Nearly 50 Easy Riders attended the annual Christmas meal at the Braintree & Bocking
United Services Club. We missed a few people who were unable to attend – like Julia who
had a head cold, and Margot. Margot had to fly to Australia, where her Mum had taken a
turn for the worse. Thankfully Margot arrived to see her Mum before she passed, and Easy
Riders send her their love and condolences.
This year Jim and I were on a table with Aydin and his wife, and Fiona. Aydin and his wife
had just returned that day from a holiday in Los Angeles to see their son, so after an 11 hour
flight with a 10 hour time difference, were feeling a little jet-lagged. I discovered Aydin is
tri-lingual – speaking Turkish, English and German. I’m always impressed when people
speak more than one language, and to be able to speak several languages fluently makes
me full of admiration.
Fiona and I had a conversation about whether vegetarian food should emulate meat dishes.
She and I agree that if dishes are meant to be non-meat, it seems strange/pointless to
create fake meat dishes. She said jackfruit is frequently presented as vegan pulled pork. I’d
not come across this, although I’ve often eaten it when working on a station. For the
uninitiated, jackfruit looks like a huge, oval, warty melon on steroids, often 2 feet long,
weighing c20lbs. Once opened it is crammed with fleshy fruitlets, tasting of mixed exotic
fruit. Given the size of jackfruit, there was always plenty to share with about 20 staff on a
station. Unripe jackfruit holds flavour well, and the texture makes it suitable for simulated
barbecued meat. Fiona and I were both of the opinion that if you want to avoid meat, then
you need to enjoy vegetables for their own sake! (PS, I’m not a vegetarian!).
Peter had organised a raffle where everyone had a ticket attached to their meal options,
and many different types of prizes had been donated by various people. Mick provided a
Christmas stocking with a lucky dip for everyone – containing tyre levers and tyre patches –
which obviously we are all competent to use!!!. Andrew read a monologue about the
travails of supermarket shopping at Christmas. After a lovely dinner, one of the raffle prize
winners was sharing his box of chocolates – just in case we had not eaten enough already!!
This year’s quiz was a list of anagrams of popular British foods – surprisingly difficult – yet
included many predictable traditional dishes. I was particularly upset that I did not
recognise Cullen Skink – probably my favourite soup, made from smoked haddock, that I
seek out when we’re in Scotland!
We’ve booked next year’s meal at the same venue – on Friday …. December, 7 for 7.30
Ed - a big thank you to Peter and Sue for organising the meal. The food was excellent and the company wasn't too bad......