So the 12 days of Christmas are now in full swing and it’s about this time that I begin recovering from my food-hangover. I never really like to think that Christmas is done as soon as we all fall into bed in our new pj’s, I’m all for dragging out the Christmas spirit & I think the easiest way is with food.
In our family the preparing of Christmas food starts long before either of the main events: If I’m making a Christmas cake I will start that at least a month in advance, but even if I’m not we will most certainly be making gingerbread, and that will begin a fortnight before Christmas. We will then make saffron buns, start to pickle the herrings, cure the salmon, make the Christmas porridge, and eventually slow cook the Christmas ham. The final touch before the day is making our Christmas sweets: this year we made knack and ice chocolate. Then of corse there is the cooking that happens on the day itself.
Food is such a massive part of Christmas for us that most years it causes more excitement than the giving & receiving of gifts, this year was certainly one of those years. Despite the time and effort that goes into preparing the food it is always enjoyable, and rarely stressful: Cooking becomes a social event, and the food that we’re preparing is so unique to this time of year and is so traditional that it’s almost like falling back into a comfortable routine, there are few hidden surprises or stresses. There is also a real appreciation of the nostalgic flavours and ritual that goes with the food that help to bring back memories, and invoke a sense of certainty and calm in our other wise stressful and unpredictable lives.
The other great thing about Christmas food is that you always make too much, and that means there will be a day or two where you don’t need to cook at all – which considering I don’t generally enjoy cooking that much, is pretty awesome. And if like me you’ve eaten so much that even a grape would set you sweating: Left overs are perfect because you don’t feel guilty about only eating one mouthful per meal. I had one of my favourite Christmas’ to date, and the food certainly played a part. Here’s some photos of 2 of the 3 Christmas meals I some how managed to consume these past two days, I hope you had as merry a Christmas as we did. Love to you all.