The kids straggled into Aizu – Lucy arrived from Sapporo on Dec 19th, Alex and Emma arrived after midnight on Dec 22nd; they started their journey on Dec20th! Emma was vey tired having traveled from New York on 19th Dec at 11.30pm California time!! Liza arrived on Dec 26th and Steve got in Dec 28th.
We delayed Christmas Dinner til Liza got in but on Christmas day itself, we had salmon with mash potatoes and peas. The salmon was very salty! We had bought salmon pieces that had already been salted and I marinated them with soy sauce!
A few days before Christmas I had bought three whole chickens for US$28. Scrawny birds, so on Dec 27th, I roasted two of them, because only two chicken could fit into our microwave cum oven. It was trial and error using this Japanese oven – every 19 minutes I had to restart it. I am sure there is a way to make it go beyond 19 minutes but I have no clue how to do it!! The end result was two very moist delicious chirkeys. They were free range chicken, we think, because there was not much fat and the skin was so thin.
For veggies, I had bought three packets of green beans – 10 to a packet for $2 each packet! And carrots. I forgot the one sweet potato I bought so that is still on the counter somewhere. I mashed the potatoes with wasabi which was delicious. For gravy, we could not use any drippings cos we did not see much of it and we did not have any Bovril or bisto. Bovril used to be meat extract from England but is now mainly some form of yeast and cow tasting black goo. After the mad cow disease scare, I think they switched the ingredients to veggies or I dunno what…but Dave grew up on it and loves it still. Bisto is also English for gravy coloring and thickening. And we did not have any of those here, so Dave made gravy using chicken stock – he complained that it was too white; so I told him to make a roux from scratch and it was great . SO now we could have our gravy – dark gravy and eat it too!!
Dessert was apple pie since I have not seen any pumpkin. I also baked some mince pies with the one bottle of mince meat (which is actually chopped fruits you guys!!). So, check out our picture with our Christmas tree in my arm- gotta be the smallest tree that we have ever had!!