Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine (and an enormous amount of food).

Merry Christmas everyone! 

I'm writing this in bed (understandably), as I am currently suffering from the very real worry that if I stand up/exert myself whatsoever I will explode. Don't worry, I've got a box of Roses next to me to distract me from my impending doom. 

Well, what to say? My ramblings about Christmas food tend to involve synonyms of the phrase "I am so full, I think I may die" (if you can't at Christmas then when can you?), and this year has been no exception (that fourth helping of Yule Log definitely tipped me over the edge. Or maybe it was all the mince pies...)

Due to my oh-so-delightful parents deciding to turn vegetarian a few years ago my Christmas lunch unfortunately has no traditional turkey roast sitting proudly at the head of the table just waiting to be carved (I don't mean to offend any vegetarians, but I just don't think that a turkey replacement is ever going to suffice on the big day), so to make up for it and maintain my sanity I pile my plate high with all the succulent sides (potatoes, parsnips etc), and it usually works. 

However, this year, whilst I was ok with the "furkey" (fake turkey), I couldn't bring myself to give up chipolatas, a.k.a genuine food of the gods, so I may have made a sneaky portion of them for myself. And eaten them. All. Hey, it's tradition, right?

Alongside these bacon wrapped bundles of unadulterated joy (cue mouth watering uncontrollably), I enjoyed several helpings of roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, sage and onion stuffing (the classic), and, a recent favourite, maple roasted parsnips. For anyone that hasn't tried this I can't recommend it enough - just peel and chop handfuls of parsnips and then coat generously with maple syrup and a sprinkling of salt (you know my penchant for sweet and savoury). They comes out caramelised and richly rooty as only root vegetables can be - beautiful. 

So what are my Christmas essentials? Well, apart from putting an obscene amount of pigs-in-blankets to sleep in my stomach I've got to have an abundance of crisp yet fluffy roast potatoes, sticky sweet parsnips, thick gravy and cranberry sauce (cannot sing the praises of cranberry sauce enough - I think it was a testament to its glory that the Tesco near me had sold out a good week before Christmas). But apart from that, you've obviously got to have a Christmas pudding (or two, or three) - deliciously boozy and rich, with a fabulous texture - I love the attitude of just throwing anything vaguely fruit/nut related into a big pudding basin and cooking - as well as several dozen golden mince pies (with cream). Yum. However, my biggest requirement is boxes of assorted chocolates, to lead you into the big day and sustain you in between meals - Roses, Quality Street, Celebrations, anything like that - it just makes sure you maintain a constant sugar high through the festive period as well as having something to snack on. 

So there you have it - Christmas a la moi. Deliciously, disgustingly filling (with a side of mince pies and cream, please) - just don't think about what it's doing to your waistline. That's what new year's resolutions are for.

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