One thing that is not the same here in Egypt, is Christmas. There are usually Christmas parties in the hotels and restaurants but besides that it is just a normal day.
It is very strange if you've always be used to celebrating Christmas. I always get a strange feeling that I just can't fathom. Home sickness? Sadness? I really don't know. It seems to just zap all my enthusiasm and va va voom.
One year, I went to a local restaurant and had a real Christmas Dinner. There was even Father Christmas handing out presents as you walked in and we had Roast Turkey with all the trimmings followed by Christmas Pud and a Mince pie. It's the nearest I've ever got to feeling "Christmassy" but yet the event still rang a little hollow for me.
Since the year 2000 I've counted that this will be the seventh Christmas I've spent in Egypt although not all in a row. In 2001 we travelled down to Aswan and spent the evening of Christmas Eve eating peanuts in the bar at the Old Cataract Hotel at the top of the cliffs overlooking the Nile. That was a goody!
I've spent another couple of Christmas's just ignoring it and another with a trip to the West Bank for lunch with my family "just to mark the day". However, whatever I've done, it never feels the same as a Christmas back in the UK. It is a feeling that you just can't recreate by simply roasting a turkey, putting up a tree and playing Christmas songs. At least I can't anyway.
Little RT has gone to the UK to be with his Grandparents so things are even more quiet than usual. So we won't be celebrating Christmas as such. I've got some Turkey breasts from the local supermarket. They seem to get them in for the expats here who do the whole Christmas thing so it makes a change more than anything.
I'm going to be making some English comfort food but sometimes that is what you need. I'll be making a Turkey and Leek pie with veg which could be described as Pub grub and the type of meal we never really eat here. I found a few Sweet potatoes in kitchen that needed using up so I decided to make an American favourite - Sweet potato pie! I just can't seem to say it without putting on a Southern American Drawl. Anyway, it's a common desert in the US at Thanksgiving and Christmas so I thought why not! A British Dinner and an American dessert... in Egypt. How multicultural can you get?
|My Sweet potato pie which doesn't photograph well at all.|
I've just realised that its a bit of a pastry overkill so perhaps the pie won't be dessert and just more of an in between meal snack. I think the SP pie is possibly a little overdone. It took ages to cook, it said on the recipe 50 minutes but it was still sort of wobbly after that time. I went upstairs and forgot about it so its a little "well done" round the edges which shows up even more in the photo.
I've given myself a couple of days off where I will allow myself to be more than a little thrifty with the housework, watch some DVD's, do a bit of Reading and be grateful when Christmas is over and the feeling that I just can't fathom, disappears.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.