Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 86

I love my Christmas lunch. It is truly something to look forward to. I am traditional in my view of Christmas lunch with the menu consisting of ham, turkey, lamb and pork with all the roasted vegetables and various sauces and gravy. It is all topped off of course with a very alcoholic Christmas Pudding smothered in ice-cream, cream AND custard. And don’t forget the bon bons (or Christmas crackers) with the little paper hats, ridiculously juvenile jokes and worthless plastic gift. It is all part of the Australian tradition. It depends how many wines you have had as to how funny the jokes actually are of course. The Christmas photos make you wonder why you ever done the stupid crown in the first place, but at the time it is festive and practical and fabulously glamorous. I tried making my own bon bons one year. What a bloody carry on that was! I spent hours and loads of money putting computer printed jokes and stupid $5 gifts into toilet rolls (whoopi cushions, harmonicas and hologram sunglasses) and then rolling them all up into cellophane which of course had to be then unrolled by hand (rather than ripped and “cracked” apart) because stupid cellophane doesn’t tear easily. We didn’t do crowns that year but fabric Santa hats that didn’t fit into the bon bon and sat on the bread and butter plates instead. Everyone was very kind and remarked positively on the work I had put into it, but I think their self-talk was probably more along the lines of “what a waste of bloody time that was”. Needless to say that little journey into Betty homemaker was a trip I won’t be taking again. Craft and home-made seems like a good idea at the time, but give me a box of pre-made crackers with the stupid plastic thimbles, fake finger nails and a magnifying glass any time.

It seems though that traditions may be changing. Given Christmas is a summer time holiday in Australia many families choose the less heat intensive festive fare of seafood platters and salad. I know it’s ok to create new traditions, and I know that Australia should have its own Christmas rule book and steer away from its English roots, but that just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. My core belief (created by years of ridiculously hot kitchens producing big juicy meats surrounded by blow flies) is that Christmas lunch has to be cooked! It doesn’t matter that it raises the inside temperature by 15 degrees making it a 50 degree day - nor does it matter that there is enough meat to feed an army, two rock bands and a national university - Christmas lunch is Christmas lunch gosh darn it! It’s not a seafood buffet. It’s a feast fit for a King (and his entire congregation).

I have to say though, now that I have made my viewpoint very clear, I am bloody sick to death of eating left overs. As I sit here eating my turkey and cranberry sandwhich I wonder. Look at the date! It’s four days after Christmas and we STILL have a leg of ham, a piece of pork, shards of turkey and a wad of lamb to get through. That’s all we’ve been freakin’ eating! Ham and eggs for breakfast, ham and cheese toasted sandwiches for lunch, all four meats and salad for dinner (and plumb pud), then wake up and do it all again. It is possible that those seafood advocates are on to something?

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