Thursday, December 27, 2007


It was probably a bad sign that the only Christmas carol I enjoyed this season was Shane McGowan and Kirsty MacColl singing "Fairytale of New York". But when I was sitting at work on me tod on Monday morning, the carols on the ABC were just wearing me down. There are only so many damned silver bells one can cope with.

I'm not sure whether it was related, but Christmas dinner got off to a bad start this year. I think it was because before it was cooked, it looked like a vacuum-sealed arse. I mean really, doesn't this look like something you'd see pressed up against the passenger window of a Torana?

After last year's debacle, I'd lost the taste for turkey. The wings are always singed, the legs are usually over-cooked and no-one really likes cranberry sauce because it tastes like strawberry jam. I'd blocked out the full horror and was just left with a little voice in my subconscious that kept whispering, "Chicken's nice. Cool chicken."

"Mmmm," I thought, "Boned chicken stuffed with yummy gear like bits of cured pig and bread." (Not, of course, remembering that I'd done the bits of cured pig and bread thing last year when I cooked Big Bird.)

The butcher (yes, yes, the same bloody butcher as last year - I never learn!) said that he only had chooks that were about 2.4kg before boning. This boning had absolutely nothing to do with Eddie McGuire or any other Channel Nine exectuive. I should also point out that I'm bad with spacial things. I failed all forms of mathematics and 2.4kg really doesn't have much meaning for me. According to the vet's scales, Mr Furpants weighs just under 7kg, so 2.4kg can't be that much. Pffft.

So I wandered down to the butcher to collect two boned chickens on Pissmas Eve. Fark, it was like deja poultry! I dragged the mass of flesh home and rearranged the fridge to accommodate it without actually looking into the bag. As you do. There are other things to do on Pissmas Eve - drinking, for one.

Pissmas morning, I dragged out the mass of chook again in preparation for stuffing and found it was actually a vacuum-packed bum. Chicken my arse - it was more like pressed ham. But I busted the chicken/bum out of the heavy-duty cling-wrap and set to. Usually, a boned chicken is quite easy to deal with, but for some reason, this butcher had been far, far too thorough. In fact, by the time I'd jammed it full of stuffing and tried to reshape it, it looked something like a Size 00 Wondersuit full of mince that had been mauled by a shark. Or perhaps just a headless, plucked penguin. Take your pick.

Me (phone, Mama Cap): "Gaaaahhhh!!! What do I do with it NOW?!"
Mama Cap: "Shove the stuffing in. Roll it up. It'll be fine."
Me: "Gaaaaahhhhh! I tried! It looks like a dead baby!"
Mama Cap: "Oh GOD. Not again."
Me: "And I'm out of disposable surgical gloves. You know I don't like to touch meat if I can help it. Do you have any?"
Mama Cap: "Yes, I'll bring gloves. What time are we having lunch again?"
Me: "An hour after you get here, I guess. Stephanie Alexander says it takes 45 minutes to an hour to roast a boned, stuffed chicken."
Mama Cap: "Didn't you decide last year she didn't know what she was talking about?"
Me: "Er, ye-e-ess..."

Why, in the name of Ford I didn't reread last year's Pissmas poultry post to refresh my memory before I started cooking this year, I'll never know. Obviously I'd just blocked out the full horror. Stephanie Alexander has now reached the top of my 'To Kill. Slowly' list. How that woman has sold so many cooking bibles is beyond me - none of her recipes work. Ever. I swear she leaves out ingredients and changes cooking times so that nothing goes right and you end up thinking, "Well, I guess I'm crap and Stephanie is just fantastic. Oh well. It wouldn't have been the recipe!"
Anyway, while I was waiting for Mama Cap and Big Sis to arrive to rescue the meaty section of Pissmas dinner (I can cook vegies - it's just animals that aren't minced or stewed that I can't deal with), I started making yummy little nibbly things. Said nibbly things were supposed to be slices of baguette with cream cheese, smoked salmon and Spanish onion with cracked black pepper. And it would have gone quite smoothly had I not seen this when I opened the cream cheese:

That's just wrong. Really, what the hell is it? A face with a very long nose? Very small, lop-sided boobs? I don't know, but by the time I'd seen that and the bum chickens, I was pretty much gone. Bloke had to bring me a stiff drink to calm me down. But then Bloke has also picked up the nasty habit of saying, "Speak up, O toothless one!" every time someone farts, which just kills me every time. He got it from one of his Saffie pals. ~snort~ Toothless one. ~snicker~

Anyway, the chicken was fine in the end, despite me thinking it was cooked when it was still largely raw. We (I) just had another (large) drink and then we (everyone else) had some more salmon and cream cheese thingies and everything was great. Actually, it was. No-one got smacked at the dinner table. The crackers contained the usual shite like a keyring with a picture of a retarded kid squeezing a cat, a manicure set and a small box of cardboard dominoes rather than a dead mouse, which is always a bonus. The pudding was (probably) lovely, since Mama Cap made it, but I despise Christmas pudding, so I can't really say. And Mr Furpants didn't bring back any half-dead rats while we were all sitting outside enjoying the twilight.

Ahh, Pissmas. Does it get any better?

Don't answer that.

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At 6:05 am, December 28, 2007, Anonymous ali g said...

~snort~ toothless one ~snicker~?
too much too much.. stomach now hurts. Had [of course] to go back and read your last years adventure with the turkey.[stomach hurts more]
Maybe next year you should try the roast chicken with can of beer up its bottom [a la T. Park]. Could be more clinical than the fisting one has to do whilst telling the chook to lay back and think of mother England.

At 11:23 am, December 28, 2007, Blogger The Blakkat said...

Did you say that grandpa arse in a bag was a chicken/two chickens? Really?! Wow.

