Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 11:10PM
I always get really silly and excited on the run up to Christmas. I am very much a winter person anyway as in the height of sweaty, humid summer I go an unattractive beetroot colour, turn into a grumpy, petulant child and am mainly found on the floor assuming some sort of starfish position in my underwear. Plus I will never look good in a bikini, the more layers the better in my book.
Winter, to me, conjures up images of cosy nights in front of the fire with hot spicy mulled wine while it's cold and crisp outside, lovely walks on paths covered in golden leaves and then I get too cold and pinch my other half's gloves and hat. Then Christmas comes and I always desperately wish for snow and at home in Northern Ireland we sometimes get it.
My favourite part though, as I'm sure most other people's is, is Christmas dinner. I love all the trimmings that go with the turkey and even though I love them, I never seem to have them at any other time than on Christmas day, so it's a real novelty. Then there is the dozing in front of a cheesy film in a vain attempt to try and digest the mountain of food you've consumed.
Entertainment for the kiddies, and shameless adults!
When the German Christmas markets come to town I make a date to go and sample the warming, delicious gluhwein, the moist and tasty Bavarian ham and the filled pretzels. I love the atmosphere, the buzz of people having fun and getting excited about Christmas, the wonderful smells and of course the tacky Christmas cheer in the form of giant Santas and the large singing Reindeer head that was stationed above one of the bars.
When we got there we rushed past the miscellaneous junk and straight to the food (it was nearly lunch time so it was warranted). We decided that we should share one of everything just to make sure we weren't missing anything. First port of call was the grilled Bavarian ham that we had last time we were there. It was served in a bun with some German coleslaw and some slightly sweet mustardy dressing and it was absolutely delicious. Next stop was some Gluhwein which went down very nicely before going in search of some German sausage. The sausages were suspended on a huge grill over a fire and then stuffed into a bun. There was also optional mustard and ketchup hanging in huge bottles above you with an udder-like projection that you had to squeeze to dispense the condiment of your choice. After the sausage, I fancied a stuffed pretzel. There were a few choices of filling, from salami to ham and cheese, but I fancied the camembert and cranberry. The soft salty pretzel really complimented the creamy cheese and sweet cranberry and it really tempted me to have a go at making my own.
After all that savoury I really fancied something sweet, so when I spied the crepes stall with the option of Nutella, chocolate filling I knew it was for me. We shared the hot chocolatey pancake and afterwards sat down beside the fountain, feeling slightly over-stuffed but very satisfied and contemplated coming to the markets again before Christmas. Well I need to do some Christmas shopping so it's as good an excuse as any!