Last Friday I had a moment of panic, and asked my father if he had ordered the turkey for Christmas Eve dinner yet. Christmas Eve dinner is the big Christmas moment in the Philippines, oddly more than Christmas Day itself. He texted back, “I ordered early but they haven’t confirmed my order yet. Do you have another supplier?” I didn’t have one, and I had to go online to check out caterers. Fortunately he texted back a couple of hours later that our order was taken and was told when we could pick it up. We went to all this trouble because our oven thermostat is unreliable and can’t handle a roast. I heaved a sigh of relief. I could – maybe – relax a bit.

Do I feel prepared for this holiday season? Every year I feel unprepared. There always seems to be something left unbought, some place left unreserved, something left unordered. I’ve listed down the menu for Christmas and New Year meals. I’ll be paying a visit to the deli tomorrow. This year, though, I’ve managed to get some things done early. I’ve made reservations for my birthday lunch at the neighborhood Japanese restaurant, for the end of the year. There have been times in the past when I left it too late, and all the restaurants I wanted to dine at were fully booked. I’ve also remembered to order my birthday cake from our baker neighbor. My only problem now is where we’ll eat dinner on January 1, when many malls are closed. I’m sure we’ll think of a place in time.

I haven’t even watched Star Wars: Rogue One yet.

A part of me wants to stay in bed and hide under the covers, but adulting is necessary this Christmas, so yes, I’ll have that coffee now.

Daily Prompt: Relax



Till Westermayer from Freiburg, Germany, Bremer Klaben-01, CC BY-SA 2.0

On a whim I bought a fruitcake from the supermarket yesterday. It wasn’t to give away; I specifically bought it to eat. It’s the early days of Christmas, but I didn’t want to wait until we were inundated by holiday foods, to be able to appreciate the boozy, nutty, glazed-fruity goodness of a good fruitcake. Obviously I hadn’t had a good fruitcake in years. Our friends have sort of stopped giving away fruitcakes because 1) the fruitcakes were probably being re-gifted endlessly, or 2) the fruitcakes weren’t very good. The last time we were gifted a fruitcake, it was a beautifully decorated one from Cafe France which had a horrible texture. I hated it. To prevent us from being given the same thing the next year, we had to drop heavy hints that we appreciated another delicacy for a change.

I wanted a fruitcake like the ones we used to have when we were children. My father’s former secretary used to bake them, and we received one every Christmas until she got married and moved away. I loved the naughtiness of eating rummy cake when I was too young to drink alcohol. Bernie’s fruitcakes were rich and dark, and DRY. No crumbly wet messes of improperly aged fruitcake. That was my gold standard for fruitcake; the memory of it would echo in my mind each time the holidays came, and I would crave the taste.

So did the supermarket fruitcake measure up? Thankfully, it did! It was not as dark as I thought it would be, but that’s a minor quibble. It was DRY, the glazed fruit were evenly distributed throughout the cake matrix, it smelled good, and the texture of the cake was just right. It was nicely priced, too. I’m sorry there are no pictures. We demolished that cake in two sittings. I’m going to buy another one next week.

Daily Prompt: Echo