Monday, December 7, 2009

Quote of the Day... Plus a Bit of a Food Rant

“As to the more substantial part of the Christmas cooking, the turkeys and goose must go to their inevitable fates in the oven. Every year …. the thousands upon thousands of English women cooking, for one week of the year, as if for their very lives, patiently chopping and pounding…” Elizabeth tells us that these women, skinning, mixing and stuffing, with their “mountains of brussels sprouts, cannot but command respectful admiration.” Lukewarm praise for those gargantuan efforts. Elizabeth cannot hide her distaste for English Christmas fare and in confirmation gives recipes entirely untypical: pâtés and terrines. The fact was that she hated Christmas turkey, loathed Brussels sprouts, and had said before and was saying again, by implication, that English women would do better to look to the quality of their simpler daily fare rather than this impressive annual burst of effort.”

Elizabeth David, a biography by Lisa Chaney.

I've been pondering that recently, the fuss and bother over a single meal, not to mention the preparations for all other entertaining over the Christmas holiday. I consider the hours and hours that go into making a full-out Christmas dinner, for - what - an hour's worth of sitting and enjoying the meal, if you really stretch it out? What I have come to so far is that our Christmas dinner will be a simpler affair to prepare, but it should be an excellent meal. And, yet again, I'm not doing turkey. Although I'm considering roasting a piece so that we can have left-over sandwiches, which - for me - are the best part of the whole turkey deal. Last year it was ham and stuffed turkey breast, the year before it was ham and game pie. I'm thinking of doing this blog's favourite meat: lamb. But whatever happens, there'll be pictures!

What are your holiday food plans? If you're blogging about them, please let me know.


Protege said...

You seem such an accomplished cook. I never cook and I have always someone else preparing the Christmas dinner for me. This year is no exception; my guests are bringing all the food, while I offer the house.;)

Audubon Ron said...

I haven't decided on the meal just yet. But I rather like the preparation. Pull a cork, a little for the pot, a little for the chef, a little for the pot and a bunch more for the chef. What ever is left over, I'll fax it to you.

Blog Princess G said...

Protege: That sounds like a good plan to me, and an equitable sharing of resources. :)

Ron: Thanks for the sentiment... hey - you shorted out my fax machine!

Marie said...

I love that Elizabeth David quote. I know it well :-) An hour? Nah...more than that. Courses break things up.

I'll be cooking for my husband's small family in Bloeil, QC(we've never met). They are not cooks. I am. I have no idea what it will be. I usually celebrate Christmas in Cape Town, and then it's always lamb, roasted quite simply. Maybe it will be again.

Blog Princess G said...

Marie, it's good to know that lamb is your Christmas dinner. It's going to be ours for certain now and I am eschewing it till the big day so as to make it an even more special treat. Have a lovely holiday in QC. They're going to adore you. :)