Ever since Matt and I met, we’ve spent Christmas in either Canada with my family or New Zealand with his. In addition to this being our first Christmas in London, it was also the first time it would be just the two of us. Most of our friends have family here in London so we weren’t quite sure what we’d do with ourselves.
Luckily, a couple we know (Leah and Jason) were in the same boat and we decided to organise an Orphans Christmas.
Matt’s sister gets a free turkey through work each year and since she would be in Vietnam, she offered it to us (thanks again, Sarah!). I wasn’t sure just how many people were coming and we had to order the turkey quite far in advance so I decided to go big or go home and got the biggest size available.
After weeks of worrying it wouldn’t fit in our oven, we picked up the bird on Christmas Eve. It was the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen.
(Now imagine me carrying that in a backpack on the Tube and a bus)
The rest of the day was spent decorating and cleaning our flat. We also continued my family tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve and our own of watching Love Actually (and possibly started a new one – drinking port).
At 8am Christmas morning, it was the moment of truth. While I prepared the stuffing, Matt had the (stomach turning…at least at that time of the morning) job of massaging the bird with butter and herbs. We manhandled it into the oven and it just fit. The foot part of the leg had been left on the bird and they touched the sides of the oven (I had to rip them off half way through cooking).
In between basting the turkey (hardest job ever when you DON’T have a turkey baster and have to use a measuring spoon instead), we opened our presents to each other.
Then our guests started to arrive! Our little gathering turned into a big group of 13 people and everyone was in charge of a dish. I think the plan kind of backfired when each person brought enough food to feed the entire group. There was an incredible amount of food! Just the appies were enough to fill everyone up!
I was so impressed with how much effort everyone put into the food, Christmas jumpers, and secret santa gifts. Even though most of us had only met for the first time that day, it really made it feel like Christmas.
Before we (had too much to drink and) dug into the turkey, we decided to take a ‘family’ photo.
And it wouldn’t be a family photo shoot without some outtakes:
Our second moment of truth came when deciding whether or not the turkey was ready. Thankfully at that point, there were a few more cooks in the kitchen to help with the decision.
It was time to dig in!!
In addition to the turkey there were salads, roast potatoes/sweet potato/pumpkin, 3 hams, and vegetables.
And then we all drifted into a food coma…
Thank you to everyone for making it a Christmas to remember!