It's Christmas time. It's Christmas time. Dupa dupa doo it's Christmas time. (Put whatever melody you would like to that and it is probably how I sang it.) Today is Christmas Eve Day and we are going to take on the task of cooking a turkey. This is going to be the first time I try my hand at cooking something so large. I just hope that our little oven can handle a 6 kilo turkey. I have learned over the years that in Peru it is most common to send your turkey off to a bakery or restaurant oven to have it cooked since most people don't want to waste their gas from their ovens. I also think it might have more to deal with the fact that the majority of stoves here are not very big and some don't have the oven part. Anyway, it isn't a bad idea but you lose out on basting the turkey. It is also not guaranteed that you will have a moist turkey since the people who are cooking your turkey won't be so preocupied with seasoning it and caring for it like you would. So today is the day to see if I can make something delicious!
It is customary in Peru to open all your presents at midnight. Santa is a concept here, mostly in decorations and a Santa's workshop at the mall, but most families don't go to the trouble of perpetuating the story of Santa by making kids wait until the morning to open their gifts. Everyone has a nativity scene and at midnight you put the baby Jesus in his bed of hay. It's cute and I like the idea of adding new animals every year to the nativity scene. Also, people put up some really nice decorations, at least on the villa militar. However, the person who invented musical lights needs to be fired. They are non-stop and high pitched. They ruin great Christmas songs and if there are multiple strings playing at once it is a jumble of noise that makes you want to rip all of them out of the socket.
I digress. I have decided that while I like the Christmas traditions here, I would also like to add some of my traditions from growing up. One of those is going to be filling the stockings. Even if we decide to open presents at midnight, the stockings will be filled by Santa at the very least. This tradition will happen when there are children in the picture but we do have a stocking up for us and for Pepe, our dog. I am also going to make my great grandmother's coffee cake on Christmas Day morning. Since Christmas Day is pretty anti-climactic since all the presents were opened the night before, most people sleep in nice and late. That is perfect for me. I can take my time with making breakfast. I also plan on getting my hands on a re-fillable advent calendar because those are always super fun as a kid and I have not seen any here.
What about the religious aspect of Christmas you say? Well, Christmas was originally a pagan holiday and the church decided to add it onto their customs and assign it as the day of birth of Jesus Christ. I am not a Catholic nor a practicing Christian but I do believe in the idea of celebrating love and compassion and spending time with family. I think that Christmas is about taking time to be thankful and I am very very thankful. I have my husband and his mother is in town for the week. My brother and sister in law with their daughter will come over as well. I will skype with my family back in the States and we will eat lots of Paneton. Oh yeah! Paneton is another great tradition here in Peru. I know I wrote about it last year in Cusco but Paneton is like fruitcake but bigger and so much better. It is sweet bread with fruit pieces in it. (More like gummy fruits). It is accompanied by hot chocolate no matter how hot it may be outside in Lima. I love it and I can't get enough of the stuff which is dangerous because one paneton will give at least another pound or two of body weight. Haha! It's worth it!
|Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!|