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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Christmas dinner - Sunday Dec. 24 (JRS)

Christmas dinner - Sunday Dec. 24 (JRS)

Christmas is probably the toughest time of year to be away from your closest friends and family. The prospect of not getting to spend our Christmas with those folks and be a part of Christmas traditions was a definite downer. However, we’ve made some pretty good friends here, and, like with Thanksgiving, the galley was decked out to be made homey looking and the kitchen staff fixed a wonderful banquet, which made it just about as close to home as you can feel at the South Pole. For higher resolution pictures, see the picture gallery: Christmas at the Pole

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As is usual on Sundays, we slept in, and rolled out of bed in time to catch the last bit of internet time before heading to brunch. After brunch, we watched a movie and basically took it easy all afternoon. Later in the afternoon we took showers and got dressed up and ready for dinner. We had signed up for dinner during the second seating, and we had signed up to serve wine during the first seating. We showed up for our shift, and were instructed on how to pour the wine and what our responsibilities would be (pouring water and serving dessert, in addition to serving wine). We got lots of comments on how nice we looked and got several pictures taken of us. It was kinda fun!

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In the first seating were a lot of the station management, including BK, the station manager, and Jerry Marty, the NSF South Pole Representative. The two of them gave a very nice speech and cheers to start off dinner. BK gave a toast to no malls and no traffic, and everybody cheered. She also thanked people for being away from their family, but toasted to our new family on the ice. Jerry read a letter from one of the Sea Bees who had helped build the original South Pole Station 50 years ago. It was a nice letter that ended with a request to not let the South Pole Santa forget about him since the North Pole Santa had been neglecting him since he was six. The Hawks (the crew that had gotten mohawks the weekend before), most of whom are good friends of ours, were also at the first seating. So we had a lot of fun being servers and goofing around with the crew.
After about an hour, Carol, from the kitchen, had the dubious task of (nicely) kicking everyone out of the galley to make room for the next dinner seating. We quickly cleared everyone’s dishes and got the tables ready for the next group. Things went pretty quickly since several people stayed behind to help us. After getting set up, we still had a few minutes to step out in the hall where all the H’orsdevours were set up. They had made the delicious bree-stuffed pastry with an orange jelly sauce that was so good on Thanksgiving. It was tempting to get stuffed before we went in for dinner, but we knew what was in store for us, so we held off after a couple of bites.
It was soon time to head into the galley and get our grub on! The Hawks had all signed up to serve wine during the second seating. They had also all gone to Scua and the craft room to find the most ridiculous outfits that they could find. This, and Lynette’s festive yelling, made for a fun dinner. Having served wine to the crowd before, we knew which wines were good and which weren’t, so we knew exactly what we wanted. The Hawks were very good to us, making sure our glasses were full, and even left a bottle for us at one point. Our favorites were the Pinot Gris before dinner. Lynette continued to consume that during dinner and I went for the Pinot Noir during dinner. Delish!

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BK and Jerry made their same speeches and toasts for the second seating, then we were given our buffet order, by table. Of course, our table was last. But that just meant that we could have another glass of wine and mess around with the Hawks for a bit longer. At last it was our turn. The food was worth waiting for. As good as the wine was, the food was even better. We had Beef Wellington (which I had never had before: a breaded slab of tender, perfectly cooked beef), real mashed potatoes, I can’t remember what else, and to top it all off, crab legs. Holy moley it was good!
After dinner, we went to the B1 Lounge, where the party had already started from the first seating. Once again, the liquor came out, and people started getting stupid (Lynette among them). Lynette hadn’t drank hardly anything since before leaving the states. Tonight, however, Detroit Mike kept giving her crown royal in her glass in between the wine and she was definitely tanked at the night’s end. We went to bed fairly exhausted and were glad that we had an extra day off this week so that we could sleep in. It was a great day, and almost even made up for the fact that we were away from our close family and friends for Christmas. Lynette might think a bit differently since she had to get up 2 times in the middle of the night/morning to toss a few cookies due to her alcohol consumption. She would probably say it was still a good time. :)

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-JRS

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