— Piping hot cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning —
– Tree in the center of town —
– Sugar cookies galore —
– Tasty tree ornaments —
– Summer walks along the sunny Wellington harbour —
– Bright & festive red Pohutukawa blossoms —
– A crowd favorite: luxurious chocolate cream pie —
– Our humble but adorable baby pine tree —
– Beautiful roses blooming throughout December —
– A massive 1.4 kg beef tenderloin from a proper butcher —
– Preparing to assemble the Beef Wellington —
– Brushing English mustard over the just-seared beef —
– Ready to roll (puff pastry not pictured) —
– PERFECTION: A Beef Wellington, IN Wellington —
It’s been sometimes lonely, sometimes surreal, spending the Christmas season 8,000 miles away from home. But, as you can tell from the array of images above, I daresay we managed to keep our holiday spirits high. Christmas Eve, in particular, was a gorgeous, sunny, and warm summer day, and we ended the night with dinner and several glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier at the home of a new friend. Thanks to my determined mom and sister, I even had physical presents to open on the big day itself. What really sealed the deal was that absolutely massive fillet, which, with a touch of mustard, several feet of clingfilm, some determined smashing of hazlenuts using a rock from the front yard (no food processor to be found in our adopted kitchen), and, let’s be frank, a dash of Christmas magic, transformed itself into a buttery, flaky pastry-wrapped earthy, oozing, wood-spicy beef creation. I may not be in Texas for Christmas this year, but I still appreciate a damn fine piece of meat. Wherever you are, I hope you found your own ways of celebrating.
Here’s to more festivities, fireworks, and a parade on New Year’s Eve!
Photo credits: rolls, candy cane, chocolate pie, rose, and defrosting tenderloin taken by G. Remainder by me.