Monday, 29 December 2008

Christmas in Moscow

This year I found myself celebrating Christmas in Moscow with my friends and sadly not at home with family, however if you are now preparing yourself for a sob story post you need not bother Christmas this year was amazing and without a doubt one of the best experiences I have had here in Moscow. I kicked Christmas off by watching a Russian copy of the ‘Grinch who stole Christmas’ and heading off to Midnight Mass at St. Andrew’s Church Moscow. It was wonderful to hear carols and see the church decorated with beautiful candles, made me feel very Christmassy!
Christmas morning then dawned bright and snowy for me I spent the morning opening my stocking and my presents from my family it felt good to know that even though I am miles away my family they had thought to send me presents. After this I headed off through the snow to meet my friends so we could buy the things for our Christmas meal and then head to my friends’ flat to prepare it.
Amazingly we managed to find everything we needed- potatoes, carrots, parsnips and even sprouts! It did however take us a while to try and work out which herb was which and then try to select the right one of the stuffing. The trouble probably would have been solved very quickly if we had had the forethought to bring a dictionary but there we go.
After avoiding the pikey gypsies, the angry babushka and surviving the mashrutka trip we arrived at Martin and Aqil’s flat where we spent a very happy afternoon preparing the meal. Martin and Aqil had managed to find turkey, prawns, gravy, a Christmas pudding and a recipe for a Marie-rose sauce so everything was sorted.
It was only upon beginning to cook our meal that we realised one small problem- there was only one shelf in the oven and everything bar the sprouts needed to be roasted. So we had an emergency rethink over a jar of bucks fizz, yes that’s right you did read that correctly a jar as there weren’t enough glasses in the flat (proof can be found on Facebook). So we decided to fry the turkey in small pieces, boil and roast the spuds then fry them to finish off and roast the parsnips and stuffing on the same tray. Sorted.
After about four or so hours of cooking the meal was ready and we sat down to our starter with a jar of wine, then our mains. Presentation may have been lacking but the taste was sublime and best of all no one got food poisoning the next day. :P Our dinner was interrupted briefly as relatives and friends from the UK called to wish us a Merry Christmas but no one minded.
Having eaten we settled down to some party games and even managed to find a copy of the Queen’s speech online, it felt just Christmas at home especially as while we were cooking we managed to have a proper Christmas argument.
The Russian Christmas experience was finished on Boxing Day with a long walk through the snow around Sparrows’ hill and Moscow State University and followed by a dinner of Turkey Curry. It felt just like being back home in Cheltenham.

No comments: