Holiday Aventures pt.1

Ok folks, let’s back track a little and go back to last December! I’ve been meaning to blog about my winter break for a while now, so here goes!

December 22, 2010
My last shift of the term, working at one of the school libraries. The boss (head librarian) gave me a gift! It was so nice of her! I had only gotten her a card. If I knew she was going to get me something, I would’ve at least gotten her chocolates. Here’s what she gave me.

And this is what’s inside!

Canada mittens! Here’s a diff look.

I’ve actually been thinking of getting these mittens but I always thought, “$10? Nah.”

It was so very nice of her to get it for me!

December 23, 2010
This day was SOOOOOO LOOOONG. I had agreed to pick up my Waterloo friend on the way into Toronto and drive her home, pick YC up from the airport, and go to a family dinner around the Science Centre.

The day started with me finishing up my packing. I only packed for 5 days even though I was going to be away for 10 days. My family (in otherwords, I) planned a shopping trip in PA for the break so I was looking forward to wearing some new clothes. On previous breaks, I would always back a suitcase full of stuff I thought I needed. For this break, I was able to pack only carry-on! Hooray for me!

So, after loading up the car, I headed to my friend’s place to pick her up. After helping her load her stuff, we headed into Toronto. We hadn’t seen each other in a long while, so had a pretty good conversation. Our time together was further extended by the sucky traffic driving in. No accidents, no rush hour, no construction. So what held everybody else? Some people being pulled over on the shoulder, and an accident on the other side of the highway.

I f**king hate nosy people like that! Seriously! It gets all slow and congested cause these people just HAVE to slow down and look. Same thing happened this past weekend. I was driving into Toronto with Oatmeal, going at 110km/hr, then all of a sudden, a hard break from the car in front of me. I quickly break and wonder if there’s some traffic right ahead. Nopes. Accident on the opposite lane. This f**ker in front of me slows down to 20km/hr to get a good look at the accident in the other side of the highway. I wish I had a gun to shoot these people. It’s so dangerous for you to suddenly stop on the highway for no good reason! WTF is your problem???

Ok, rant over, moving on. I drove her all the way home to Markham, then headed to Pearson to pick YC up right after. By that time, I was driving upstream rush hour, so he had to wait a bit at the airport for me. Not only was I late, but I exited the wrong way and had to go all around the whole airport before stopping at the arrivals pick-up. Seriously, I’ve done this twice and still got mixed up. Let’s hope I have better luck this weekend!

So after that, I drive us both to dinner with the family. I drove non-stop from 1pm to 7pm that day. Oh my goodness, what a long day. At one point, I had to stop and pick up a bagel and iced cap. I was so very hungry.

December 24, 2010
Christmas Eve!!! I had been planning to cook my family a traditional Western Christmas dinner for a while now, so today was the day I bought the ingredients.

Do you know how hard it is to find a turkey that feeds 6? I think they assume you have at least 10 people coming to dinner, and they get bigger from there. The smallest turkey we could find was a frozen PC turkey that had been pre-stuffed and tied up, that came with gravy. Well, gotta work with what you’re given. =D

Also bought one of those huge tin pans that are made just for the turkey! I’ve never seen of such things, but they were very cool. Made me want to bake more turkeys to try them out. We also bought some powdered Swiss Chalet gravy, for the mashed tators I would be making. Mmm, Swiss Chalet gravy.

I had originally intended on making salad for my family, but I already had about 3 sides planned, plus the turkey came with stuffing! Christmas isn’t the time to be all healthy-like anyways (but it should be). I was also planning on getting a tiramisu cake from Metro, but the place closed right as we got there! Soo, we rushed over to one of my new favourite bakeries, L’Opera, and prayed they were still open. They were! I bought 6 mini cakes, and was given a free one.

At night, as per usual, my family went to the Christmas Eve mass at our church. We’ve been going to this mass for as long as I can remember. Never skipped a year. I thought we would this year, because my mom was going to come fancy adult dinner party. But nopes, “See you guys at church” she says. We didn’t even see them in the end. We were seated in different sections.

I really miss the tradition of having a tree and presents under it. When I was a kid, we put all the presents we received, under the tree. Then after Christmas Eve mass, we would beg our parents to let us open it cause it was ALREADY Christmas (Dec 24th, 1am)!! But they would always tell us to go to sleep and we would open them when we woke up. I really miss that.

December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas! I’m not sure when I woke up today. I think around noon? Well, had to put the turkey in as soon as I did. It took me a while to figure out which side of the turkey was which because it was all tied up and frozen up all ball-like. So my dad and I figured we’ll just turn it over after it defrosts a bit in the oven, if it was the wrong way. We didn’t have any problems with that.

I got started right away on my mashed tators. My other sides were canned corn and crescents. Crescents took about 20 mins to bake, so I figured I’d pop it into the oven with the turkey when it was almost done.

I think I figured out how to make mashed tators back when I was….15 probably. I had just started getting into cooking (watching the food network does that to you), so I was eager to try out new recipes. For some reason, with the mashed tators, I just added stuff as I went along. Of course now, I have it down, but I think I did a pretty good job back then (or my parents would’ve told me to stop making it).

Mashed tators a la Yuki
-a bunch of russet potatoes (however many you’d like. Always get less than what you think you’ll eat, I put a bunch of stuff in mine)
- 2-3 tbsp margarine (or butter if you prefer. I like using Becel) This is also about taste, add more if you’d like
- 1 cup table cream (or more if you like your tators creamier)
- 2 cups sliced button mushrooms (add more if you like, or less if you’re not a big fan. if you don’t eat mushrooms, find another recipe)
- salt and pepper
- oil (duh)

1. First you peel and dice the potatoes. Smaller the dices, the faster it cooks and easier it is to mash. If you’re too lazy for small cubes, that’s ok too.
2. Wash the cubes very well to try to get all the starch out of it. Lots of rinsing and washing the tators.
3. Put them in a big pot of boiling water. When it reaches the boiling point, but it on medium and let it simmer, stirring it occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
4. On a skillet, fry up the sliced mushrooms until they have reduced at least half in size and should be a much darker colour. Remove from the heat when it’s fully cooked. Oh yes, cook it with the salt and pepper.
5. The tators should be done when it’s translucent and looks like it’s flaking off the cubes. Drain these and put them in a large bowl.
6. Proceed to mashing them with a masher or a fork.
7. Mix in the margarine and cream. The mushrooms go in last.

And voila! You should have a yummy side dish. Goes great with Swiss Chalet gravy and canned corn.

The turkey? Well, we just took it out of the oven and cut it up. Here are some photos of result of my many hours slaving in the kitchen.

Mashed tators! A huge bowl of it. Next to a giant bowl of gravy.

Here’s the yummy corn. About 2 cans of it.

And my hand-rolled crescents.

My mom’s customer gave her cupcakes. They’re very cute, but I don’t eat vanilla cupcakes.

The mini cakes I bought for my family. Super yum.

And last but not least, the TURKEY.

Ew. It looks really gross cause my dad cut it up before I could take a picture of it. It was very yummy though! The gravy it came with was excellent. It brought me right back to my elementary school Thanksgiving luncheons. Tastes just like my childhood.

I definitely look forward to doing it again. Maybe next time I’ll have more pictures of my actual process.


About yuki

I'm pretty awesome.
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