Christmas with the In-Laws. My trip to Luxembourg 2015!

So this is the first time I have written a post like this, I've seen others do it many times before (in particular my wife!) but it has never really caught my fancy. I just didn't think that there was much I could put online that would be interesting, but as it is a new year I thought I would try something new, isn't that what you are meant to do?

First off I want to thank my wife for the majority of the pictures on here, she really is a wonderful photographer and you can check out some more of her work on her website and Instagram.

It was surprisingly foggy while we were in Luxembourg this time, usually when I come home I like to tell my friends that Luxembourg is lots of green fields, trees and not much else, but this time that wasn't the case. Instead Luxembourg seemed to be covered in a thick blanket of fog for a number of days, including when we first landed in the country. We were casually flying along over Belgium, you could see everything outside clearly, and then just as we came into land in Luxembourg we were enveloped into a cotton candy-esque layer of fog!

Now that the obligatory "what is Luxembourg like?" question is out of the way let's get on to the important stuff! FOOD!

Honestly we did have turkey for Christmas dinner, but somewhere between all the cooking and getting the food to the table we forgot to take pictures of the food which is a shame as it was pretty exciting for me.

For the first time ever I got to help with Christmas dinner!

This probably requires some explanation, basically Christmas dinner is my dad's thing. His and his alone. Even when he has been ill, a very rare occasion, he still wouldn't let anyone else touch the turkey or get involved in the cooking, so despite having had decent success with a number of roast dinners over the years I have never been able to cook the Christmas roast dinner. Well that changed in 2015, sort of, as I was finally able to get involved. I didn't dominate the kitchen but I managed to make a successful contribution and someday I will end up cooking a Christmas Dinner for my dad, the day will come!

Of course, traveling to another country we were not going to stay for just the one day, or one meal for that matter. As with any trip to visit family there was a string of amazing meals, first up raclette.

For those of you who don't know what raclette is, imagine a small indoor barbeque type meal, of Swiss/French origin, with the added bonus of melted cheese! OK, it isn't quite a BBQ, but there are thin slices of meat that you cook on a heated grill right in front of you. We also had a range of vegetables that grill well (mushrooms, peppers, asparagus) and a series of amazing sauces, my favourite being Bearnaise!

We had a series of different meats with Bifana proving the most popular, Bifana is a Portuguese recipe involving thin slices of Pork fillets covered in a secret sauce, and it tastes sensational! Add a side of chips and chuck some melted cheese on top and you have a top quality meal. Raclette isn't something we really do over in the UK, I guess the closest thing is fondue and even that isn't British but if you get the opportunity to do this for a meal I would heartily recommend it!

Lungenbraten was also on the menu, but thankfully on another day, once again involving thinly cut meat and a lovely rich sauce. In this case Beef and a vegetable sauce with piment. (I have only just found this out!)

These are served over bread dumplings which Dani's mum and youngest sister prepared that morning. The sauce was surprisingly rich, for vegetables, and if it helps contribute towards my "five a day" then I cannot really complain! There was a small dumpling malfunction during the cooking but I think the chefs managed to get away with it.

The final food item to discuss from my trip was a confectionery parcel from the family of Dani's, brother's girlfriend. (wow that's a mouthful so I'll stick to her name going forwards, Andrea for those of you keeping up!) Andrea's mum was kind enough to make these treats for the family and they went down a storm. In fact they were so popular that I didn't even manage to try each and every one of them! But as you can see below the look amazing and I think their popularity confirms that they taste even better than they look!

We also managed to visit the Christmas Market in the centre of Luxembourg City where I got to try potato cakes (gromperekicheler, that's a real word in Luxembourgish (which is also a real language, honest!)) for the first time. Served with an apple compote they are surprisingly sweet... for something potato based. I also managed to get hold of the obligatory bratwurst although I am pretty sure the one I had back in the UK was bigger.

Now, Christmas wouldn't really be Christmas without some entertainment and we went a little... unorthodox... for Christmas entertainment this year.

When you think of Christmas I doubt that the first game that pops into your head is Cards Against Humanity, although I did spend the run up to Christmas trying to come up with some "holiday edition" questions, but the less said about that the better. This card game is not for the faint of heart or easily offended, the aim of the game is to try and be as offensive as possible! Perhaps surprisingly for her kids, but not for me, my Mother-In-Law proved more than capable of coming up with some of the most offensive combinations you could possibly imagine, yes Nicki! Let the Dark Side flow through you! The starter pack is a great beginning to the game but it doesn't really take off until you add in the expansion packs, then the game reaches a whole new level of inappropriateness.

We also sat down to watch the Big Fat Quiz of the Year on Channel 4, and while Jimmy Carr may not be everyone's cup of tea he did a fine job of hosting the show. But once again, for me, Richard Ayoade stole the show. I've loved Richard's work since he was on The IT Crowd and he never fails to deliver with his understated, but cutting humour.

I think I will close off here by saying a massive thank you to Dani's family for making me feel so welcome at Christmas. That's not to say they don't make me feel welcome at other times of the year though!

PS Nicki... BB-8 says Hi!


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