Even though Christmas is not really my box of biscuits, and even though I'm feeling more frazzled than festive, I will still need to eat, and it's still a day off. Which means a whole day to cook and eat, right?
So, with this in mind, I have begun charting out my Christmas Day menu. We're staying home this year - I didn't spend my every stray potential record-buying dollar on tiles and paint to spend the festive period stuck in a car or on the ferry on one of our pilgrimages south. I have a new Bosch oven that my Ma was kind enough to chip in for, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to spend the day using it to prepare something truly top drawer.
And furthermore, I'll be damned if there is Christmas cake/ Christmas pud/ turkey anywhere to be seen.
This is my loose plan;
1) "Brunch" - I will wake early, I always do. I might have some toast to tide me over until the nebulous "brunch" concept becomes a reality. Note to self - make sure we have proper, toastable bread, and some of Mr Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter - this morning's Marmite on pita bread is really not going to cut the mustard. For proper brunch, we are going visiting. I am thinking either pancakes with fresh berries (from Cuba Fruit, natch), whipped Zany Zeus cream (yoghurt is the last refuge of the self-deluders), and some julienned mint (classy, stylish); or one of those Ottolenghi styled baked egg dishes with roasted peppers and tomatoes - shakshuri, I believe it is called. Some chopped parsley. Perhaps some crispy fried prosciutto. In which case - those pita breads will definitely be pressed into service. It will be boss.
2) Late lunch - I plan on malingering over "brunch" for a while, before getting down to some seriously unfestive, but nonetheless delicious, cooking and eating. I am thinking a roasted chicken (sumac, lemon, garlic - Lola Dog will eat the spine after I butterfly it to roast), some more of that Ottolenghi vibe kosheri/ mejadra (rice, noodles, lentils, spices), a spicy tomato sauce, and a spectacular summer salad of broad beans, fresh peas, shaved zucchini, mint, feta and citrus. I might also slow-cook a pork belly. Just for thrills. For dessert I will entreat Plus One to make some of those brown sugar meringues. More cream, more berries. Perhaps some passionfruit pulp, and a dollop of Zany Zeus icecream, for good measure.
3) Dinner - there will doubtless be a Hugh Grant (my favourite actor - seriously) movie on telly I have seen many, many times before that I can nod off in front of for most of the late afternoon. The pool will be closed so I needn't even feel guilty. When I come to, I will cobble together a leftovers sandwich - either chicken or pork. I might even just make my patented grilled cheese and hoisin sauce sandwich - it's just a bit crappy. I love it.
4) Inbetweens - some chocolates. Some more chocolates. Some licorice (might go to The Dutch Shop in the weekend). Some stonefruit - peaches, nectarines, apricots - they are just getting to the awesome stage. Perhaps some cherries. Dried fruit and nuts, or any "scroggin" type mixture will not pass my lips. "Scroggin" - it even sounds depressing.
5) Drinks - I actually don't drink that much, so I have decided that when I do I am going to try my best to drink locally brewed "craft" type beers - my current go-to is Tuatara's delicious pilsner, but if anyone wanted to chip in and drop me off some Garage Project brews, I would greet them fondly, as one would an old, and welcome, friend. Thank you! I also plan on having some Pedro Ximenez sherry - it's delicious. Raisin-y.
And so, happy Christmas everybody. I trust that you will spend it with those you love (or at least like), and that you eat heartily, and well, and fresh. This is the last Omnivore post for the year - thanks again for your patronage - I believe we will be back on deck sometime around the 7th of January.
Be happy, be healthy, be safe and well. Take care of each other.
Love on ya, TO X
What's on your Christmas Day menu? Care to share? And feel free to suggest any topics I might like to broach next year...
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Photo by Lotus Head