Don't go out for Christmas dinner that's such a millennial thing to do. Instead, stay in, prepare, cook, serve, have fun, and be merry!
I've heard all the modern excuses about how good and easy it is to go out for Christmas dinner and I don't buy any of them. As far as I'm concerned, if you are at home over Christmas then home is where Christmas dinner should be eaten. Of course, if you are going to family or friends and they are putting on the spread then I understand and I don't mean that. What I mean is going out to a restaurant or something equivalent whereby all the catering is done for you by strangers.
If you are travelling away from home that's different also – like I said, you're not at home and are on holidays (perhaps a Christmas cruise) it's quite proper to eat out otherwise you could starve, which would be awful, especially at Christmas time!
I know it's a growing trend to be waited on for Christmas, or so the media says, but trends don't always mean people have found a better thing even if they try to talk themselves and others into it.
And whilst I think of it, to those "progressive" regressive wowsers who lobby for Christmas to be done away with altogether, I say… I've had nearly 50 years of wonderful Christmas's and I intend to have another 50 years more and I will eat as much ham as I like, send as many Christmas cards as I want, yell out MERRY XMAS whenever I feel fit and you'll never EVER stop me. So if you hate Christmas don't come near me or you'll leave covered in tinsel with a red nose.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, all that aside there's nothing better or more satisfying than making your own Christmas dinner no matter how simple it is except for making your own Christmas dinner with homegrown ingredients.
Every year, we try to make at least one Christmas dish that comes mostly sourced from our organic food garden. Salads are the easiest such as green salads or fruits but ferments are also an excellent choice. One of our favourite dips is made from fermented homegrown zucchinis and it's easy to make: combine fermented zucchinis with spreadable Philly cheese in a food processor until the consistency is easy enough to dip a cracker biscuit without breaking – it's YUMMY. By the way, I've made a video on how to ferment zucchini here on my YouTube Channel if you are interested…
Some people grow their own turkeys or other animals to eat specifically at Christmas (we've done ducks before), however, the easiest is homegrown fruit and veg for obvious reasons. This year we have a cocktail theme so we've marinated chillies and kaffir lime leaves in vodka to make an Asian drink on the day called the Thailander – all the chillies, lime leaves, and lemongrass used to pack in the vodka bottles were from our garden.
In the past, we've made pickled quail eggs for Christmas, sauerkraut (it goes well with roasted ham), a cheesecake with our own homemade passionfruit glaze, and many other treats. Sometimes just the fruit from a backyard tree can make an impact at Christmas dinner. To many people, it's a big deal that a piece of banana in a trifle or a slice of lime in their drink was organically homegrown and so it should be!
Christmas time to me is a chance for us to overexaggerate and be overly thankful for everyday food treating it like it's a once a year miracle. Afterall, it's because of and around this food where friends and family talk, catch-up, hug, laugh, cry, and be merry.
Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!