Sunday, December 03, 2006

let's face it - enough champers and no one cares about the food!

Update: Help wanted...just jump my rant about the festive season if you prefer not to hear a pagan being cranky :)

What is it about December that turns my brain to jelly and puts me off entering the kitchen? While I read blogs written by people getting excited by the proximity of Christmas and the associated seasonal fare, I just switch off. You see, I have a confession to make – I don’t like Christmas.

Well, I kind of do. I have a rather delicious way of spending the day. Not being of any religious faith I find the whole festival a little hypercritical for me (even though I like the presents). My family is in another country and some of my most delightful 25th of Decembers have been spent with partners, similarly unburdened by family responsibilities spending the day as follows:

Awake at some civilised hour, like 9am.

Open presents in bed while drinking coffee/ champagne/orange juice while nibbling on cherries, fine dark chocolates…and each other.

Eventually getting out of bed somewhere near midday and throwing some cooked prawns and salad into a basket, grabbing more champagne and wandering across the road to the nearest park.

Heading home before we get heat stroke for a nap.

I know, I’m a heathen. The point is, if I can’t be with my family I like to do something totally different and that line up never fails to hit the spot.

Being a non-meat eater, the whole turkey-fest does little for my culinary desires. My no cook day with seafood and vegetables as a picnic makes me happy enough.

Unfortunately my partner does have family responsibilities that take him to another part of the country. I have tagged along, but really I much prefer being with my kith and kin, or on my own. There is something about being with someone else’s relatives that make me miss my own.

The in between years I’m quite content having a quiet day in the backyard, reading books or doing sudoku while listening to my favourite radio program*. As for food, the delightful “Christmas’ days that I manage to spend solo, maybe once every 5 years, is based on eating entirely what I want. A Spanish omelette one year, rice paper rolls another. Mangoes, cherries, chocolate and no ‘proper’ food – no problem. Being a blogger, I might be a tad food obsessed but paradoxically this is one occasion when I am happy to ignore it.

This year is a ‘going home year’. My mum has hit an age that is ‘beyond turkey’. In fact these days, she can be barely bothered cooking at all. My dad wants some kind of poultry but isn’t prepared to cook it. My sister is a vegetarian Buddhist. Perfect!

But I do have a food agenda that needs to be met. I will be in another country, landing with little or no time to shop before the ‘big day’. We will be driving an hour or 2 to be with extended family (which I am heartily looking forward to). But with not a huge array of fresh food, an early start with little time to cook I’m thinking of some suitable dairy-free vegetarian dishes that can be made when we arrive to meet the non-turkey needs of a table that may stretch up to at least 9 adults and a plethora of little folk.

Possibilities so far:
Rice paper rolls with tofu that we can make on the spot and involve other people in.

Pre-bought goodies – dolmades, hommos (and other dips)

But at this point my brain stops! I just can’t get into the spirit of this.
Suggestions anyone? Please!

* 3RRR ( for streaming) - David Bridie, from My Friend the Chocolate Cake, does his one off show every year.


Blogger naridu said...

Hrm, I'd love to help with suggestions but I'm only just discovering the delights of food and cooking after many years feeling extremely wary of my mum's dishes.
As for traditions the only one my immediate family sticks to is that when together we champagne with fruit and croissants for breakfast while exchanging gifts then prawns, mussels and oysters with a fishy lunch.

6:31 pm  
Blogger goingRAWr! said...

i suggest...

tofu and vegie kebabs.. i usually marinate in some honey, soya sauce, pepper and lime, and top with sesame seeds. the kids will have fun chopping and assembling their own little creations. you can either bbq or grill them. sooo good.

also, san choy bow... basically get some soy protein stuff, or tofu even (hard), chop up, along with celery, carrot, onion, garlic and whatever other vegies you desire. stir fry with vegetarian oyster sauce and a touch of soy, sesame oil until slightly cooked but still crunchy. get whole lettuce leaves and people can spoon the vegie mixture into the lettuce leaves, fold, dip in sweet chili sauce and eat!

this is just really simple but tasty and fun to make stuff.
hope that was of some help!

1:03 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

wonderful - thanks :)

2:02 pm  

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