Christmas 2013

A few days ago I made an English Christmas cake.  Actually I made two, the first one became a burnt offering, although the middle turned out to be quite edible having chopped a centimetre off all the way round and presented it to the almighty.  That was when I discovered that contributors to cookery pages on the internet are lovely, helpful people, belonging in their entirety to northern hemisphere cultures.  My oven is too hot what should I do?  Three million responses; buy an oven thermometer so you can find out how your oven is calibrated and then turn it down to the appropriate setting.  How about if my oven is only calibrated to two settings, on and off, and I don’t need an oven thermometer to know that on is too hot.  What else should I try?  No responses.  I stuffed a rag in the door to wedge it open slightly.  No points for energy efficiency, and we certainly didn’t need the extra heat through the house, it’s been forty degrees for the last week anyway.  But the cake turned out great, even though the royal icing didn’t set… any ideas there? 

Monday evening we dressed up as magi for a street nativity performance organised by the Christian book shop.  Some were more enthusiastic about dressing up than others, but it seemed to work out OK, and the feedback from the audience was that the message was clear and simple and the neighbours enjoyed it. 

nativity play   nativity play

Tuesday evening (24th) was the main family celebration for Christmas in Argentina, so we were invited by friends to join them for the traditional back garden get together;

kids on Christmas eve  kids on Christmas eve kids on Christmas eve

Wednesday (25th) is more like boxing day here, it’s a day off and people tend not to do very much with it, particularly since this year the temperature hit 41.6 degrees, so the newspaper delighted in telling us this morning.  We saved our family presents for the 25th, our main present from everyone to everyone was a three metre diametre “pelopincho.”  Pelopincho is really a brand name, but like Hoover and Sellotape it has become the generic noun for the product, namely family sized paddling pools.  So we spent the morning assembling and filling it, and the afternoon playing in it;

new paddling pool   new paddling pool   new paddling pool

Thursday (26th) Today isn’t a bank holiday in Argentina, so most of the country goes back to work, apart from anything government related which won’t go back till February.  Joni is doing a swim school for an hour and a half in the mornings, and Danny is at nursery still, so I am making the most of the hour or so each day to get the child-free jobs out of the way.  While the UK is being battered by floods and gales, we are having apparently the hottest December for the last forty years, and much of Cordoba spent Christmas without electricity, in parallel with the South East of England.  The main difference is that here this morning they wheeled out a spokesperson for the electricity provider who set about blaming consumers for not informing the electricity company when they buy new electrical products.  Obviously trained in the school of “leaves on the line”, maybe we could post him across (if only for his own safety)?  Fortunately here in San Francisco our power cuts have mostly been  sporadic and short. 

And guess where we spent the afternoon again? 

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