My Christmas Eve

It’s not even 10pm but I feel exhausted as if I had stayed up the whole night.  I have put away most of the Christmas fare we had for dinner, (early noche buena) but I’m too tired to start putting away the leftovers.  So I’m here at the dining table blogging in the dark while listening to Jed Madela’s “Perfect Christmas”.  I had a little wine but not enough to get me tipsy.  I’m just plain tired from two days of cooking and wrapping gifts and putting up cards on the wall.

The boy has opened all his presents, and he’s enjoying his DVD of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three while clutching his Star Wars Ultimate Anakin FX Lightsaber.  There are at least half a dozen other toys but they are too many to mention.  He tries to feature them online via his Youtube channel, The Angelo Report.  (We still can’t quite figure out how he can have one video with 135,000+ views and another with over 50,000!)  The important thing is that he is happy, and happier still that his handmade Christmas frame from school with a picture of him in it is my favorite present this year. =)

Please excuse the grainy pic but I have no energy to grab the camera beyond the blackberry.  Isn’t he just handsome?  He tries to have me rock him like a baby but I keep telling him he’s now too big to be carried that way.  He still insists.  And I still try.  But he’s growing up soooo fast.

It’s these precious occasions when we connect in a different way as only a mother and her son could that makes all the hard work worth it.  He loved the roast chicken when it was cooling but gave it a thumbs down at the dinner table.  Sigh.. picky eater that he is, I am still trying to get him to eat more.  Fortunately, he is a carnivore and took to the chateaubriand instead.  (I veered away from the prime rib roast this time around and stuck to the smaller serving of beef, wrapped in bacon.)

I might opt for take out for New Year’s eve.  Right now I’m just thinking of the champagne, crackers, cheese, pate — and I’d be happy.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Getting the Noche Buena going

ATC: Christmas Ornament no. 6 - Red and GreenThe leche flan is done, the bolognese is simmering on the stove.  It’s an almost tomato-less recipe except for the two tablespoons of tomato paste, and no garlic.  It does use a cup and a half of whole milk and around 2 hours of simmering.  I wanted to get this done for tomorrow’s lasagna.  The chateaubriand should be a breeze (I hope..) and there’s a roast chicken to complete the meal.  I think I’ve got a good headstart.

Angelo and I wrapped the gifts just before dinner and we’re all set.  Tomorrow, I’ll help him tape the holiday cards we got along with the Artist Trading Cards I received in the swaps (around 30 more or less) on the upstairs landing like we always do.  It’s so heartening to see my 8-year-old all excited about the holidays.  He had made a gift for me which he has been prodding me to open since yesterday, but which I told him I’d like to save for when we actually open the gifts.  I told him that is my favorite gift of all.

It’s been a busy, busy day for me.  I have an inch-long burn on the backside of my right hand as it hit the “roof” of the oven when I took the llaneras of leche flan out.   It still stings a bit but I simply put some toothpaste to help “cool” the surface immediately after, and now I’m good even if I feel a tenderness and sensitivity around the area.  Hazards of cooking.

One more hour of simmering and a quarter of a cup of milk more to go, and I can start cooling the bolognese.  It’s a little bland for even my bland preference, but I’d rather wait until the end to adjust the taste with seasoning because I’m skimming the fat off of the top before I add the milk two to three tablespoons at a time.

It’s noon in Manila right now, Christmas eve.  I miss Mom and the siblings who must all be busy getting the noche buena ready.  We’ll probably talk later, closer to their midnight.  It would’ve been nice to spend Christmas in Manila — but I’m not complaining.  It’s nice to be spending Christmas in New York again, more so since Angelo has grown so much and is now actually participating in preparing for the holiday.

He’s promised to get me a sketch book for my next Art Journal. =)  That’ll be a trip to Barnes and Noble sometime during the holiday.  My boy is telling me to pick something I want and he’ll pay for it.   So I turned to him and asked if he would still do that — take me shopping and pay for it when I’m older.  Yes, he said he would — as long as I show him what I’m getting before he pays.  (Makes sense if he’s picking the tab..)

I have my tiny queso de bola (but the original “Pato” brand) and some sliced ham.  We’re not really big on that, but I will cook up some tsokolate tomorrow for breakfast on Christmas day itself.  I’m tired but very happy I accomplished what I have on the day I planned it.  It lessens the stress of tomorrow considerably.

Merry Christmas, everyone!