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Earlier this month Mark meditated on food and drink in Advent.  Here, we get to Christmas week....

Now we’re in the thick of it, and if fortune is smiling then the weather is starting to get frosty.  So much the better for those thick glutinous slowly cooked dishes.  Time to attack that section of your cellar dedicated to the Rhone.  A rolled rib of beef cooked in beer, served with baked potatoes, savoy cabbage and the rich uplifting embrace of mature Syrah.  A slow cooked.  A heart stopping belly of organic pork, mash, broccoli, carrots and a fresh young fruity Gigondas.

Suddenly, before you know it, He’s here.  If you’ve been good.  

Then stockings dispatched you’re eating ham and drinking Champagne.  The kitchen is a gentle buzz of energy.  Somebody suggests a gin and tonic to keep spirits high.  The clink of the ice almost as refreshing as the bite of the tonic is sharpening.  Chin Chin.  Guests arrive, a cocktail?  Perhaps two.  

Christmas lunch.  A turkey: literally (and in many cases figuratively too).  I half heartedly have some claret open but it’s fighting against the tide.  The meal needs Burgundy and it’s new world allies, but even then it’s a losing battle on the wine front.  There’s simply too much food.  Too much distraction.  Too much fun.  Better to wait, to bide time.

Later, escaping from the heat of the fire and 007, a crisp lager recharges and uplifts.  If one is good then two will be better.  If two is better then three…

Boxing day.  Now we’re talking.  I carried out an informal survey once and from a gastronomy perspective Boxing Day beats Christmas day hands down.  It’s more relaxed, there’s less effort.  There’s usually a walk involved which has the dual benefits of stimulating the appetite and a visit to a pub.  

Then there is one of the best food wine combinations I know of.  Namely, cold cuts of meat with leftovers eaten with the help of bottles and bottles of Beaujolais.  Heaven.  Good enough to allow you to cope with the inevitable parlour games.

Merry Christmas everyone.  

Written by Mark Lissaman — December 22, 2014

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