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Christmas in Corona Times

No hours spent on trains and buses on Christmas Day this year, the Corona restrictions and common sense made it impossible to travel to the Netherlands to spend Christmas with my family… Instead, I just made the best of it alone at home, trying to recreate a family Christmas as much as possible.

It started of course with a Christmas brunch! I didn’t go through the trouble of creating some—impossible to find here—Limburgish sausage rolls, but just baked some croissants, and had a couple of slices of Christmas stollen.

The previous day I baked my very own kersttulband for the very first time, and it turned out quite well!

Obviously I had to make Christmas dinner myself as well, if I wanted to have a meal at least similar to that of my family. I also set up my computer, so I could at least virtually pull up a chair and sit down at the family table. 

Camera ready, lights, microphone: check!

Our traditional starter is a crab cocktail, and I had La Source‘s Auroch with it. I would have preferred a witbier or a Hefeweizen, but I didn’t have any left, and this Flanders red ale actually worked quite well. Just like a Rodenbach served with shrimps in Ostend! It had some sweetness like the cocktail sauce, and the acidity helped cut through the fat.

I skipped the usual soup, the accompanying beers are enough liquid for this meal already, it gave me some time to put the final touches on my main.

So my main dish—just one, not two,  unlike my family on the other side of the screen—was a stuffed turkey roulade, with a side of potato pine cones, some apple sauce, and a chicory salad. I picked Brouwerij ‘t Verzet‘s Kameradski Balsamico to drink with it, a beer that nicely echoed the honey-apple-balsamic glaze on the turkey. 

For dessert I deviated from the family menu, and went all British with some oven heated mince pies. Since I never made or even had those before, I just bought them at my local Waterstones book store, bizarrely the most convenient place to get some British food products in Brussels…

I just recently learned mince pies can be also served with toppings, and lacking any custard or double cream, I added a white chocolate coated ice cream bar… I know it looks like a stick of butter, but it was actually quite delicious once it melted a bit.

With this dessert I had a Meesterstuk (2018) BA Early Times Bourbon by Jopen: its caramelly sweetness matched that of the mince pies, and was some bourbon-oak vanilla flavour to go with the vanilla ice.

Normally the last course would be a cup of coffee with some Belgian pralines, but the quadruple lasted long enough to cover that stage…

Merry Christmas everybody! 

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