Yesterday we had our first Christmas Day in Toronto and I was a little nervous how it would go down with just the three of us – The Canadian, The 8-year-old and myself. It was our first ever Christmas that we haven’t spent it with any friends or family. I wondered if it would end up just feeling like any other day, but thankfully it didn’t. We had a fantastic day and created some new memories and perhaps even a new tradition ….. the Cheats Christmas Lunch. I hear you asking, What is this stress-free Cheats Christmas Lunch ???
Read on ……….
It was a slow start to the morning with a little bit of a sleep in, I think mostly because it is still dark until just before 8 am. Our typical Christmas morning in Australia would usually kick off at sparrows fart and especially in Queensland due to the sun coming up before 5 am. Once up and with the yuletide fireplace channel on in the background (a TV station that plays a crackling fire, every now and then you see a random arm throw another log on and stoke the fire) and cheesy Christmas music playing we unwrapped presents. I was very pleased with my loot this year and it could possibly be due to the fact I purchased, wrapped and wrote the cards for my own gifts a new tradition I think I will continue with into the future.
We feasted on Bagels with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Capers for Breakfast. It was at this point that I discovered the joy that is Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese for the first time, a product that is as far as I’m aware NOT for sale in Australia and for the life of me I can’t work out why, this shiz is the biz! I will never eat regular Philadelphia cream cheese again.
I then set the table for Christmas lunch.
Because we are still in our temporary digs and our container from Australia is yet to arrive we didn’t have any of our Christmas Decorations so I hit The Bay (Hudson’s Bay is a department store in Canada and is North America’s oldest company) and purchased some Napkins, Cute little Reindeer Napkin Holders and some Bon Bon’s so we could get into the festive spirit.
We then headed out into the street’s of Toronto and boy was it a ghost town.
Picking up our cheats Christmas Lunch from The Fairmont Hotel
You see they do a Christmas lunch to go! A three-course meal you pre-book and can pick up at the hotel at a time you select.
It’s all cooked and ready to go, you simply re-heat it and serve it up.
The Complete Meal includes:
Maple Roasted Parsnip and Pear Veloute (soup)
Natural Ontario Roast Turkey, Onion Sage Stuffing, Savory Pan Gravy,
Royal York Cranberry Sauce
Herb Roasted Château Potatoes, Maple Glazed Root Vegetable Medley
Home Style Pumpkin Tarts with Whipped Molasses Cream
No muss, no fuss and most of all no stress. I was a little worried when we picked up the box and unloaded the packages that it could end up being a disaster and a meal not dissimilar to something served up in a nursing home or on a Russian airline, but I shouldn’t have worried because it was all really yummy. I was also surprised to find it included a whole cooked turkey, I was kind of expecting it to include some pre-sliced turkey or turkey roll thingy, but no, it included the full bird.
I simply reheated the soup and served it up, it was delicious.
The Turkey came with re-heating instructions and a thermometer you put into the bird and it pops out when it’s reached the correct temperature. Ours didn’t pop out and I ended up leaving it in the oven for longer than they suggested. I also found the potatoes actually needed about 4 times longer than the re-heating instructions but could tell as soon as I opened the package so put them in much earlier than the other items. The Turkey turned out really well and was super moist and we didn’t end up with food poisoning so always a plus!
and the end result
One of the yummiest Christmas lunches I have ever eaten. The stuffing was so good I could just eat it as a meal on its own and we have the bonus of plenty of leftovers.
I would definitely do a Fairmont Festive Meal to go again and if catering for more people I would just add a ham and maybe some seafood into the mix.
Throughout the day, we spoke via phone and facetime with relatives both back in Australia and in Manitoba, Canada.
We spent the afternoon in a mini food coma and then put on a bit of lippy (me, not The Canadian) and headed back to the Fairmont for some festive cocktails in the Library Bar.
After getting sufficiently liquored up we walked home via the Outdoor Ice Skating rink at the Town Hall.
Sadly our first Christmas in Toronto wasn’t a white Christmas but a top day was had by all!