Christmas is about the food.
Now, before you accuse me of being shallow and gluttonous (trust me, I remember Philippians 3:19), think a little harder about that statement: Christmas is about the food.
a-bout (preposition): blah blah blah other definitions then… 5. on every side of; around.
Christmas happens around the food. And, really, thank God for that. Think about it: you know that annual game of Scrabble you play with semi-senile Uncle Bob, the one that always gets a little vicious around the triple word scores, the one that involves a h*** of a lot of four-letter words? Well, imagine that on an empty stomach. It’d be like an alphabet blitzkrieg. And I don’t even want to imagine where the J would end up.
Food is obviously so much more than comestibles, we all know that (and if you don’t, then get yourself a copy of The Edible Woman right this second and don’t even speak to me till you’re finished) – but especially at Christmastime. Food goes schizophrenic.
Food is the shit-disturber (“Oh, Brenda, how nice of you to bring a jello salad! But really, you shouldn’t have gone to so much effort….”), and the pacifier (“We’ll discuss this later; it’s dinner-time”). Food is the silence-filler (when you don’t know what to say to the great-aunt who just gave you a second-hand negligee from her third marriage to a man with a faux fur fetish), and the silence-maker (anyone with manners isn’t going to talk while they’re chewing). Food is the beating heart of this dysfunctional organism we call “the holidays.” Santa wouldn’t even bother coming if it wasn’t for the cookies.
Speaking of cookies, I made a few little treat-fillled gift tins for some people that I like enough to feed, but not enough to shop for (and who wouldn’t prefer my baked goods to a scented candle?). It was a minor, but thoroughly enjoyable, effort – and a rather tasty one, as well. May I present:
Double chocolate truffles, rolled in flaked filberts… and Curried Cashew and Coconut Brittle. Yeah, you heard me: curried! And proud of it. Finally, I made something just for me: Marcus Wareing’s second-to-none Gingerbread. (It is like Christmas spirit in sliceable form, seriously.) Tomorrow I’ll drive to my parents’ house and begin the family celebrations but tonight, it’s the Jordi Wieler Christmas special – starring me, some spicy loaf, homemade apple cider, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which I found in the teen fiction section of Chapters today. (If food is the heart of the Christmas body, then books have got to be the lungs. Whenever the air gets too tight, or I simply start hyperventilating, I read for sheer survival. I suggest you do the same.) Got some candles lit, got some Louis Armstrong for company, got a pile of presents wrapped and waiting to be delivered. It’s a good day. And hey, it’s almost freakin’ Christmas! What’s not to be excited about? Especially when you’ve got one of these laying around…
And so, I sign off with a full, happy belly… and I hope you do the same. Merry Christmas, everyone. Especially you, Lizzie Erwood! x