Day 18- this is hardly a challenge

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More than half of the way through No red meat December and quite frankly I’m a bit bored.  This is not challenging.  This is not that hard.  I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything and really I’m not.  Giving up red meat for 30 days is a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

 Let’s get one thing straight.  I LOVE Beef.  I’m a child of the 80s and vividly remember the Wendy’s ‘Where’s The Beef’ campaign.  Hamburgers, steaks, I can’t really think of what else you make from beef but you get the picture.  When I was a little girl and my father would ask me what I wanted to eat, I would apparently always answer “steak”.  He used to do a voice as an imitation of little me saying “steak” which was quite funny.  And Funny because it was not the voice of a little 7 year old girl, more of a Bill Cosby/John Belushi comedic voice, anyway, it was gold.  And accurate because I love and have always loved Steak.  If I were to die tomorrow, I can almost promise you that my last meal would involve a rare-ish steak, béarnaise sauce, chips, with mint chocolate chip and cookies n cream ice cream for dessert.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, but that would probably be my all time favourite meal.

Knowing this, and knowing that I always choose beef as a choice of filling, topping, or protein, I thought this would be a really tough challenge. 

 But it’s not.  And I’m disappointed.

 I’m not sure whether I’ve gone for the easy option by considering pork white meat and not red.  (Let’s face it marketing works on me, and to me pork is “the other white meat”)  There is a fair bit of debate on the internet as to which camp pork belongs to so I don’t feel like I’ve knowingly cheated but I feel like I must be cheating because it’s just.too.easy.  It could be because right behind a juicy steak on my list of favourite foods, is a nice juicy pork chop.  If my Dad is to blame for my love of red meat, my mom gets blamed for my love of pork.  If I had to pick one meal for my mother to make it would be her famous (in my eyes) breaded pork chops with white rice, corn, peas, and of course apple sauce on the side.  There has to be apple sauce otherwise it’s just not quite right. 

 I know I shouldn’t complain as I eat my Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich (ok, no I’m not actually eating one right now) but you know what I mean.  Can I challenge be a challenge if it’s easy???

 Clearly next month we’ll have to step it up a notch!  Will we go fully vegetarian?  Liquid while the sun is up? Vegan before 6? (see article here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/mark-bittman-vegan-before-6-vb6_n_3224415.html) I’m not sure what January has in store, but it will be tough.  I’m ready to get back to the Challenge part of the Challenge.

Oops, I did it again!

I don’t know how this happened but I’ve gotten myself into another wee pickle.

First, let me make one thing clear, I am NOT a Christmas person. Christmas is expensive, commercialized, and not that much fun unless you’re the one sitting in front of a mountain of gifts to open and snuggled in front of a fire. Yes, I enjoy giving more than receiving and actually that’s one part of Christmas morning I love- watching someone open gifts but let’s be honest, after watching someone open their 5th gift in a row, it gets a bit tedious. I think I discovered this at about 12 or 13 when I was no longer the youngest person in the house on Christmas morning. Anyway, I digress.

I’m not a grinch or a Scrooge but at the same time, Christmas isn’t as good in Sydney. Sydney has lots going for it but singing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” while you’re sweating through your Santa hat is not one of them! Christmas lights- a bit pointless when it doesn’t get dark until after 8 at night!

Anyhow- despite my ambivalence about Christmas, The Runner and I are hosting a Christmas Eve lunch/dinner. What the???? I know, how did this happen? Thanksgiving is my holiday, my day to feed the masses and stuff myself silly. Thanksgiving is my day to shine, not Christmas- so what am I doing hosting Christmas? Stupidity, boredom, well meaning intentions, my big mouth? The truth is none of them- or all of them.

Actually, I blame The Runner. It started with him saying that he missed not having an actual Turkey on thanksgiving and thought we should do one for Christmas instead. Great idea- except it’s not. Turkey for 2? No way! So I invited another couple, and then somehow it became turkey and ham because apparently both are traditional on Christmas in Ireland. So I invited a few more people, and then a few more, and then a couple more and now I’m hoping the weather is nice because we can fit more people at our outdoor table than the indoor one. Oh no, this is how the first thanksgiving party came about. A trickle and now years later a flood!

In truth, I’m excited about hosting my first Christmas- just a bit in the dark though. My family suffers from a lack of Christmas traditions- other than eggnog– very potent eggnog. I asked The MOM- or MOB as she has nicknamed herself (Mother of the Bride) and apparently the only tradition our family has is that we don’t have turkey. We’re Thanksgiving people like I said. So, I’m throwing it open to the public- what do you make on Christmas? What’s your Christmas tradition? And most importantly, tree or no tree?