The Eleven Christmas Dinners of Christmas!

What’s the word for something for when you have a thing and do it to death?
Usual rules apply. Only posted these to Facebook. Should have done Twitter too, even though it’s a bit of a toilet these days, I could have got some good #numbers !!

#1 – 4th December – Garrick BarGarrick

Opening Gambit … In previous years my first one tended to be in Wetherspoons with an old work chum. My old work chum then got a transfer to Derry. He was going to come down too but then Wetherspoons scrapped Christmas Dinners, so nuts to that!

Not sure my old work chum would approve of my caption either…
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2 – 6th December – Acton & Sons

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Current Work’s Christmas dinner … on a Tuesday?!?!?

#3 – 7th December – uEat (University of Ulster, Jordanstown)

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I had a programming test the day after my Xmas do (I got 88%) – I came into Jordanstown early to avail of a turkey dinner. No student discount though (it was about £8!!).

#4 9th December – RGB

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Old work Christmas dinner

#5 10th December – Whose Art Café

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No mash, and gravy was like the gravy you get in a Chinese Takeaway. Poor Show.

#6 – 14th December – work

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Work Canteen – ate at my desk – Improvement on last years

#7 15th December – Sainsburys – Hollywood Exchange

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Now in it’s 3rd year, my trip to Sainsburys with Marty. Quite average.

McKay, who has reviewed these in the past, came out of retirement with a controversial:

Nope. 0/10

#8 – 17th December – My House

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One I made myself. Five years in my house, so it’s the fifth “Belfast Christmas Dinner” for me and Leona, this year we had guests too (two fussy 7 year olds). No dramas and everything went to plan (i.e. I got my timings right and the oven didn’t pack in this time).

#9 – 22nd December – Cast and Crew

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Met some friends for lunch. Was okay, but not for £12.95! Regretted not getting a burger because they looked good!

It was this one where my sister asked if sandwiches count (Nope).

#10 – 24th December – Murphy Browns

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Another staple in my Christmas dinner month! Something to do us before we hit the road 

It was here where McKay commented if I ever calculated how much my “December Hobby” costs. In short, next year I might keep a running total!

#11 – 25th December – My Ma and Da’s

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Another good year! Only three types of potato though, but at least they were the best three (roasties, champ, garlic creamed – don’t @ me)!!

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The twelve christmas dinners of christmas…

Now a Christmas tradition: I eat loads of Christmas Dinners in December – and post them on the internet!!

#1 – 3/12/15 – Wetherspoons –  Belfast

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Like the Charity Shield, this is the usual curtain raiser! A Wetherspoon’s Christmas Dinner, with my old work chum, Alistair! We’ve been doing this for eight years now and this one was the best (they are usually rank)!

 #2 – 04/12/15 – Murphy Browns, Belfast
img_6362Now a regular feature, mainly due to being walking distance to my house. Not as good as last years, but last years was excellent.

#3 – 9/12/15 – uEat – University of Ulster, Jordanstown
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Oh, yeah, I went back to uni!

#4 – 12/12/14 – Coach Lane @ Donaghy’s – Sligo

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Oh aye, I went to Sligo for my Da’s birthday

#5 – 15/12/15 – Work Canteen
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It was slow start this year. Time to ramp it up!

#6 – 15/12/15 – My House
A controversial entry!img_6473 img_6474Some nay-sayers said it didn’t count because it’s a ready meal… IT COUNTS GODDAMMIT!

#7 – 16/12/15 – Sainsburys, Holywood.
img_6476The second annual “go to Sainsburys for a Christmas dinner with Marty”

#7 – 17/12/15 – Victoria’s Belfast

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Staff do. Here is where I level with last year! 5th in 4 days! Shit is getting real!

#9 – 18/12/15 – McHughs, Belfast

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Old work staff do!

#10 – 20/12/15 – My House

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4th annual Belfast house Chirstmas dinner! Yes, I had one in my house a few days earlier.. but this is a legit one!

#11 – 23/12/15 –  Madisons, Belfast

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#12 – 25/12/15 – Folks House

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12 Christmas Dinners, 11 Christmas Dinners etc etc

 

The (only) seven christmas dinners of christmas…

Still loves xmas dinner

Still loves xmas dinner

…well it could have been nine… but apparently dinners before December don’t count (see below).

I had the traditional one in Wetherspoons with an old work friend on 25th November:

(i) – Wetherspoons

I also had one before I went to Cuba on 30/11/14.

(ii) - Murphy Browns

(ii) – Murphy Browns

I wasn’t going to do “this” this year as I would be in Cuba for two weeks. But I got got a reqeust. However, apparently Christmas dinners in November don’t count – as the story goes:

With that in mind I decided to tighten up the “rules”. 1st December – 25th December only and no ‘repeats’ (i.e. leftovers don’t count).

#1 – 11/12/14 – Murphy Browns –  Belfast
I took action on my first day home with another Murphy Browns – because it was quite good the last time (and near my house)!

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 #2 – 12/12/14 – RBG – Belfast
Back with my old work chums to the same place as last years work do. Sadly this year the Christmas Dinner didn’t have any roasties! Shock!

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#3 – 17/12/14 – Work Canteen
The fact there were roasties gave it points over the last one.

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#4 – 18/12/14 – Sainsburys – Holywood
No ham! And Yorkshire Pudding was still a bit frozen. But at least it had roasties – plus first mince pie of the year.