Hope you had a good one, anyway. Toothless one ~he he~ I'll be sure to use that one somewhere...

At 5:54 pm, December 28, 2007, Blogger River said...

Here's an idea, next christmas ask your mum to bring the chook already cooked, that'll free up your time for more drinking, er, vegetable cooking...
Glad you all had a good day.

At 7:25 pm, December 28, 2007, Blogger phishez_rule said...

Well now I know what my arse would look like if I shrink wrapped it.

At 7:53 pm, December 28, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

ali g, I read Tony's beer bird post just after I posted this and I was thinking a the time, "Sounds way easier."

blakkat, yup, that grandpa arse is two chooks.

river, not my turn next year! Ha! It's either Big Sis or Number One Brother. I'll just take something simple like lemon delicious pudding and consider myself lucky. (I can cook puddings.)

phish, I think it's also what mine would look like if I shrink-wrapped it. I said to mum, "Looks like a bum," but she wasn't quite getting it (she had a stroke four years ago and sometimes words don't come easy), so I turned around and held the whole shrink-wrapped horror over my bum. She got it straight away then.

At 10:38 am, December 29, 2007, Blogger PetStarr said...

Ha!!! Brilliant! Dead babies for a meal and mysterious toothless ones burping around the dinner table. I love it.

At 12:08 am, December 30, 2007, Blogger tonypark said...

I see what you mean, now. It really does look like someone mooning through the rear window of a car.

I got "Best Birding in the Kruger National Park" for Christmas, because Mrs Blog couldn't think of anything else to buy me.

If only I'd known of the existence of a robot vacuum cleaner.

I want one, and I'm going to call it it Linda Lovelace-curtains.

At 9:40 am, December 30, 2007, Blogger Milly Moo said...

LOL - you had me at 'vacuum sealed arse' and 'Torana' and killed me of at 'toothless one'.

I felt like a honoured guest at your table - hilarious stuff!

At 10:45 am, December 30, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

pet, Pissmas is all class at our place, mate.

tony, isn't the book a bit more useful though? I don't know how a robot vacuum cleaner would deal with canvas.

At 5:45 pm, December 30, 2007, Blogger Jacob said...

"Vacuum-sealed arse."

You're funny.

At 9:12 am, December 31, 2007, Blogger Hungry Hungry Hypocrite said...

Fine wrap of the day Ms Red. It sounds like you live in a serial killer world of cleaning robots and people packing hacked-off posteriors into those vacuum cleaner powered space bags they bought off telly. My Christmas - tasty meat and booze free (maison sparkling apple juice anyone?) thanks to bro in law.

At 4:09 pm, December 31, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

milly, heh - my table isn't a place you want to be unless the local Thai place is delivering.

jacob, as opposed to the smoked, fresh and Tandoori varieties.

h3, Christ, I don't know how you did it. Alcohol is the whole reason for Pissmas!

At 5:27 pm, December 31, 2007, Blogger Ms Smack said...

hahahah totally looks like some penguin or baby mauled by something!

Hilarious story. Um, I did a frozen turkey breast roll and it was delicious. Hate bones. Love turkey.

Happy New Year, Redcap.

At 7:02 pm, December 31, 2007, Anonymous ali g said...

Just spent the last 2.5 hours reading past 2007 blogs of yours dear Red..thats after a full day getting ready for guests, mowing acres of lawn, running the winery cellar door next door, feeding 6 dogs, 5 cats et al so all can say is thanks for your wonderful humour and heart warming funny stories which have finished off the year with a good all round feeling. Have a wonderful new years eve and we all look forward to your writings for 2008.
You should really look at writing full time and getting published. You're very good at stuff
Grahame & Kate

At 7:03 pm, December 31, 2007, Blogger Scorpy said...

Happy New Year Red :)

At 11:33 pm, December 31, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

ms s, yeah, boneless is so the way to go. Unless it looks like pressed bum. I hope turkey roll looks better...

ali, why thank you, old sport :) Don't tell anyone, but I do earn a crust with my pen. Not like Tony does, of course, but after a fashion. Hope all is well in Mudgee with you and your good lady this fine evening.

scorpy, thanks mate. All the best for and your LLs too xx

At 3:56 pm, January 01, 2008, Anonymous Teddy said...

Geez, and I phone you for cooking advice---remind me, why?
Ok, come on Red, you know that you are quite domesticated when it comes to the culinary arts--ok, cleaning and ironing arent your forte.
I keep telling you about the Turkey breast rolls---even I can do it--thank God--cos I aint got the family to ring and phone a friend isnt looking good.
Ok, yes I'm a guy, so I have a different outlook on the cream cheese pattern--erm--ah, anatomy 101---female

At 12:11 pm, January 03, 2008, Blogger hazelblackberry said...

Stephanie's recipe for cocount ice is really easy and it works. Otherwise, yeah, she totally sucks.

At 9:12 pm, January 04, 2008, Blogger Steph said...

Methinks you should steer clear of the feathered variety this year and go for something simple like ham or pork.

At least it was edible I guess. Happy 2008!

At 9:46 pm, January 05, 2008, Anonymous Kate said...

I loved the "Size 00 Wondersuit stuffed with mince" description - that was gold.

At 12:46 pm, January 07, 2008, Anonymous SMK said...

That exposed dead chicken looks disgusting. Oh my dizzy sensibilities. Happy new year and have fun os. Love to the Bloke, SMK

At 3:18 pm, January 07, 2008, Blogger kiki said...

i could tell you what i think that cream cheese looks like, but that would be x rated

At 10:54 am, January 09, 2008, Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

Those pictures have put me off food for life.

At 1:14 am, January 13, 2008, Anonymous mishmosh said...

There's too many classic moments in here to list in the comments, but I was crying with laughter. Teeeeaaaars!


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