A Happy Boxing Day one and all! For some, this day is about serious power-shopping (and all the power to you!) but for us, it’s another excuse to wear robes, eat all the chocolate we got in our stockings, and do a whole lotta nothin’.
Judging our activities yesterday, you’d think we’d gone to the Treat Yo’self University and passed with flying colours. We started off in my parents’ room, eating the gorgeous sweetbread our friend Edith made for us.
This is an essential Anderson Family Christmas Morning Tradition, and it tasted especially delicious this year.
There was some fun-with-physiotherapy as my sister (a physio grad student) examined my dad’s knees. She also gives massages. It’s awesome.
My sister and I both opted for benedict – she the West Coast with smoked salmon ($14.99) and I the Florentine ($12.99) – while my mom had the Farmer’s Bavarian Sausage Breakfast ($13.99) and my Dad had the YVR burger with beef barley soup ($13.99 + $1.99).
My favourite of the two was the West Coast, though it would have been that much better with the addition of capers and sliced red onion.
The service at Koho was really friendly, and here’s a case in point: after brunch, when my dad walked back into the restaurant to ask for change, one of the servers (who came up to just past his waist) said “Yes, but only if you give me a Merry Christmas hug!” He did, of course.
After brunch, we wandered the airport to let our food digest, and stood for a while in front of the departures board, picking the flights we’d like to board. Kate and I opted for London, my dad chose Shanghai, and mom is still undecided.
That afternoon we sat in Jetside lounge, read books and magazines, and enjoyed pots of tea with gingerbread cookies. This, the act of reading a book without a sense of obligation to anything else – is my quintessential Christmas day practice. On December 25th, I’m meant to read and drink tea. Plain and simple.
For us, Christmas Day is also about connecting with loved ones, and thanks to the beauty of technology, we were able to visit with our cousins in Calgary face-to-face. This was insanely wonderful and painful at the same time, because it made me want to hug them all more than anything.
The three course menu had 2-4 options for each course, and it took us a while to decide.
Eventually we all settled on salad to start, my mom, dad, and I chose the turkey as our entrees, and my sister had the prime rib. While my parents drank wine again, my sister and I opted for cocktails instead.
The French Kiss (Beefeater gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Cointreau, and lemon juice) was light, floral, a bit tart, and boooozy. Loved it!
We were treated to a bowl of the parsnip soup we’d tried the night before (my mom and I were so in love we’d had great difficulty choosing the salad over it), and it was just as wonderful, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, tarragon oil, and spiced creme fraiche. Ahhhhh.
Our mixed green salad had slices of St. Agur (which is what we used to call a “gateway blue” at the cheese shop where I worked because of the mild, ever-so-creamy, sweet way it brings people over to liking blue cheese), double smoked bacon, medjool dates, and sherry vinaigrette. It was a sweet, salty, crunchy, and light way to begin the meal.
but since Kate branched out, we got to try the prime rib as well! It came with garlic mashed potatoes, a peppery gravy, roasted vegetables, and an intensely rich truffled mushroom ragout.
while my dad enjoyed a miniature, vanilla sponge buche du noel covered in chocolate. So dear.
Then there was tea, a lovely glass of port,
then we ended our beautiful Christmas day exactly where we started it – lounging in our parents’ room. We were filled with great food, gratitude for having had such a splendid day, and thankfulness for everyone at the Fairmont who made our Christmas what it was. A few more adventures await us before my parents fly home, and we’re looking forward to them all.
Whether you’re shopping til you drop today or staying in, enjoy the day. Also, if you have babies and toddlers close to you, please cuddle/squeeze/tickle/and smooch them in my honour!
**If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter 365 Days of Dining’s latest contest, on until December 27th! Just tell us your favourite holiday memory here, and you’ll be entered to win a one night stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel and Afternoon Tea for Two. You can enter once per day – click here for more details. Today is the last day to enter!