tasting salads--can't wait for the recipe. Have a wonderful Christmas--I know Georgia will LOVE her plate!

Jean said...

Do you suppose your Rufus and my Charley are looking down at GLP and Sadie and muttering something about "hmmmm, I don't recall us getting that many turkey scraps...."?

The thai salads sound wonderful, and I bet the greens will have sprung back to life in the fridge overnight.

It is the morning of Christmas Eve here, and the start of winter. It always seems strange that two people connected on the internet can be experiencing different seasons and different days of the week. Merry Christmas, one day early by my count.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

It's Christmas morning here too. I was hoping to write a Season's Greetings post for everyone but it isn't going to happen. I've been thinking about John and Josh a lot lately as I had Christmas lunch with them the past 5 years or so. It won't be the same today but I am lucky to have been invited to friends to have lunch with them and to more friends for tea. Unfortunately I can't take the kids with me to either place so I have to take them for a walk shortly before it gets too hot. Yes, we are having the same lovely Summer weather as you, finally:) Thank you;)

Your Thai salad sounds wonderful, recipe please! I'm making a carrot, pineapple and orange jelly thingy to take for lunch and a kumera, date, bacon and cashew salad to take for tea, plus I'm cooking half a turkey to take some turkey meat along to both places. So I'd better get cracking on something!

I'm sure Rufus will be hoping you all have a wonderful day, just as I'm sure John and Josh would prefer me to be happy and enjoy my day out.

GLP's lunch looks very interesting. I think Beryl and Frankie might score some cooked turkey which will be a treat for them. Have a lovely day with La Familia and I think your salads sound great. Thank you for being our friends too mate xx;)

Kristine said...

Christmas always serves as a large reminder of who is not there. It's tough for us being so far from family and we try to create our own new traditions to make up for the loss.
I miss Rufus' lovely face too. I know his memories will live on year after year. He is unforgettable.

Happy holidays to you and your family. Even if you are stuck eating salad. ;-)

Jan said...

The first year without someone you love are always so sad, but the memories are so wonderful.

Your salads sound so exotic, no wonder you are the salad lady. Toss salad and cole slaw are usually the best we can come up with. Do post recipes (if they taste good, of course.}

KimT said...

I miss him, too, can't imagine how hard it must be for you. Guess that means extra hugs for Georgia! Rufus is surely with you in spirit.
You must post the recipe - and next year, I think we'll have to invite you over for Christmas. You'll bring the salads, right? ;) Hey, bonus; we usually have snow here!
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! xx

Elizabeth Keene said...

Well, according to my calculations, you (and your salads) are already well on your way to Christmas lunch.

(It is merely 9:14 p.m. Eastern US time here and the Christmas Story movie marathon has just begun. According to the Santa tracker , Santa is approaching Durazno, Uruguay, so it'll be a few hours yet before he gets here. I wish I had not shown the Santa tracker to Youngest Child.)

I hope you don't get too sad about Rufus today. Maybe GLP will poo on the floor or eat some turkey off the table and distract you. (I know, I'm a dope.)

ALL of your salads sound YUMMY, btw! LOVE Thai and LOVE anything with prosciutto, cheese and fruit!

It's warm here, too (relatively speaking). Not enough to wilt a salad. That would scare me.

Okay, going to watch Ralphie scream out the F word...

Merry Christmas and all those other happy greetings!

Elizabeth and JF and Dewi

June said...

I have a friend who lost both of her dogs this year...she's acting wacky and I don't blame her...give Georgia lots of hugs and lovin' from her Auntie June.

Juliette and Dougie said...

Have a lovely Xmas, the blue cheese and pear salad sounds yummy - thought of you and Rufus today.

chandra said...

Hugs to you and the other half on this first Christmas without Rufus.

Just received an a-mail (angel mail) from Daley. Rufus ate his Christmas lunch. But Daley didn't care one bit because apparently at the big dog park in the sky there is a Christmas lunch line that is always open.

That you're the salad lady makes me smile. My mom got stuck with being the mashed potato lady for about two decades. Looking forward to the Thai carrot salad recipe. Hope it was a hit and that you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend.

-c at ddy.

houndstooth said...

Well, somebody has to be the salad lady! I hope the salads were a hit.

I'm sorry about missing Rufus. Those first holidays without them are tough!