Beho Beho Foodie Blog – Karin – 31st Dec

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS…

feast |fēst|

noun

a large meal, typically one in celebration of something.

• a plentiful supply of something enjoyable, esp. for the mind or senses.

• an annual religious celebration.

verb [ intrans. ]

eat and drink sumptuously : the men would congregate and feast after hunting.

• ( feast on) eat large quantities of : we sat feasting on barbecued chicken and beer.

• [ trans. ] give (someone) a plentiful and delicious meal : he was feasted and invited to all the parties.

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever.”  – Bess Streeter Aldrich

Christmas time… is a time of nostalgia, a time of remembrance, of childhood memories when you were an innocent little cherub and had no idea of all the wrong out there, when you believed your dad is superman and your mom is the best thing ever. When the excitement of Christmas was like a fever; with the thrill and delight of the wait.  And ultimately the opening of the presents under the big ol’ tree. It didn’t really matter what you would get, it was more about the tearing off of the wrapping paper with exhilarated squeals to find something thoughtful and special to you.

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!” – Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Christmas time is a time of contentedness, tranquility and a general feeling of goodwill – that all will be right in the world and that peace is achievable at heart.  You get that warm and fuzzy feeling (and not just because of the hot hot days we’ve been experiencing between the rainstorms!), your heart swells with gratitude, with love, with and the spirit of giving.

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” – Agnes M. Pharo

It is a time of celebrating with family and loved ones, with dear friends, old and new. That people connection, that camaraderie, that bond and fellowship is what makes it so special.

Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”  – Augusta E. Rundel

It is a time of feasting, of complete overindulgence, of abundant provisions and liberal rations and second helpings.

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” – Washington Irving

Our Beho Beho Christmas in the Bush was a spectacular event.  We had a beautiful Acacia Whistling Thorn Christmas Tree, adorned by all of the Beho Beho staff in hues of teal, turquoise, lime green and silver.  Christmas baubles and sparkly reindeer pendants dangled from the branches and with a wooden silver star at the top. Christmas lights twined around the tree, as well as the Tagalala logs of the lounge bar. The entire main area lit up with flickering candles scattered all about, dancing in the sultry breeze. It was magical.

The festivities commenced early with sugary spicy goodness of home-baked mince pies for tea time treats, traditional miniature marzipan fruits, spiced Christmas cookies shaped like trees and stars and snowflakes.

Then on to deliciously wistful iced mulled wine to get the revelry of the evening under way.

The Christmas Eve banquet began with a glass of proper bubbly, performing perfectly with exquisitely light and crunchy tempura prawns, fresh from Dar Es Salaam, accompanied by sweet-sour cucumber spaghetti (cucumber cut lengthwise into square strips and marinated in white wine vinegar, caster sugar and some spices), peppadew and fresh mango, partnered with a mango coulis and sweet chilli syrup.

For main course, the Christmas table was laden with all sorts of a time-honoured Yuletide fare: roasted turkey swathed in bacon with chestnut stuffing, glazed gammon affixed with pineapple rings & cherries, roasted ‘taters, rice and gravy, pumpkin fritters, baby corn, baby gem-squash, cranberry sauce, apricot sauce, bread sauce and all the trimmings.

And for the pièce de résistance: Courvoisier spiked Christmas puddings with spiced sweet Béchamel and brandy butter – with a little sparkle of stars and berries and holly.

For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home. -W.J. Ronald Tucker

On Christmas day, the guides and guests alike got up early and went out and about on their activities while we got ready for the Christmas Lunch affair. Because of the dramatic difference in temperature from us to the UK and Europe, where most of our guests were from over this holiday season, we served orange stuffed roasted duck with citrus sauce, a Christmas ham, with some salads and cold dishes to accommodate the heat of our African sun.

Smoked salmon tartar with capers, lime zest and gherkins wrapped in cucumber ribbons, garlicky buttery prawns, crumbed calamari, baby potato salad, mixed salad, urad bean & butternut salad and corn bread was on the menu for the lavish Christmas Day celebration meal. For dessert we did Christmas bauble chocolate puddings with butter icing and decorated with fondant icing to resemble the Christmas Tree decoration globes.

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other. – Emily Matthews

The chef-d’œuvre was, of course, our Christmas cake, baked a few weeks before and lovingly laced with copious amounts of brandy for our afternoon tea delight. We had ‘gift wrapped’ a few chocolates and toffees and embellished the cake with those, along with our own little snow-couple, signifying what Christmas really is about – generosity and Love and giving back.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

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3 Responses to Beho Beho Foodie Blog – Karin – 31st Dec

  1. londonmum says:

    Wow that sounds and looks amazing! Such fond memories of my stay at beho beho in 2005. Love following the blog as it brings it all back. Hope to bring my husband and children one day when the kids are old enough!

  2. Mary Beth Wheeler says:

    It looks as though you outdid even yourself, Karin! What magical goodies you prepared! We would have loved to have been there–for the wildlife as well as the food!

    Happy New Year to you, Walter and everyone at Beho Beho!

    Mary Beth & Bob Wheeler

  3. Lady McAlpine says:

    Am reading this rather belatedly but have to add my congratulations. Maybe one day the family will allow us to come for Christmas.. ‘though they would rather we brought them all too! See you next month!
    Lady McAlpine

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