Monday, December 19, 2011

Uncle Harry's Roast Beef

This is part of AndreaClaire's Christmas Memory Challenge series.

I have a large family and an even larger extended family. I know I've mentioned it before, but in my family there is no distinction between cousins (first cousin, second cousins, eighth cousins nine times removed, they're all just cousins) and in the same way we don't really draw a line between families. Uncle Harry is my mom's aunt by marriage's uncle by marriage or something like that. But he's just Uncle Harry.

Because my family is so big, Christmas celebrations tend to span three or four or even five days, depending on the year. Often we would go to my aunt and uncle's house after church for appetizers, have Christmas dinner at another aunt and uncle's house, our house or my grandma's and then have a ginormous Boxing Day party to eat Uncle Harry's roast. As our family grew, the day for the roast moved a few days further from Christmas, but it was a family tradition.

Uncle Harry would come from Alberta with a side of beef that would be cooked slowly all day and was always perfect. There was usually a ham. And a million side dishes. And lots of people. I'm positive that there were always at least 40-50 and I know that a few times we were pushing 75 or 80 people. And they were all related somehow.

When I was younger my aunt and uncle had a large piece of property on the way to Big White. My uncle would flood part of the back yard and we'd skate like crazy people. When we got older and the community centre had a rink, my uncle stopped flooding his yard. Instead we'd traipse down the side of the highway with our skates over our shoulder and skate in the dark, under the flood lights (maybe the ice rink was a tennis court in the summer?)

As much as I looked forward to all kinds of things at Christmas, Uncle Harry's Roast Beef party was certainly something that got me very excited.

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