It’s nearly Christmas.
How do we know? Because Matchmakers are on BOGOF, Greggs have started stocking those little mini Xmas pud truffle things again and the festive Radio Times is out. And Michael Buble is now playing in every shop in the city centre.
“the latest craze of
Also, pubs, bars and restaurants are now teeming with office parties as workers set aside their ongoing mild hatred of each other to don a paper hat, pull a cracker and make questionable career choices with some mistletoe.
And at those meals, people are being faced with the latest craze of food abomination – putting a Christmas dinner on everything.
Supermarkets and sandwich shops have done it for a while – a Christmas dinner sarnie. Which is fair enough – turkey and cranberry is a pleasing filling, and they don’t try and shoe horn a roast potato in there, which would be very wrong indeed.
But sadly, it doesn’t stop there. So far this week, I’ve seen a Christmas dinner pie, a Christmas dinner burger, and a Christmas Dinner on a hot dog.
No, no, no, no, no.
Christmas dinner, as we all know, belongs on a plate. What’s next? The Christmas dinner kebab? Brussel sprout flavoured houmous? Christmas dinner ice cream?
Actually, I bet you a fiver that last one happens.
Let’s be clear about this. In no way shape or form does a Yorkshire pudding belong on a hot dog, in much the same way as a parsnip should have no dealings with a burger.
I’m not even having the Christmas dinner pizza, which kind of started it all from a restaurant point of view.
Christmas dinner belongs on a plate, and that’s about it. What’s the point of having a tradition if traditionalists have that tradition stolen from them? It’s just not on.
Foodies are ruining everything.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ Raymond Blanc Cookery School is running new ‘Christmas Dinner Party classes’, at a cost of £365. That’s £1 a day to learn how to make a tweaked version of a Sunday lunch for people who a) won’t appreciate it, b) don’t want to be there or are c) drunk.
Even boozehounds aren’t safe. Aqua, the level 31 bar in London’s Shard, has created a drink called Old St Nick – Bulleit Whiskey, Johnnie Walker Black, clementine, and mince-pie syrup, served it in a Christmas stocking.
World Class UK Bartender of the Year James Fowler has his own Zacanta cocktail – Christmas mincemeat, spiced pineapple, 23 rum and a ‘hot date foam’.
Of course, in post-recession Britain, splashing out and being inventive at Christmas can make us feel that bit perkier. Being brave with kitchen classics makes us feel like masters of our own food kingdom, like the time my mate Eddy put blackcurrant jam in his lasagne sauce, to ‘add depth’.
Whether you plump for a straight up turkey dinner or you’re drawing up plans for a 13-bird roast (ostrich to sparrow), it’s good to know that so many of us make food and drink such an integral part of our Christmas plans.
Just put the mistletoe down and think before you pucker up, yes?