Christmas is a funny time of year for me. I give myself a lot of pressure to make real my visions of a perfect Christmas, with the perfect tree, the perfect presents, the perfect Christmas dinner where family and friends come together and for that one day a year, I envision nothing but smiles, abundance of gifts and food when in reality, things aren’t picture perfect. I’ve set the bar high therefore I suffer the repercussion of this. With that said, this is who I am and maybe I will change my ways or maybe I won’t. I have a feeling I will always do everything humanly possible to make my vision of a perfect Christmas come true. You know, it isn’t like this in many countries and maybe along the way I will adopt a less crazy approach to future Christmases. For now, here is my account of how my Christmas has been in Javea, Spain.
Let me tell you, having Christmas in sunny Spain isn’t bad at all. No shoveling snow or scraping ice off of my windshield but then again, I think global warming has affected places that typically have white Christmases.
I drove back to home-base in Javea, Spain from Saint Jean de Luz, France with a car loaded with gifts, confectionary and loads of cheese! Delicate cargo all part of the perfect Christmas image in my head. Organic turkey ordered and friends invited for Christmas lunch followed by an open house for friends to drop in for a bit of nibbles and fizz.
Two days in the kitchen, cooking with the windows wide open to let the fresh air keep the kitchen from overheating. Turkey was ready for pick up Christmas Eve, not a big turkey at all, probably the smallest turkey I have ever cooked but I’ve never been a fan of left-overs so this was ideal for me. My turkey recipe, that has never failed in Christmases past – sage and rosemary infused butter inserted and massaged between the flesh and the skin of the turkey then just because I can, I do the same, again with the herbed butter all over the skin of the turkey, stuff the cavity with onions, branches of rosemary and as much sage leaves that my little sage plant can spare. A full day of rolling, cutting, stuffing, and moulding delicate mini filipino inspired empanadas and searching the house for all my treasured serving platters and entertaining implements collected over the years.
Having grown up in Canada I still revel in the fact that I can enjoy the outdoors in such comfort at this time of year. Walking along the Mediterranean looking at the shimmering sea, sitting and enjoying a cafe con leche in an outdoor cafe, lunching with friends in old town in a warm cozy bar and my favorite, walking along the base of the Montgo, an elephant-head looking mountain that towers and guards the village of Javea. A perfect and imposing backdrop in an already naturally beautiful coastal village. The smell of nature and all the lush wild green pines, palms and cacti scattered along the landscape with the sea just in the distance. I think this will be a new picture perfect Christmas tradition I will add to my list – a “trek of thanks” I will call it, where I will be surrounded by fresh mountain / sea air, with family and friends giving thanks as we walk off all the Christmas excesses.