Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Goose is Cooked

Over a month ago, Dubaibilly and Cher invited us to their place for Christmas Dinner. ‘We’re doing a goose’ they said. It would have been, what’s the word…’churlish’?, nay …’absolutely impossible’ to refuse. I’ve never tasted goose, and neither has BetterArf.

As it happened, all six of the invitees live in Jebel Ali Gardens, and so we arranged to meet at one apartment for some pre-drinkies and then share a people-carrier cab to the venue.

When we got to Bill & Cher’s, gifts and cards were exchanged, cameras were compared* and a bloody fabulous time was had by all. If you ever have a chance to eat some goose, or even cook it yourself, don’t miss it! It was fantastic. B & C also did honey-roast haraminal, sprouts, sprouts with chestnuts, glazed carrots, roast parsnips, roast tatties and bangers wrapped in bacon. Also gravy and a special orange sauce for the meat. Stuffing was served a bit late because someone had forgotten to cook it at the appointed time (but microwaves are marvlious things, aren't they).

This had been preceded by a delicious broccoli and Stilton soup, and was followed by syllabub, Christmas Pudding with custard, assorted cheeses and Port.

Oh, wow. I mean, it was a delicious meal, I actually managed to get to the end of it without falling asleep and without bursting open (although I felt like I might at one point). One of our party totally cracked me up during the cheese course. There was a plate of crackers for the cheese. Not a normal plate with a bit of a rim, this was a flat glass platter. He was looking at me as he swung the platter towards me, holding it at an angle of about 5 degrees towards the floor. I was watching the platter as, one by one, the biscuits fell off. By the time the platter reached me, it was empty. I was giggling hysterically, and John looked at the thing in his hand. ‘Where’s the ****ing biccies?’, he asked. I pointed at the trail of crackers he’d left behind. Jajaja!

A bit later, Billy was attempting to pour himself a glass of Port. The bottle refused to release any of its contents until the cork was removed. I have to confess that half an hour later, I did exactly the same thing – I reckon that Taylor’s Port bottles have a design flaw: they look like they are open even when they are not.

We sang along to a selection of Christmas tunes, playing from Cher’s I-Pod plugged into her Christmas present: a vertical donut full of speakers and a radio: it looked like a shrine to the I-Pod, which in a way it is.

*Cameras. Both Dubaibilly and myself got new cameras today. BetterArf gave me a Sony H2, a replacement for the H1 that I owned for three weeks before some Spanish asshole stole it in Valencia last August. Bliss bliss bliss! Plus a book on how to get the best out of such a machine. Dubaibilly got a top-end Canon digital SLR jobbie from Cher, plus a different book from BetterArf on how to get the best out of such a machine (how she knew this would be useful and appreciated I’ll never know – female intuition I guess). I read most of my book this morning and learnt one very valuable lesson: the thing that buggers up group shots is that somebody will blink. So before you shoot a group, you tell them all to close their eyes, then open them and smile. Then you shoot them, and they all have their eyes open! I tried it and it worked!

We had a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all did too!

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