By Joanne Elliott
It’s getting near that time of year again. Yes, that’s right… it’s time for Christmas endorsed indulgence!
What is it with this time of year that makes us forget all of our better habits? No longer will the simple carrot stick suffice, oh no! At Christmas time the only sociably acceptable carrot sticks are smothered in creamy, calorie laden cheese and chive or (rather un-festively) mild Tandori dip. And then there’s the succulent turkey to contend with, the fragrant cheese and crunchy biscuits, creamy sherry trifle, and dribbly rum pudding with lashings of cream… the list goes on.
I’m not a doctor. Even the thought of horrifically graphic injuries turns my blood cold. So take this as you will… but I think that we food lovers should just sit back and enjoy it. We should accept the fact that we will all bloat up at least three extra sizes, and then swear to loose it all again at New Year. Think about it; if you haven’t put weight on over the festive period, you’ll have to commit yourself to a proper New Year’s resolution… and nobody wants that, now do they?!
My only condition to this notion of willingly succumbing to such extravagant pleasure, is that one should not settle for ‘traditional Christmas food’ per-say. New recipes should be sought out, and concocted alongside the usual bounty of festive regulars on the Christmas dining table. Don’t forget, your kitchen is like the Matrix; there are no rules which can’t be broken. Do you really like brussel sprouts and roast parsnips, or do you just eat them because it’s the ‘traditional’ thing to do? Think back to your childhood, when Christmas held that unobtainable magical quality. Did you ever stop to think that there was anything wrong with keeping the sausage stuffing until the end of the meal, because in your eyes it was the best bit? Or did you ever question your craving for devouring the custard off the trifle, rather than the fruit sponge at the bottom?
This year, why not try to reinvent this carefree mentality within yourselves. If you have a passion for apricots, why not try making an apricot, cranberry and leak stuffing? Who says that tinned cherries smothered in kirsch should be confined to the brandy snap basket? Why not dip the brandy snap in chocolate, crumble it, whip it into some high quality ice cream, and serve the delightfully fattening pud with a blended kirsch and cherry sauce instead.
Start asking yourself these questions. Get thinking. Be inventive. If you like it, make it! Because if you’re going to do this festive indulgence thing, you may as well do it properly!
Joanne Elliott is an international freelance writer and illustrator from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain. To date she has been published in over fifty different formats in Canada, America, New Zealand and the UK. Enquiries welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org