Monday, 5 December 2011

The Scrooge guide to Christmas dinner

Listening to Mary Berry telling people how to cook Christmas dinner, it occurs to me that this is a vastly over-rated meal.

1. Turkey. Do we really, really love turkey? Is it a treat? Not really. And then when you're dealing with the carcass the next day, there are all those stringy sinewy bits which never occur in the humble chicken.
2. Giblets. These look and are disgusting. Take no notice of the people who say you must make them into gravy. Just throw them away. (If you have a cat, and you can stand the sight of it dragging them off the plate onto the floor and doing that sideways chewing thing cats do, then this could be another solution.)
3. Many adults and all children hate sprouts.
4. If Christmas pudding is that good, why don't we eat it all year round?
5. Ditto mince pies.
6. Christmas cake. No-one has room for this after eating the above. I used to make one every Christmas, and throw it away at Easter, because no-one liked it.
7. Paper hats fall off.

But we shall do/have all the above, because that's what you do. And Christmas morning has to smell of roasting turkey (by far the best thing about roast turkey is its smell). Best of all, it's no longer my job. My domestic goddess daughter does it all.


  1. One year, when the boys were with their Dad for Christmas day, we had our dinner on Christmas eve and, by democratic vote, we had Chinese takeaway.
    Nobody in our house likes turkey, the boys hate sprouts (still, though they're now 20 and 21) and we're all behind you on the pudding thing.
    This year we're having beef, Yorkshires and veg we all like, followed by raspberry pavlova and Ben and Jerry's Phish food icecream. Oh, and little fun pressies on the table instead of crackers.

  2. Listening to Mary Berry this morning, I had the same feeling. Why does everyone get so uptight about a roast dinner. I refuse to be a slave in the kitchen, and won't feel guilty about buying in what I don't feel confident making. I can't quite bring myself to buy a ready prepared dinner from M&S though.

  3. We have chocolate sponge instead of Christmas pudding and goose instead of turkey. I still cook the sprouts and swede that only I eat and then get excited about turning the leftovers into bubble-and-squeak. And then I discover the foil-wrapped parcels cowering at the back of the fridge about three weeks later. The trouble is, my mother and husband helpfully wrap all leftovers, sweet and savoury, in foil, so I can't tell what's what without unwrapping them all. And the fridge is so full of all the other Christmas essentials, such as three heads of broccoli, peculiar cheese and bottles of Baileys, that I can never be bothered to wade through it all.

  4. We always make everyday xmas as we can afford it. It does not mean a feast, but the fun, the songs, the laughters while on dinner table. That's Xmas!

    On the 24th, just to spice up a bit, instead of 1 roasted chicken (we dont do turkeys in the Philippines, too big for our table... LOL!), we have more than what we use to, and a little more "pansit" and soup, which is intended for leftovers for breakfast on 25th morn....

    Love this post... Very enlightening!...

    Have a great week ahead!...


  5. Quite different to what we do here. My parents - and their parents before them - always serve Wiener sausages and spuds salad on Christmas Eve; that's, for us, the most important part of Christmas, and the time when gifts are exchanged, the candles on the tree are lit and a few carols are sung.
    My sister and I wouldn't want it any other way, no matter how old we get, and we simply love our dad's spuds salad (and yes, we eat that all year round, not just on Christmas Eve).
    It's a lot less work for our parents to prepare the dinner, and a lot less cleaning up for everyone to do afterwards, and leaves us all the more time to enjoy each other's company, which we do :-)
    I love Christmas!

  6. Humbug! I'll admit to being a sprout despiser, though I do like a mince pie. I just have to banish the thought that their gritty consistency could harbour all kinds of creepy crawlies, and nobody would be any the wiser.

  7. Alis, lucky you!

    Maggie May, I only once made my own pudding, and nobody noticed the difference, so it was back to Mrs. Peake. Daughter (aka domestic goddess) has of course made her own.

    Joanna, husband hankers after goose, but with 17 of us....

    JJ - sounds great fun!

    Librarian, I LOVE German sausage - best in the world. Lucky you!

    Valance, I guess you won't be too bothered about turkey and sprouts, sitting on that porch of yours in the sun...

  8. oh oh oh oh, i so so agree<<<>i like christmas beast after all that turkey a mere 2 weeks ago, and eggnog, tonight is our son's eggnog fest, but being diabetic{at least that is what they tell me} eggnog is supposed to be the WORST THING


  10. Putz, I couldn't have put it better myself.

  11. I'm a veggie So I'll say no more.
    My MBLoved has ordered a Goose this year, but he's going to jointed it so he has plenty of meat for the next few months. At the moment the goose doesn't know what its getting for christmas as it still happily running around enjoying life.

  12. But Jarmara - you can still have the sprouts!

  13. Soup made from the carcass is the best thing about having a turkey. You're right though, most of us don't love turkey. It's probably quite a good choice if you're cooking for loads of people who'll expect something traditional, but otherwise there are plenty of nicer alternatives.