Every year in my house (and possibly thousands of homes across the world) a debate ignites as to what is and isn’t traditional when it comes to the Christmas dinner. Clearly the place to start is the bird. Everybody loves a Christmas turkey, it insights memories of home with the family, however well or badly cooked it is and will always be a symbol of Christmas in the western world, in my opinion. There are however, some factions that prefer to go slightly different and roast a goose or a duck. I see no problem with this but I find it difficult to imagine my own personal Christmas without a turkey on the table. I tend to sway towards two meats, the first being the turkey and the second, a roasted joint of gammon to go with it, I feel it really gives an additional dimension to the meal as a whole and helps to diversify the experience a little. So for me it has to be turkey, but doing something else to accompany it never hurts.
But what about the veg? I hear absolutely nobody cry, well, this is the subject which can fuel the debate from your first nibble of a sprout all the way through to the obligatory Christmas special soaps. From my point of view there are a handful of things that are ESSENTIAL to a Christmas dinner. These things are; Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, carrots, mashed potato and roasted parsnips. Not everybody will agree with that I know but for me that’s Christmas veg in a (chest) nut shell, but this is challenged with a vast array of other peoples ideas of ‘traditional’ like cauliflower, broccoli, pea’s and even though not vegetables the addition of Yorkshire puddings still just puzzles me. But the more I ponder this the more I come to the same conclusion.
It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter what goes on the plate at the end of the day, all that matters is what that food means to you. the taste of a dried out turkey that mom forgot to get out because she was picking up the Christmas tree that the dog knocked over, or the smell of the fluffy goose fat roasted potatoes filling your nostrils, everybody has their own idea of what Christmas means to them and what represents that in terms of food. What makes A Christmas dinner for me? that’s a really easy question to answer. whatever me and my family feel will make a memorable meal and a dessert that just about fits in before we burst. the contents don’t really mean anything.
I love cooking for people and Christmas dinner just gives me another opportunity to do what I love and feed people with the results of some hard graft in the kitchen. So ultimately weather your roasting a goose, turkey, duck, leg of lamb, baking a potato or having ham and cheese toasties, if that’s what Christmas is to you, go for it. Enjoy it and have a great time with your loved ones like I intend to this year. I cant wait!