Monday, November 26, 2012

Preparing for Christmas Dinner in Penang

Well now that Thanksgiving has passed it's time to start thinking of preparing for Christmas dinner. Today I paid a short visit to Cold
Storage at Island Plaza in Tanjung Tokong to scope out what they have.

The frozen turkeys were on sale and were plentiful, for now. They seemed to be reasonably priced. Most were about the same size, about 10 lbs. or less. Much smaller than those we see back in the US, but about the right size for Asia. Not many leftovers for turkey sandwiches or turkey casserole or soup.  When I first moved to Malaysia we made sure we had an oven in the kitchen for baking and Christmas turkeys. The first Christmas I bought the biggest bird I could find, about 11 lbs. for about 10 people. I prepared the bird, put in the cooking bag I always use, put it in the biggest pan I had and then opened the oven door. There was about 1/2 inch clearance on all sides! Near disaster! After it was finished I had to cut off a bit of the burned edges, but it tasted fine. Asian ovens look big on the outside, but the insides are just big enough to fit a big chicken. They are not made for baking turkeys, roasts, pizzas or more than one pie. Fortunately we recently bought a new American style stove with a normal, big sized oven and 5 burners. This will be the first turkey and there will be plenty of room.

I noticed that Cold Strorage had a few turkey legs, which seem to be selling very fast. This would be perfect for one person or two people with small appetites. I have cooked them before and they are very good. I also noticed that there was an ample supply of cranberry sauce and mixed nuts. I looked for the baking bags and turkey stuffing mixes, but couldn't find them. Hopefully they will be in stock soon. In previous years the stuffing mixes arrived after Christmas. I did not see any butternut squash in the produce section. They never have a good selection of frozen vegetables, so forget the frozen squash option. I will probably go to the wet market for a better selection of vegetables.

For those who make pies, there was one can of apple pie filling and 3 cans of cherry pie filling. They haven't had pumpkin pie filling for over 3 years, so forget the pumpkin pie. Usually I make apple and pecan pie from scratch, so I'm not worried about that. For now Cold Storage seems to have enough baking supplies, such as sugar and flour, but that can change quickly.

I did notice the alcohol section was well stocked, with specials on wine, beer and spirits. So everything looks fine for those preparing for a Christmas dinner in Penang. Enjoy your Christmas preparations, whether your are in Malaysia  or wherever you will be celebrating Christmas.

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