09 January 2015
The last month is a time steeped in traditions some of them very old, my understanding is that you only have to do something twice for it to become a tradition. The food eaten as part of the celebration varies across the world but it is usually the same food each year. In the UK a Roast Turkey is the centre piece of a meal on Christmas Day, this was popularised by the Victorians although it was eaten by some for many centuries prior. The Christmas Pudding most usually served for dessert is thought to date back to medieval times.
As a vegetarian I don't eat turkey and I have to confess that I have never really been a fan of Christmas pudding or cake, minces pies or trifle. I can well remember spending the period after eating on Christmas day in bed not because I had eaten too much but because the food is so and rich and my digestive system complained. I have been mulling over thoughts about Christmas food lately. We spend alternate years at home, the other year is spent with parents/grandparents. When we go away for Christmas we eat the traditional food of the season (not me!) but if we are at home I don't prepare any of them. My oven is big enough to take a turkey but not much else so I usually cook a ham or chicken. I have a lot to do when we have Christmas at home so I prefer not to use my time preparing food that I will not eat, as this means I have to make double the amounts so that I have something to eat too. December can become a month of excess on so many fronts, I always strive to keep things simple so cooking double food quantities does not sit well with me.
I have worried that my particular diet means that my children are missing out on the traditional food of Christmas until I realised that every other year they get offered that food at their grandparents houses. We can make our own 'traditional' food at home creating new ones of our own and giving the children the best of both worlds which they can choose from in their future. So I think our new tradition will be a roast dinner based around a ham or possible a chicken with a Spicy Lentil Loaf as a veggie option and an apple pie for pudding. If we are in want or need of cake, then the wonderful rich and light Rosemary Loaf Cake, Nigella Lawson's take on the Madeira cake and Maids of Honour another Nigella recipe in place of the mince pies.
So what is on your menu at Christmas do you have your own traditions or stick to the old ones?