As you may have known, I've been out of the country for a couple of months for both work and holidays. It was lovely to go and come back - you get the opportunity to forget about some of the things that drive you up the wall living in Sri Lanka, but also receive an opportunity to reflect on the things to be appreciated about Sri Lanka or some of the things you may have taken for granted. In many ways it feels like I got to press my "reset" button.
So I'm currently in the midst of my festive plans for spending Christmas in Sri Lanka. It's pretty straightforward... feasting at my place! I'm having sort of an "open house day" for my invited friends and colleagues to drop by, exchange gifts, feast and be merry. Of course, it will feel a little strange in the tropics instead of the wintery Christmas I'm used to back home.
The menu I've been deliberating on these past few days is interesting... I want to enjoy some of the traditional Christmas fare, but still include some local delights and spice things up Right now the list, which is ever-changing and increasing, includes:
- fresh prawn cocktails with a spicy aioli dressing
- smoked salmon canapes
- roast duck with an orange sauce
- roast turkey (if I manage to find one!)
- ham or possibly gammon (again, if I manage to find one!)
- roast potatoes, pumpkin, carrots etc.
- tandoori chicken skewers or maybe chicken satay sticks
- seafood or fishermen's basket
- bitter gourd salad (got this recipe from one of the Colombo hotels! Delish)
- american style potato salad
- Eva's roasted eggplant, walnut and garlic dip
- Eva's freshly made spicy guacamole
- Eva's homemade hummus dip (mmm... need to find some tahini)
I'm a huge pudding fan... must be the Brit thing. C'mon, how can you not love these desserts? I mean... you can literally knock yourself out on bread-n-butter pudding, any sort of crumble, spotted dick (yes, sometimes we put names on our foods that make you cringe ), roly poly , sticky toffee pudding (this is definitely my kryptonite!!!) and more! Spoilt for choice I say. Luckily, I was sent a special delivery from home with an assortment of Christmas treats (*rubbing hands together*). At this stage I'm including on my dessert menu:
- Mummy's sticky toffee pudding (heavenly )
- Christmas minced pies
- Christmas pudding
- tim tams (one of my friends gave me a few packets by way of thanks)
- Bailey's banana trifle (saw a tasty recipe on the Beeb website)
- icecream (coffee and vanilla bean)
- assorted tropical fruits
Strangely, I don't have any visitors from abroad staying with me this silly season, which feels a little unusual. But then again, this year has seen a lot of friends and family come to stay. And 2014 is already looking busy with visitors planning to come visit and stay with me.
As you can see, feasting is definitely on the cards at my place this Christmas!
And there is definitely a festive feel around Colombo. You can even include the numerous vehicles causing traffic jams in this! There are plenty of Christmas or year-end parties and festivities to attend with friends, colleagues and clients. Not everyone is celebrating Christmas here, but you can tell people are looking forward to the conclusion to 2013. Over here, New Year celebrations are bigger for the wider community. Either way, I'm enjoying the wind down to the end of the year. It's been a hectic year (mostly in a good way) to say the least.
So, it's Christmas at my place and then Boxing Day I've been invited over to an expat friend's place to help celebrate her wedding anniversary. No doubt there'll be more feasting, gift giving and memorable times with good friends. If the weather's good, I'll probably hit the beach too
I'll definitely continue blogging over the festive season, but just in case there's a lapse on my part...