If You Always Do What You've Always Done...Then You'll Always Get What You Always Got

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Traditions, Tweaked

Happy Christmas, everyone.  Yesterday was the first Christmas I had at home for a few years, and I went back to some childhood traditions - tweaked just a tiny bit.

This was the first year I can recall when I went to the midnight service, but no morning service, and didn't feel totally weird about not going to church on Christmas morning.  I had a tiny sleep in (not overly, as the toddler next door was awake and vocal relatively early).  I had yoghurt, coffee, and panettone with butter for breakfast (totally traditional).  I had a pamper session (new).  My brother came over, we indulged in more coffee, opened presents, contacted family...  Okay, now for the food.

There are some years when I go fancy for Christmas.  This year, though, I had an overwhelming urge to make my mum's chicken salad (frequently on the Christmas menu when I was a kid).  I had a vague recollection of the ingredients (and yes, I got them all correct) - I did check with mum in our Christmas phone conversation if I was about to get the proportions correct.  Here's my version from yesterday, with indicators of my tweaks for the day.  I only made it to serve 2 ish, but obviously when I was younger the quantities reflected the great horde of kids and adults eating.

300g chicken breast (we used to use a cooked chook)
approx 100mL sour cream
approx 100g natural or Greek yoghurt
a bit of Spanish style paprika, garam masala, turmeric, ground chillies, and ground coriander (mum would use curry powder, but I don't have any - I got the right sort of colour happening though.  For this amount of salad, I'd estimate it totaled about 2 teaspoons of spice)
about a cup of white, seedless grapes (I love grapes so I put in lots, plus quite a few to taste-test.  I recognise not everyone is such a grape-fiend, so some may prefer to use not quite so many)
about a cup of roasted pumpkin and sweet potato (last minute inspiration)

Put the chicken in a small saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to the boil over medium heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove from the heat, drain, and allow to cool.
In a medium serving bowl, mix together the sour cream and yoghurt.  Add the spices or curry powder.  Slice the grapes in half, and chop the roast vegetables so they're about 2cm cubes.  Add the grapes and vegetables to the yoghurt mix.  Shred the cooked chicken into the bowl, and mix thoroughly. 

(Great as leftovers the next day with some egg and cheese mixed in).  We had a Christmas-y salad of mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and mango as well.  And then dessert.  My brother suggested (I use the term loosely) I do a trifle.  Another tradition that has been somewhat neglected in recent years.  I won't share a photo, nor will I share my recipe (also, term used loosely).  I admit, I used all packet substances.  The cream in the fridge was maybe half a day too old, so we didn't risk it.  Result: one ugly yet tasty, alcoholic-y dessert.  In future, I'll find a recipe and follow it.  Promise.

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