We all have our own family traditions during the festive season. Whether you decorate a tree, put up lights, stuff stockings and kiss under the mistletoe, or you build gingerbread houses, deliver meals to the homeless or travel abroad, there is one common thread and that is food. Food that is cooked with love and shared in abundance … and not even 2020 can take that joy away from us.
North of the equator, and usually next to a roaring fire, dining room tables are groaning with tender roast turkey filled with hearty stuffing, honey-glazed gammon served with tart applesauce or tangy mustard, fluffy melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes, warm roasted chestnuts and let’s not forget the brussels sprouts our mothers always forced us eat. Further south, as temperatures peak, cold meats, grilled seafood and hearty summer salads bursting with flavour are enjoyed outdoors under cool, shady trees.
The wine flows, the eggnog is generously spiked with rum and the delightful popping of champagne corks is continuous. As for dessert, well that’s in a class of its own. Whether you tuck into the customary mince pies, buttery shortbread or traditional plum pudding that is drowned in a rum-infused sauce, or you prefer a chunky slice of old-fashioned apple pie topped with homemade ice cream, freshly baked gingerbread men decorated with colourful sweets or a rich chocolatey Yule log, ’tis most definitely the season to eat and be merry.
So, as you look ahead to next month’s end-of-year feast, stock your December cupboards with ingredients for these festive treats.
I’ll leave you with one of my most favourite festive quotes:
“May all your joys be pure joys, and all your pain champagne.”
(Amarula Coffee Banner Image © Matt Yardley).