Good Food Blog
Christmas lunch...whether you like it or notPosted at 11:26AM, 15 December 2008 by Caroline Hire - Food editor, bbcgoodfood.com
I love Christmas. For me, it starts on December 1st and by the end of the first week excitement has reached fever pitch. The carols, the present buying, the parties, the anticipation of seeing family from far-flung corners of the world...and then of course there's the food.
Now as a lover of food in all its forms (except walnuts) and of cooking too, the Christmas meal should really be the highlight and in many ways it is BUT I do vouch that many of us grin and bear it through at least part of the traditional repast simply because it IS tradition.
There's many a roast that surpasses turkey in my opinion, a succulent sirloin of beef for example has infinitely more flavour. And with all the trimmings that go with it, it can be just as ceremonious.
However, when it comes to Christmas - it's very hard to break with tradition much to the disappointment of taste buds everywhere.
Starters thankfully seem to be open to interpretation so smoked salmon with black pepper and lemon never goes a miss. I do enjoy the turkey but believe it's the bacon, stuffing, chipolatas and gravy that are the true heroes. Sprouts, well they're ok, just ok, I defy anyone to say they're up there among their favourite vegetables. Bread sauce, love it. Cranberry sauce, hate it. And potatoes cooked in goose fat? I don't care what Gordon and Heston say, no way.
Still overall the first two courses of Christmas meal get the thumbs up. The worst part has to be the pud. Sharp, cloying, dense, all the things a pudding shouldn't be. Add brandy butter and that's a double vommy...err, whammy.
This year, of course the traditional spread will trot out, course after course as anticipated by my expectant family. We'll all smile, make appreciative noises and overeat but deep down we'll be grateful we won't being repeating at least parts of the experience for another year.
Are you planning a traditional spread this year? Are there any foods you dare to shun in favour of something tastier? Or should tradition be upheld at all costs? Let us know what'll be on your table this Christmas.