Christmas Dinner 2009 at Niall’s

We celebrated Christmas 2009 at Niall’s. He’s in his new apartment that a lot of us have not been officially invited to visit. His “Princess Bachelor Pad” (private joke) is finally ready after all the renovations and we convinced him that he needed a house-warming party one day. And we conveniently convinced him that Christmas party would be perfect.

Niall prepared the turkey – which was his first ever attempt at cooking something for a house full of guests. The rest of the meal was either store bought (Thank you, Dish) or prepared by our Master Chef Michael again. *wink*
The Christmas tree that was loaned from me and Geoff.
I helped Niall organise the Secret Santa gift exchange for the party. All gifts are anonymous (but can be disclosed should the Secret Santa wish to) and placed under the tree for the big reveal later in the night.
One of the few “furnitures” in the pad that most of the guests wanted to check out was the brand new pool table that was fitted instead of a dining table. The table was obviously a hit that day.
My artsy attempt at taking a picture of the pool table overlooking the Christmas tree.
For a first attempt at cooking turkey, Niall did a fantastic job at making the bird just perfect. Mostly thanks to Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cook that was on TV a few days ago and many of us watched it, he had many tips.
The delicious bird sitting on the serving block on the kitchen counter waiting for its grand entrance. It looks so appetising and I had to restrain myself from picking at it before mealtime.
One thing my stomach is not excited about is the leftover oil from the turkey. Although it’s all a part of making the bird more delicious and full of flavour, I don’t think my body will agree with this much oil.
I had a gall-bladder removal surgery over a year ago and my diet is very restricted when it comes to oil. Any type of oil, don’t matter if you tell me “Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good oil. You can literally drink it straight and it’s still good for your body.” After my surgery, oil is oil, no matter what oil. I get into massive diarrhea attacks and it’s not pleasant. But that’s a separate story.
The rest of the food sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be reheated for dinner later.
Yummy roast pork from Cold Storage butcher. You see, didn’t I tell you that “Siew Yoke” seems to be the meat of choice over Christmas?
When it was about time to serve dinner, everything started to turn into panicky mode. Most of the guests have organised dinner parties before on their own and immediately started helping out in the kitchen. Niall must actually be pretty happy with all the help he’s getting. Or maybe he’s just happy that his turkey turned out great and is happy to hand over the rest of the worrying to the other guests?
At one point, there were too many cooks in the kitchen and people had to be shoo-ed out. So I stood aside to let the experts take over. I am quite a culinary challenged person, honestly. Although I have organised my fair share of ahem… successful dinner parties (yes, me cooking for guests). In comparison to Niall (the novice), I actually know more to preparing food than him. I can’t help but give myself an invisible pat on the back. *grin*
The three “cooks” left in the kitchen. All Niall is concerned about is his turkey…
The spread was on the small tables by the side of the pool table. There’s no dining table, remember?
Everyone enjoyed their meal. There were a lot of leftovers, which I hope was nibbled and taken home by more guests.
In the absence of a dining table, we all dined around the coffee table. Lucky it was big enough to accomodate just the few of us.
Again, we played several rounds of Charades with boys versus girls. The girls were ahead for a while and it showed no signs of the boys ever beating the scores. Suddenly, things took a “nasty” (yes, nasty) turn and the scores even out. So no one won, but we all had a huge big laugh.
We took a break and started our Secret Santa gift exchanges. Some guests maintained anonymous while some chose to reveal themselves. The gifts were all under RM50 and we were given names of who we were buying for, all randomly selected and organised by yours truly. The purpose of this was not to impress but to just have fun.
Doug received some funny socks which he tried on immediately and gave us all a good laugh.
After that, Niall broke out the Christmas pudding which he burnt. In a desperate attempt to salvage what was left of the burnt pudding, he decided to add some whiskey and burn it some more.
What was passed off as dessert to the already drunk guests.
It all turned out great for the first party Niall’s every organised on his own. But as some of us would say, it’s not his party, really. He was just loaning his apartment for the party. Most of the organising was actually done by Mike, Elayn, Geoff and me.
Nevertheless, it was a success. Well done, everyone.
PS. Niall – your next party, you’re on your own.

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