Christmas 2008 – breakfast
This year for Christmas, my family got together for breakfast at my parents’ home. We made breakfast very early – Jac and I got there by 7:30am – because all of us “kids” were having lunch with our partners’ families that day.
My sister CW put together this lovely fruit platter, with plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, mangoes and kiwifruit. Stone fruits are plentiful, now that it’s summer.
Juji cooked up a batch of pikelets. I couldn’t wait to pour maple syrup over a few!
The ham was in the oven when we arrived, and it smelled really good. This is the view through the oven window.
There was plenty of fresh crusty bread and croissants for everyone. Juji ended up cutting the croissants in half, as they were so large.
I thought the ham looked simply magnificent, and it smelled absolutely mouthwatering. Juji glazed it on Christmas eve. She finished work at lunch time and went straight home to prepare the ham. She scored it all over, studded it with cloves and glazed it with a mixture of maple syrup, orange juice, mustard and gula melaka, which she used because there wasn’t any brown sugar in the pantry.
Jay and I watched intently as Juji sliced the ham.
This is what was left after a generous plate’s worth was carved off the ham.
She sliced them just right – not too thin, not too thick.
Jac’s and my contribution to breakfast was the scrambled eggs. Since Jac cooked Christmas eve dinner and the turkey roasts for Christmas lunch, I told her to just relax and socialise while I cooked the eggs. We brought two cartons of free range eggs – 24 eggs – and a chunk of butter to my folks’ place. 24 eggs may sound like a lot, but we did have 11 people to feed (including several with voracious appetites, yours truly among them). In the end, I reckon I could’ve cooked even more eggs! I used Mum’s electric wok to cook the eggs in, and a generous splash of milk from the bottle in Mum’s fridge. I cooked the eggs very slowly, over the lowest heat setting, stirring constantly. As the eggs began to cook and solidify, I stirred less frequently and very gently, so as not to break the curds up too much – and also to make sure that they didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or get browned. I was very pleased with how the eggs turned out – soft and creamy. Using free range eggs meant they turned out an appetisingly vivid yellow, not that anaemic yellow that factory eggs tend to be. I didn’t season them at all – I left it up to each person to decide if they wanted to add salt and/or pepper. Personally, I love the natural eggy, buttery flavour of unseasoned scrambled eggs. I also knew that the ham had been very well seasoned, and I didn’t think that everything on the plate needed to be strongly seasoned.
Here’s the ham from another angle. I just love how the ridged edges look. This was one of the tastiest Christmas hams I’ve had for a long time.
Here’s my plate, with pikelets drizzled with maple syrup, ham (there may have been a little maple syrup on the ham too, at some stage!), scrambled eggs, buttered bread and a little of my sister-in-law Angela’s special stuffing. We didn’t have turkey at our breakfast, but we had the stuffing! I love Ange’s stuffing – she cooks it the oven in a dish, not stuffed in a turkey. I carefully picked out all the cloves from the ham before digging in. As a child I used to always bite into peppercorns – bleargh – now as an adult, I always take a moment to remove the peppercorns and cloves and other similar “you-really-don’t-want-to-eat-that” items. Who would’ve thought all those years ago that sticking those nasty little cloves into a ham would help make it taste so wonderful?
After the savoury food, we got stuck into the fruit. Mum grabbed a knife and carved up one of the juicy mangoes, and little Ruby enjoyed squeezing and eating cherries. We drank down juice, tea and coffee and laughed and chatted. I’m not sure where the pandoro came from, but it had been sitting in its tin on the sideboard and Juji had been eyeing it all breakfast. She opened the tin and sliced off the end of the pandoro so we could all try some.
The pandoro came with a packet of icing sugar for sprinkling. It had the most delicate, feather soft texture. It was like a very soft and light vanilla-flavoured chiffon cake.
It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer, but we had to get home and get ready for lunch. We took home some of that delicious ham and stuffing. It was great for a post-Christmas meal of leftovers, which you’ll see in a future post.
This post was written on my new Asus eee 900HA. It wasn’t a Christmas gift; I bought it for myself because I’ve wanted one for ages, and finally, after much research and consideration, the time had come. Jac will inherit my 15.4 inch Toshiba laptop, which seems like such a big old clunker now that I have the baby-sized 8.9 inch eee. I may write more about the eee in a future post. Right now, it’s bedtime. :)
Coming up soon: Christmas lunch.