Christmas is Coming! This is it.
For those of us lucky enough to have travelled over the Christmas period, you will have sampled the festive spirit with many twists on the traditional Christmas we know and love in England. One day I think England is the best at entertaining this festive season and the next, I m all for the rum, sandy beaches and sun, that comes with a hot Christmas for countires on the flip side. The one constant is that Santa still somehow managed to find chimneys on the most traditional of buildings, and leave something under the most inventive of trees for almost everyone that he can.
England. So comes the menu, the Turkey which I might add has been part of almost every Christmas fare that I have sampled. The bread sauce with Bay leaf & black peppercorn, the fresh cranberry sauce just tinted with cherry brandy, the roast potatoes, the boiled ham with honey and cinnamon glaze, the sprouts!!! (How they ended up there I still question, however I ve grown to be a lover of the miniture cabbage), the chipolata, the stuffing with chestnut empowering the plate, the roasted parsnip and of course the ever changing gravy train. The christmas pudding drowned in Brandy and a fire hazzard to many a table, the cheese, the mince pies, its endless. We feast on so much food we have to then loose ourslef into the sofa and for once, the TV becomes the second most important part of the day. Is this it!
West Indies the family comes together from every corner, each bringing another dish to add to the already humungous display of Christmas fare. Yep there is Turkey, the sweet potato roasted, mashed, boiled, the bread fruit salad, the salt fish, the spiced rice. Every forkful you spend each bite trying to pick out one of the many spices that has been added to this side. The fried plantains, the grilled lobster, the chicken with clove and honey, the pumpkin cooked so many ways from savoury to sweet, that you just can't decide on which to add to your already plentiful plate of food!!! Maybe this is it!
Vietnam. The turkey still managed to make a show, but its cradled with morning glory & smoked aubergine and stood in a sweet curry sauce instead of gravy. Vietnamese Christmas rolls which sweetned pork and shrimp and a fruit and chilli salsa and all finished off with sweet rice in banana leaves. Is this it!
Hong Kong. That Turkey is still there but they fry it till crispy and melts from the bone. It sits alongside those traditional sticky coffee ribs. They indulge the worlds menu and add Australian lamb, and have bulgogi beef on the side rather than the ham. Its a sweet soy, sesame & garlic galzed beef with a Korean twist. Mud and King crab are the seafood addition and by then, once your royally fed you sit and look to the sky which you know is there, somewhere, and consider the possibility of heading up the peak to sneak a look at the Hong Kong skyline. Is this it!
I guess what i m trying to say, is that everyone has thier own vision of the perfect day. In the hope that everyone can come together and enjoy the company of friends and family, lets not forget those less fortunate and consider maybe entertaining an elderly addition at the table. Wrap up those leftovers and find a welcome owner on the street. It feels good to pop that one extra chocolate bar or mince pie pack in the charity shop, and if there is one time of the year when everyone should STOP, and say TA very much for my amazing world, then surely
THIS IS IT!