Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas in Pinamar '09

Christmas at the beach is still kind of hard to get over, but get over it we did! For 21 years of my life I spent Christmas day with my family in New Jersey. We usually happily help some Christian friends celebrate by eating their food and drinking their wine on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day us usually a family affair we are left out of. We take advantage of this day to go see a movie and hang around the house experiencing various types of family fun. Mostly this involves cocktails and cooking, which is the most fun a girl can have in Montgomery New Jersey. Last year, Josh and I spent Christmas Eve with out Colombian friends, but Christmas day was spent as usual just the two of us.

This year however, we had the honor of helping a very important friend celebrate his first Christmas away from home and I couldn’t wait. We asked Nick about his traditions before hand so we could prepare to make the day as traditional as possible, and it turned out this involved eating lamb and Heuvos Rancheros with English Muffins. Not one to be put off by a daunting challenge I looked up English Muffins on the most fabulous interweb and found out they are a breeze to make! All you need are the necessary ingredients and a frying pan. Take that Thomas.

For Christmas Eve we bought a leg of Lamb and potatoes and hung around the parillas with Josh drinking champagne as he lit a fire. Soon other Argentines approached the parillas with the same intention and we were once again shown the true meaning of Latin Hospitality. One man from Mendoza insisted we eat his picada and drink his wine, and the whole thing had a very communal feel. He even shared his abundance of coals with an Argentine that didn’t measure up and couldn’t get his fire going. We were the only crazies that are outside, but the lamb was awesome and as usual our dinner conversation was limited to the sounds of chewing until we began to fill up and resumed normal conversation. Oh! And the Mint Sauce! How could I forget the Mint Sauce! Nick finished off his recreation of a Vermont Christmas with homemade mint sauce that went perfectly with the lamb and left my very impressed.

After dinner we headed to the beach with a bottle of champagne to watch the fireworks. On Christmas Eve and on New Years Eve Argentines set off tons of fireworks at midnight and the beach gave us a view of all of them. We took shelter from the cold wind in a guard tower until the bottle was empty and there were no more stories to tell. We then huddled together as we headed back to our warm room and the promise of not so comfortable but welcomed beds.

Josh is a man...he makes fire

Nick's a man too, but he just pops champagne

champagne at the beach on Chrismtas Eve

lamb and potatoes on the grill

the set up in the best parilla I've ever used, or watched Josh use...

Nick and Josh huddling in the guard tower on the beach watching fireworks

Christmas day was sunny and perfect and breakfast was a big success. My English Muffins were better than store bought as the recipe had promised, and the Huevos Ranchos filled me to capacity. I then rolled myself over to the beach and spent the day playing Frisbee, reading, and swimming. It was Puuuuurffect.

Ok, so at this point all of you want to kill me because I keep going on about the beach as you sit in your cold houses, I’m sorry! But I’m just trying to get it all down!

So enough with the beach. It was a great Christmas and I think Josh and I succeeded in helping Nick to have a great Christmas even without presents or a tree, or snowy Vermont. For now we are going to rest up and I know I’m going to start making room in my belly for the next big one…the count down to New Years begins!

My first Christmas morning

English muffin puffing up!

English muffin flipped!

adding the huevos to the Huevos Rancheros

the feast before we dug in

one of those artsy composed shots of food I always see on food blogs

the perfect bite for the perfect Christmas morning


Shelley Rolf said...

it's hard to imagine that the cold wind you felt on the beach is anything compared to the cold winds of new england today. you can tell nick that it was almost 0 in bennington and his hometown is 3 hours north ! your cooking, your adventures, it's all wonderful to read about. xoxo

Austin said...

hhooohhhhhooho that food looks delicious. Your Christmas day sounds wonderful.

On the subject of first Christmases I would like to pass on the news that your old pal Julianna had her first Christmas with my family in my sunny neck of the woods (San Diego).

I miss you three!