In this country, it seems that turkey with all the trimmings is the meal of the day; Christmas day, that is. Everywhere you look, all the cooking magazines and food articles in the papers give advice for cooking the bird on the big day.
They give you step by step instructions, giving a countdown from early in the morning to when you actually sit down to eat, which is at 2:00.
Everyone in the UK sits down at 2:00 on Christmas day to eat?
Is this some kind of law?
Perhaps the turkey police will show up at your door if you’re not eating at 2:00.
This seems to be the time to eat on Christmas even years ago according to some older cookbooks I’ve looked at. Nothing wrong with tradition, but this country seems to be hell-bent on it. I don’t think we ever had a set time when we would sit down to eat at Christmas. We may have eaten a bit earlier, or even a bit later. Obviously, it’s not mandatory in the U.S.
It’s also not mandatory to have a turkey on Christmas day in the U.S. Besides, who wants to be eating turkey again especially since you’ve probably just finished eating the leftovers from Thanksgiving!
There were times when we would have a ham or a beef roast or sometimes even both! I even remember my mom making lasagna a few times.
Back then, there were seven of us, so a good bit of food was needed. As times have changed and I’m now here in the UK, there are only three of us: Chef P, me and his mum. We don’t need a turkey as it would must be too much food. We also spend Christmas day at Mum’s and do all the cooking as her mobility is not as good as it used to be.
So…if we’re not making a turkey, then what are we making?? It’s never too early to decide and it’s always good to plan ahead.
Last night we were watching The Great British Food Revival. Ten of the best known chefs and cooks promote foods that have seem to fallen by the waste-side and try to get the British public to eat these foods again. This week we saw then promoting English Mustard, sardines, gooseberries, mushrooms, brown shrimp, offal and last night was duck.
Yes! We’re having mustard coated sardines with gooseberries and mushrooms! What???
As we were watching last night, I suggested to Chef P that duck might be a good idea for Christmas and he agreed and he said that his mum loves duck.
We’re going to try and order one from our local butcher so next time we’re there, we’ll ask Nick if he could get us an Aylesbury Duck. There is only one duck farmer in the whole country who sells this particular breed and he is the sixth generation of family raising these ducks with history going back to circa 1775.
So what are you having for Christmas dinner?
Have you even thought about it yet? No? Get a move on!