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#5 – 19/12/14 – Northern Whig – Belfast
Again with no roasties! Up until this point Murphy Browns was front runner!

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#6 – 21/12/14 – My House
The 3rd Annual Belfast House Xmas dinner – this year Leona made it and there were no oven breaking down drama like last year. I even tasted half a sprout (wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – still not nice.). Was tasty.

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#7 – 25/12/14 – Folks House
Christmas Day – Unlike last year we didn’t have three types of potato – we had four.. FOUR.. types of potato (Champ, Roast, Garlic Cream and new addition Baby Boil)… yum yum yum.

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Only seven – but would have been eight if I counted the boxing day left overs (like I did last year) and ten if I counted the two in November… that would bring me level with last year… which isn’t bad seeing I was out of the country for two weeks.

Next year I should aim for twelve.. you know, so the pun works!

The Ten Christmas Dinners of Christmas

I fucking love Christmas Dinner! Excuse the bad language but I really fucking do! The month of December usually fits in quite a few Christmas dinners but sadly 2013 was a relatively light year – I only had ten. However, 2013 was the first year I decided to “live post”, on Facebook, a picture of each Turkey and Ham. So to those who didn’t know better, thought I was being excessive!

Anyway – here they are:

#1 – 2nd December 2013 – The Arches Sandwich Bar

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It was the first Monday in December and a colleague informed me that the Arches was doing a Christmas Dinner in a box – he told me they were good so I thought why not.

#2 – 3rd December 2013 – Wetherspoons

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A guy I used to work with and I have an annual tradition of getting a Christmas Dinner and Pint from Wetherspoons. We were supposed to get chipotle sausages with it but they had ran out – we got normal sausages instead. Not the same really.

This was when McKay started to rate the dinners.

3/10. No mash, turkey and ham look awful. I’ll allow the Yorkshire pudding because they’re tasty, although not really Christmas dinner material.

#3 – 4th December 2013 – Malone Lodge

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This was at a cousin’s wedding – by chance we were served Turkey and Ham.

McKay review:

Mashed potato added in already has it at a higher level than yesterday, but the croquettes just take it to a new plane of Christmas! It’s like he just served it up on a plate and said “There’s your dinner son, knife and fork all ready, all you have to do is eat it” Take a boo! 8/10

 Samantha just pointed out that the croquettes are actually sausages. I stand by my original score though.

#4 – 6th December 2013 – RGB

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Work Chirstmas dinner.

That’s a solid 9/10 effort right there.

#5 – 8th December 2013 – My House

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This was the first of the home made ones. It’s turkey breast that I cut in half and put stuffing in the middle, then wrapped in bacon. It still counts!

Is that turkey or chicken? If it’s turkey, 8/10, if it’s chicken then just 6/10.

#6 – 12th December 2013 – Espresso East

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I got this one from the cafe near work. I usually only get coffee here and an occasional fry but I saw someone the day before get one so I was tempted. I was taking away but they even gave me a plate (I gave it back afterwords of course)!

7/10. Potatoes don’t look creamy enough but a decent portion size makes up for it. Good effort.

#7 – 21st December 2013 – My House.

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Leona and I go to our respective folk’s houses for Christmas. Last year we had “our own” Christmas dinner in Belfast – which I want to make a annual thing (any excuse for a Xmas dinner). Last year she did most of the work so for ages I was saying “This year I am going to do EVERYTHING!”.

It was all well and good, I had the Ham marinating for 24 hours (honey with rum), put streaky bacon on the turkey, had my veg and spuds prepared. All good to go. Turned the oven on and stuck the Turkey and the ham. The meat was in for a wee while and I turned on the top oven to stick the the roast potatoes and the veg (coated in honey) for roasting. I was chatting to Leona and heard a “beeeaaarrr” noise – the oven had powered down! Erm, shit. Turned the oven off on the mains and reset the dials. Turned it back on at the mains and the clock reappeared. Phew, turned the dials, the light in the oven came back on for a second then died again!

I started to get really annoyed as the meat wouldn’t be usable. My auntie lives next door but she was away so I couldn’t get to her house. I phoned another auntie who lives down the road and has a spare key. Thankfully she was near and was able to give me the key within a few minutes! This meant I had to bring all the food next door and lead to alot of darting back and fourth. Her oven wasn’t big enough for everything so had to do a bit of juggling and because the timer was gone in my oven I had to guess how long to put the turkey in for.

I ended up sitting in her kitchen by myself for a few hours while her dog, Oscar, was at the door whinging to get in. I tried to keep him happy with some of the streaky bacon. While I was looking after the roasted goods – Leona sorted out the mash and sprouts, so I didn’t get to do everything. 

Still, once I was finished, I was chuffed I got it made despite the obstacles. No McKay review though – he didn’t know the effort I had to go through!

The oven didn’t need replaced. It just needed a new fuse.

#8 – 22nd December 2013 – My House 

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Leftovers from night before. No McKay review.

#9 – 25th December 2013 – The Folk’s

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With three types of potato (mash, roast and garlic creamy).

McKay managed to get his last review in

Excellent. 9/10. I don’t normally like cabbage but that looks great. One point taken off for not basing the dinner to end just before or start just after the Queens speech.

#10 – 26th December 2013 – Folk’s House

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Leftovers.

Yeah so that’s it. When I was a student I probably had one everyday so this is light in comparison. Also, I’m sure I had turkey in Leona’s folk’s house, but I can’t remember if it was just a sandwich or it was a full dinner and I just forgot to take a photo. Ah well.