Yer head would be mithered what with all the Christmas cookery programmes on the box. Even though I use the same Christmas recipes year in year out I’m a sucker for them and not ashamed to admit it either. And let’s be honest, half the time we’re salivating at the trendy kitchens and big red food mixers more so than the culinary delights. Take for example, the goddess herself, Nigella. She’s throwin a late night suppa party for friends (it would appear she has quite a few). She talks of the ‘waumth’ of cinnamon, the ‘shaupness’ of lime and the jewels of a pomegranate. I didn’t know what a pomegranate was until I got a part-time job as a teen in Quinnsworth. Soooo exotic to a young wan from Westside. And the way she annunciates thhhhick when the camera pans in closely to her, she works it. But check out the white book shelves adorned with hard backs and drapped in fairy lights. What about that wonderful staircase and elegant hallway of her London townhouse. House envy at its best. And as for that pantry, well, in fairness, you wouldn’t see it in L’Ecrivain. How many does she be feedin on a regular basis? It’s like a mini McCambridges off her kitchen. She had a bit of left over ostrich in her fridge in one episode (I know, I mean, what does one do?). Herself and Billy Connolly should get together, she’d know for sure what to do with his leftover venison. Now what she really needs is a trip down to Hugh Fearnely-Gearnely-Whearnely-Whittingstall’s River Cottage. Everything is sourced and prepared with steadfast intensity and infuriating puns. She could share tips on how to seductively eyeball the camera. He could advise on the meatiest road kill. He’d show her what’s what with an ostrich and tut-tut about the outrageous idea of leftovers given that he endeavours to utilise every piece of whatever has been killed for consumption. He’s a mighty man for foraging too. Nettles, briars, mushrooms, dock leaves and belly busters, boiled and bruised, bish bash bosh (oh that’s the other lad, Jamie...told ya I liked cookery programmes!) and voile...a hearty soup. There are all manner of berries and nettles down my laneway which I’m assured can be used for tinctures and tonics. If it can be demonstrated that such vegetation combined has the elusive effects of ayahuasca, then I’m game ball. Otherwise, I’ll just stick to blackberries.
As for the turkey and ham there are a thousand and one ways to stuff and glaze same. If I try anything new there will be cries of dissent. I am Billy-No-Mates in this house when it comes to mushy peas and Brussel sprouts on Christmas Day. I have tried every which way to jazz the sprouts up but to no avail. No amount of accessories like maple syrup, bacon or chestnuts will convert, they’re still sprouts. Don’t care, I will be Billy and enjoy the little green gems on the day. Not a hope for the mushy pea. Ah well, more for me. Nollaig Shona.