Sunday, 1 January 2012

Transporting a Canadian Style Christmas into Germany

Matt and I stayed in Germany for Christmas and decided we would make our own Christmas Dinner.
We decided we would get a small chicken instead of a turkey and got all of the ingredients to make stuffing, broccoli salad and mashed potatoes. That was the easy part. Neither of us have ever cooked or prepared a chicken with legs and wings, stuffed one, or really ever watched the process so the end result could either be delicious or a huge disaster.

The Baking I Did
I wrote home for the directions to make the stuffing and broccoli salad and asked the family I’m working with how to go about preparing and cooking the chicken. I’ve watched them make it a few times and it didn’t seem overly complicated. I also acquired the directions on how to make chicken noodle soup with the leftover chicken and carcass. I finally received the measuring spoons and cups from home and made a variety of Christmas squares and cookies in advance.

Christmas Day was now finally here and how did everything pan out?
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
I got up and decided I would make a Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread that I found using StumbleUpon for breakfast. I read over the directions for the first time to discover that the dough has to be left to rise for at least an hour and its best done the night before and then left in the fridge over night. FAIL. I guess that’s why you should always read the directions in advance. The initial part 30-40 minutes and then had to sit…so we wouldn’t be having it for breakfast. We decided to have a morning snack instead with our coffee and we opened the presents we had gotten for each other and the ones that our family had shipped over from Canada.

Ernie the Chicken
By this time this was done, the dough had risen and was ready to be rolled out. Overall, It took approximately three hours so we ended up having it around 11:30 with mimosas. It was fantastic and worth the wait.  It seems in Germany instead of giving bottles of wine, people give you bottles of Champagne instead (still a good alternative). Fortunately the three hour bread was the only thing that went wrong all day. That and the fact that the only things we bought at the grocery store were the ingredients to make the big dinner and breakfast. Our European mini fridge would not accommodate another thing. We had pasta the previous night for dinner and no appetizers for Christmas day or too many options for snacks...cookies, squares and some tangerines.

Our Christmas Table
We stuffed and seasoned Ernie the chicken and the rest off the afternoon was spent cutting up and peeling the
rest of the vegetables and skyping with our families.  Everything was ready shortly after six. Ernie exited the oven looking pretty good; upside down and looking as if he might just run right out of the pan, but pretty damn good none the less. The meal was delicious and clean-up afterward wasn’t that difficult. I finished off the evening with my moms family displaying me on their TV screen through skype and having all 10 of them hold their Christmas presents up to the camera to show me their new possessions so I could feel as though I was actually there with them.

Overall, it was a successful first Christmas together and the Canadian traditions lived on!
Matt and I About to Enjoy Christmas Dinner

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