December 23rd dawned bright, sunny and cold at -7°C. It is Saturday so we went to the market to get some more snacks and things for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Chris will be here tonight and we want to be ready. We bought a Dutch almond cake, but struck out on the other things on our list. This can happen at the Saturday Market where the same products are not always available. So we went on to the Old Farmers Market on the Trans Canada Highway for some veggies and to the super market for some more snack food.
Then Shelagh helped me find her a Christmas present. I tend to buy her things that don't work out, so she gets to pick, then I buy and wrap, then on Christmas morning she opens her presents and acts surprised! Everybody wins...
The new kitchen, ready for its first workout...
We got home and settled in to a couple of episodes of "Suits" on Netflix. A great series that we started watching a couple of weeks ago at our air B&B. We had just finished the second show when the phone rang. It was Chris, he was in Duncan quite a bit earlier than expected. He managed to re-schedule his ferry reservation. He was at the local Jysk store where he bought an air mattress, as ordered, and wanted an escort to the house from the store because his "smart" phone would not boot up google maps! All too happy to oblige we headed out to the store to learn that his car would not start! As it turned out the car ran out of gas just as he turned off the ignition... At 35 years old one would expect a person not to run out of gas... But as I recall I married ex wife number two at that age, so no harm done!!! We went to the local gas station and got a jerry can full, juiced up his car and the whole thing became history pretty quickly. We had a wonderful evening with Chilli con Carne for dinner and some wine and beer. Chris was tired from a heavy Christmas dinner party with the Seaforth Highlanders Armoury the night before, so after dinner and a beer he called it a night and became our first house guest. On Sunday we took him on a tour of the surrounding area.
Sunday dawned overcast but not snowing. Shelagh prepared a delicious breakfast of ham and eggs baked in a muffin tin with some cheese, parsley and Hollandaise sauce. For someone who hates to cook, she did great. After some coffee and tea we headed out the door to show Chris the coastline of the Cowichan Valley. Starting in Mill Bay then northbound through Cowichan Bay, Maple Bay, Crofton, Chemainus and Ladysmith. He understood right away why we chose this valley as our new home. It being Christmas eve day most of the towns were quiet and most shops closed, but it was still wonderful to see the towns. We came home and I made some ham and cheese buns for lunch, the rest of the day we spent relaxing before the mayhem of Christmas day was upon us.
These were delicious!
Even on a cold grey day Maple Bay is amazing.
Christmas morning came lazily, we slept in 'till 08:00 and we waited with coffee for Chris to get his butt out of bed, he came upstairs at about 09:30 saying that he had been up for ages playing his online game "Destiny 2". Well, bacon and eggs were made, showers were taken and we got into the business of Christmas morning. We relaxed and chatted the morning away. Nobody seemed interested in opening presents, that did not happen 'til the afternoon. After a lunch of snacks and junk food we got into the spirit and ripped the wrapping. We were all properly spoiled.
For Chris five Vimy Ridge commemorative coins and a camping stove, for Shelagh new slippers and for me a solid maple carving board.
Then I got onto the business of cooking dinner. It's not easy for me to cook turkey, I don't like turkey, I find it totally tasteless and boring, but it got done in our new oven which has a probe system to make sure the bird is cooked properly. The instructions for the oven said to insert the probe in the thickest part of the breast, but reality suggests that the thigh would be a better place for temperature monitoring. This is the problem with turkey, when the white meat is perfect the dark meat is under cooked. Next time, if there is one, I will cut the turkey into parts and cook the dark meat longer than the white. Still, dinner was great and there were lots of leftovers.
Boxing day, who came up with that name? We were all a bit done with extravagant breakfasts so Shelagh just cut up some apples and bananas for us to munch on. I got the turkey all cut up for sandwiches and the dark meat went back into the oven to cook some more. Then all the bones went into a large pot to make stock. Eventually that will become a hearty pea soup. We spent the day being lazy. I made turkey sandwiches for lunch. And, then just like that, it was time for Chris to go home. He had a good time here, next time he'll find the house more done up, with pictures on the walls. A job that we will now start in earnest. We had left over turkey dinner, and I must admit that we're both quite turkeyed out. There is still more but it will go into the freezer for another day...
Chris texted at 21:30 "Home now", good boy!
That wrapped up Christmas, not our best or prettiest, but despite the moving chaos it turned out not bad at all. We hope yours was awesome!