When I was a child, my Mummy had surgery a bit too close to Christmas for my Dad’s liking. In order to play the supportive husband card and get as many brownie points as possible, he booked to take the four of us plus my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather out to dinner on Christmas Day. From what I remember and what I have been told, it was a lovely day with delicious food.
This however wasn’t Christmas officially for my Grandmother who then on Boxing Day cooked an entire four course Christmas Dinner. I don’t remember it specifically but I am sure it was equally as delicious as the day before… probably more so actually. She was an amazing cook.Some years later when my Grandfather took ill, we used to have Christmas Day at my Grandparent’s house and then the full works again on Boxing Day at home. Or visa versa, depending on the year.
It should therefore should come as no surprise that Mummy and I decided that much as brunch was a delicious idea, we needed a home cooked Christmas Dinner was still needed.
The only difference is that a) I am an adult now, and b) I live in Dubai.
How is this different you ask? Because I live in a country that you can have anything done for you at any time. So I did.
Some days in advance of Mum’s arrival I called Jumeirah Emirates Towers and booked their Christmas dinner. It wasn’t the best of the ones on offer as you had to collect it yourself, but I knew that it was bound to be good as I have never, with the exception of that one rubbish breakfast, been disappointed with the food in that hotel.
One slight problem though… It didn’t have all the veggies and sides that we needed to make it a proper Christmas meal, so up we got bright and early, dressed in our best Christmas t-shirts (and earrings!) and headed to Watirose to stock up!
We got home, unpacked the bags and like good English cooks, donned our festive aprons ready to cook!
Turns out that actually we didn’t need to add more to the menu, from a volume perspective.
Although I had purchased the small turkey, it had grown somewhat. I don’t know the actual weight but it was bloody huge!
And the sides? Oh my goodness! Included in the AED 675 price of the turkey was:
Rosemary Roast Potatoes,
Braised red cabbage,
Cranberry Sauce, and
There was also a fruit and nut stuffing but we passed on that due to my allergy. They made an alternative for me which was super kind. I have no clue what was in it though!
On top of this, when I arrived the lovely Assistant Manager, Suhail, had added a few extras. Basically doubling what we had got and adding some really beautiful sweet potatoes too.
Oh wait… I also ordered the “Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips with Red Onions”.
We had an absolute mountain of food. Before we found that out though, we had also made:
Sage & Onion Stuffing,
Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese,
‘Real’ Roast Potatoes,
Mashed Potatoes, and
Pigs in Blankets.
For 2 people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I say two people but actually we plated up huge dinner for both of my buildings security chaps, and our concierge. So for 5 people. And we basically only got through one turkey breast. The turkey really was massive!
After a (fairly long) break for bubbles and gift opening (or, basically, in order digest and make room!) we then moved onto dessert. We had got M&S’s mince pies, their icing topped mince pies (weird and not recommended) and a Charbennel & Walker Champagne Christmas Pudding. Yes, it is a very random thing to have but I found one and thought it sounded fun!
There really was nothing left to do after that except for lay back, put my champagne in my new awesome flamingo pool float drinks holder, and watch a terrible Christmas Movie.
Christmas Day #2 may have been very different from the first but it was just as fabulous!
(I also have the best fed freezer in Dubai now because despite days of turkey sandwiches and salads and pies, we couldn’t get through all the meat. That’s not even to mention the vegetables which I have at least 4 roast dinners worth in there!)