Christmas 2011

While we were actually doing a low-key Christmas, it still looked like we had a haul. Don't worry - this included gifts for Keely's parents and my mom. The tree is a cool new addition: It is a metal tree decorated with all the marathoning medals Keely has earned this year (32 for 2011.)

My poor wife. She suffers from a disease that causes her eyes to shut when a camera is pointed in her direction. After the gifts, it was time to open the "special one" I got for her: A durian, the King of Fruits, reputed to "Smell like Hell, yet taste like Heaven." I first ran into these some 30+ years ago and have been scarred ever since. Keely, however, was intrigued, so I got one for her.

Due to the reputation of foul stench, we decided to open this baby up outside. Look, even the dogs won't come out to watch us.

The internet said to set it on it's stem, then cut through the point . . .

. . . and peel it open. There really was no stench of fermenting camel urine, most likely because durian has to be frozen before importation into the US. Our durian weighed about 5lbs and more than half of that was rind.

The yellow bits are what you want, and you have to pull out a few marshmallow-sized seeds. We got about 3x the amount of fruit shown here - probably enough to make a nice pie (if you could make pies from durian.)

So here was the test. The flesh is very soft, often described as a firm custard. All the info on the web says you should eat durian right out of the shell - no cooking, no additives.

The taste is quite sweet, and once eaten, there is a stench that coats your mouth and throat and hangs around for more than half an hour. It ended up being edible, but probably not on the list of "Hey, Honey! There's a sale on durian at the Stop-n-Go. Do you want some?"

With the durian experiment out of the way, we turned to Christmas Dinner. I was inspired by a a fellow sailor/small boat builder/Puddle Duck Racing champion to make a tourtiere (did I mention he's a Canadian?) It's basically a meat pie adn I pretty much nailed it, all the way down to the little dough Christmas tree on the crust.

That's all, folks. A Merry Christmas to everyone.