Christmas Week

By - December 29, 2006 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

The finished meal: (clockwise from the turkey) Turkey with red wine gravy, Parmesan roasted parsnips and sweet potato, Port and cranberry sauce (totally delish and my favorite of everything), Sausage, sage and onion stuffing, and Pancetta, Parmesan and lemon stuffing rolls.

Christmas was quiet chez Al & Drew. I cooked, we feasted and drank our bubbly and had turkey sandwiches and cake from Wittamer (which Andrew forgot to take a picture of) and we’ve been recovering ever since. We got to talk to our families on Christmas which was nice. Andrew has been working from home all week and we’ve both been generally lazy.

On Boxing Day my doorbell rang and I assumed it was the mailman with a package from home that I had been expecting. Well, it was the mailman, he did have a package for me, but it was not the one I was expecting at all.

My dear friend Cheri had sent me a beautiful teapot that is now gracing the centre of my dining room table. I didn’t have a proper teapot here and this on is beautiful. Thanks honey, I love it!

Yesterday, the bell rang again and this time it was the box my mom had told me she sent us, despite my insistence that they not send us gifts. My mom subscribes to the belief that you have to have something to open on Christmas – and open we did. Although the Belgian postal system did its best to delay our package, it was a great Christmas surprise.

The package included some apple cider spice, a DVD and a CD of ocean sounds (which if I turn up loud enough to drown out the airport noise, I can almost imagine I’m at the Bay of Fundy again.) There was also a track suit and fuzzy socks for me (my work uniform you know…) and a lovely shirt for Andrew (stain resistant – she either knows my husband well or is just in the habit from Dad.) There were also a bunch of books Mom’s been collecting for me so I can continue reading the mystery series I love. Andrew also got an ‘executive marble game’ to pay while on boring conference calls and we received a book on ‘Living with a Neurotic Cat’…. (But what about when you have four?) And the crowning touch… a lobster ornament for our tree.

It was great and we loved it all. Thank you so much!

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
- 1 day ago


  1. Comment by christina

    christina December 29, 2006 at 18:59

    Awww, that’s so nice! My mother sent a parcel (same “no presents” rule but she just can’t help it) way before Christmas, she said, and it’s still not here even though our cousins in England got theirs a week and a half ago. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. 🙂
    Your meal looks fantastic too!

  2. Comment by expatraveler

    expatraveler January 5, 2007 at 03:37

    Now that cranberry sauce looks awesome! If I could eat an entire bowl of it I would… Yummy And yes I guess shoveling rain isn’t so hard but when you have weeks upon weeks of the stuff it does get old. Apparently our normal weather has migrated to Toronto as we keep having snow here, usually just missing our place (We are just above sea level)…

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