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
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.