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Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2018, 13:46


I'm a bit late with his advice, I suspect that most of you will have already done the planning for the annual Xmas blow-out! At the moment I am re-reading Dorothy Hartley's wonderful book 'Food in England' which is a description of the old foods and cooking methods from many years ago. What reminded me of Xmas food was a gory description of how the heart, lung and windpipe of an animal could be disguised as Xmas Goose, in those days a favourite bird. I doubt if any of you would thank me for that, indeed, if you were to ask your butcher to get you the raw materials he would regard you as definitely eccentric! However, in those days times were harder and we ate far more offal than we do today. I am told that in some areas even oxtail is unsaleable and goes for processing. Quite incredible!
However, much of our modern Xmas food is still traditional, think of mince pies and Xmas Puddings and cakes. What intrigues me about mince pies is that originally they did contain meat, the filling was mincemeat. Today it has changed to a fruit based sweet mixture. Very moreish and definitely fattening!
Which brings us to quantities..... There is a regrettable tendency to over-indulge at Xmas. Many eat enormous Xmas dinners and then after an afternoon resting and digesting someone pops up and offers mince pies. It's a very human tendency but remember there is always a price to pay later when you step onto the scales in the bathroom! I know about this because of course I have done it myself but these days I exercise a bit of restraint. One of the givens about post Xmas advertising is that it's a prime time for selling diet plans. Use your head and try to avoid eating too much. As many of you know, I live on my own and there isn't the incentive of the family to drive me to the massive turkey. I remember one Xmas when a friend asked me what I had eaten for Xmas dinner I told him dripping on toast! I had roasted a rib of beef but on the day I fancied the dripping more than the meat.
I have a Xmas dinner story for you. When I was tanking milk round the country for West Marton Dairies, like everyone else in the industry, I worked on Xmas day, cows have to be milked and the milk delivered. One Xmas Day, as usual the roads were deserted and so were the service areas on the motorway. I called in at one, went into the transport cafe and ordered a pot of tea and a bacon butty. Judge my surprise when they told me that instead I was to have a complimentary meal from the management. A waiter from the posh side wheeled in a full Xmas dinner and I couldn't face refusing it. Xmas dinner at home was at teatime and so I had to eat two Xmas dinners!


The night before Xmas.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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