It is a warm and humid Christmas Day here in Thailand. After some extensive cooking for last night’s Christmas Eve party with Tawn’s university friends (I’ll write about that tomorrow – homemade Lasagna Bolognese entirely from scratch!), I’m back in the kitchen today preparing maple-rosemary candied pecans for my mother-in-law and an apple pie for dessert tonight with American friends.
A week or so ago, Val wrote an entry wondering what everyone’s Christmas tree looks like. While we don’t celebrate it as a religious holiday, it is hard not to get caught up in the spirit – even here in Buddhist Bangkok. Perhaps especially here in Bangkok, where there are more holiday decorations and Christmas music than at a Minneapolis mall. Here is a look at our two trees:
The first tree is a potted one that looks pine-like, brought in for the season and simply decorated. It has spent the last six months resting up by the pool. Seriously, the condo maids felt that it wasn’t getting enough sun on the walkway outside our front door so they spirited it away to the pool deck, tending after it for us.
The second tree is an artificial one, pulled out from storage and given a more thorough decorating, graced with dozens of ornaments that hark back to my childhood, many of them handmade by my paternal grandparents. As I type this, some 166 holiday songs are shuffling on my iPod, my current favorite of which is the duet of the Frank Loesser song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Glee stars Chris Colfer and Darren Criss. Video here. Granted, it isn’t cold outside, but with the air conditioning on full blast, one can imagine.
After waking up about 7:30 I prepared a simple Christmas breakfast of baked eggs: stale bread cubes soaked in an egg-milk mixture, tossed with green onions, ham, and mozzarella cheese. After making a well in the bread mixture, I break an egg, sprinkle with salt, and bake for fifteen minutes.
This results in a warm and satisfyingly simple breakfast, accompanied by a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and a hot latte.
For all of our Christian friends and family members (as well as those who aren’t Christian but who enjoy celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday), we wish you the very warmest greetings and hope you and your loved ones have a happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful year ahead!