Just like you, but different
Since I moved from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern (England to New Zealand) I’ve always struggled with the concept of Santa, Trees, Snow, and the “full’ Christmas dinner.
There are some things that just are Christmas dinner, so I can set those aside.
The Trifle for dessert. There’s probably a law or something that requires trifle on christmas day. Can’t abide the stuff myself, but Father-in-law and the children love it.
I made is a mission a few years ago to come up with a dessert suggestion that I thought would be both “common” and at the same time “challenging” to make. The first one I cam up with was “Cassata Ice-cream”. Which turned out to be a roaring success.
Pavlova are a challenge to make, but usually end up well, and given the amount of wine you’ve had before you get to pudding then who cares?
Eton Mess. Which has to be the easiest of my suggestions, fruit, cream and meringue, enough to make a man fat.
But back to the timeline. It’s summer, or getting summery in December in New Zealand, and for years we soldiered on with a roast turkey, Ham, potatoes, vegetables, gravy. One year we just said that enough was enough, and that it seemed daft to have a full dinner on a day when there was much to celebrate and enjoy by way of family and friends than to stand in the kitchen and cook.
So we’ve pushed back “dinner” from 6pm to 8pm, and we’ve had Salmon and potato Salad, We’ve had Scotch Fillet on the BBQ, something a bit “posh” but not the “old way”. I’ve also been known to make dinner bread rolls.
One year we asked the children what starter they wanted, and one of them suggested prawn cocktail, which we had to have in the traditional way in a wine glass, oh the horror!
But the end is always Trifle, and one other thing.
This year even to change it up a bit more we’re having our traditional family christmas dinner on christmas eve. It’s the only evening when the children are going to be with us as due to work commitments and them needing the money more than me have to head back to the city on Christmas day evening.
Back in the day though the abiding memory I have of christmas Turkey was the one time when Dad had made a big deal about bringing the Turkey home for christmas dinner. He did turn up with one, Feathers and all. A big one. I have no idea where he got it from, or even why he thought it was a good idea.
Ever plucked a turkey on the back doorstep at 7pm at night in the freezing cold?
Christmas dinner at my childhood home would have been an all-in affair, not only the parents 8 children, the dog, but various girlfriends and boyfriends, neighbours and acquaintances. Dinner was served on a roster system, how do you fit that many around a table that seated 6 🙂 It would have been a big turkey.
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Family traditions give us roots. Merry Christmas!