|The fatsia in our garden|
is in flower but I don't have
a picture of fatsia flowers,
only of this leaf..
I don't have a picture of
so this will have to do.
A woman on Woman's Hour earlier today ((9th December 2013) was talking about spending four hours in the kitchen on Christmas Day.
Ever since, I've been wondering what she does in there.
This big deal of a big meal has long been a mystery to me.
Apart from keeping an eye on the water that's steaming the pudding and maybe basting the turkey if it's specially large, perhaps stirring up an infusion for bread sauce if you like it . . . how does the cooking of a Christmas meal differ from any other chicken dinner?
If you haven't made the Christmas cake - tough, it's too late.
If anyone is daft enough to want mince pies after they've been eating them at every event since the beginning of November 'No' is a good word. And if they insist . . . there are bound to be some old ones which can be re-heated somewhere in a tin. If not, the kitchen will be too hot for making short-crust pastry. Back to 'No'. (Politely, of course. 'You must be joking' wouldn't go down too well.)
Maybe volume is an issue? Is that it? Theoretically potatoes can be peeled the day before. Christmas Eve tends to be busy so maybe there wasn't time then. But four hours peeling potatoes? No. That can't be it.
|I don't have a picture|
of a Christmas pudding
or mince pie.
Here's a pumpkin
Our family is a bit relaxed about Christmas which is probably why we don't 'get it'. We have a chicken dinner on Christmas Eve. It's dark then so there's a reason for candles. Everyone chooses their favourite food for lunch on Christmas Day - which generally turns out to be tinned tomato soup, pizza, tuna pasta salad, those kinds of things. If we had a fridge, oven chips would certainly turn up on the list but we don't - so there! I'm thinking our children are big enough now that we can say 'Make yourselves anything you like' and set them free in the kitchen. (At which point a bag of soggy oven chips from yesterday might emerge from a cold place in the garden.)
Crisps, fizzy drinks . . . they're all filling. You don't need a big cooked meal on Christmas Day. Nuts and oranges . . . these are nutritious aren't they? Cold chicken/turkey from the night before goes well with a salad. (Or a sandwich.)
And here's a tip. A really, really, important tip. Don't open presents till after the meal. No-one will want to fiddle around eating when there are parcels to open!
Washing up takes a while after a Christmas meal. But washing up always takes a while. The only way you could spend more time washing up than you would after an ordinary Sunday lunch would be if you had as many guests as would warrant four hours of peeling potatoes. And if you had a house big enough to accommodate that many guests, you'd probably have servants to do the washing up for you while you went and opened your Christmas presents.
So . . . how long do you spend in the kitchen on Christmas Day? And if it's four hours . . .
WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?
Or was is five?