The Spiceblog Christmas Helper


[Draft notes: humbugging food blogger receives a letter from a reader which helps him to discover the true meaning of Christmas and write a handy post]

Christmas, like most high pitched noise coming from inside the brain situations, is the resolution of dilemmas. They are:

cooking <——————> interaction

volume <——————> quality

obligatory ties <——————> voluntary ties

European tradition <——————> Latitudinal reality

feasting <——————> grazing

luxury <——————> penury

To help, here are some pointers:

  1. Esky: The fridge will be working hard and opening it up for drinks won’t help

  2. Moist: Get a larding needle and a baster.

  3. Token Gestures : Turkey gods appeased by marinating turkey breast in cranberry sauce and puttiing them on skewers. Another year I made poulet en papillote shaped like christmas crackers.

  4. Fruit Mince Pies: Are good. Gingerbread for the home touch. Cookie cutters stifle innovation.

  5. Christmas Eve: A walk down Omotesando before dinner, and then hope you can coax your date into a Love Hotel.

  6. Bread: Heavier breads keep longer and quality bread makes quality cold meat sandwiches.

  7. Food as Metaphor: Son of God. Turkey? Goose? Lamb. King of Kings. Crown Roast.

  8. Ham: Covered with a damp towel or a ham bag, it will bring days of seasonal happiness.

  9. Eggs: see above + breakfast omlette

  10. Butchers: they know. Speak to them. They will be happy. Give organic and free range a go.

  11. Rissotto: Pasta seems wrong. Ravioli though.

  12. Music: Ethereal trumps supermarket soundtrack. Dvorak or similar.

  13. Wine: White Christmas. Crap champagne is still crap. Sparkling shiraz is at the very worst colour coded. Local wineries have case deals – go swapsies with friends. Good for gifts.

  14. Fuss: One of my favourite Christmas dinners was sausages and mash with takeaway chicken. It’s the company.

  15. Sherry: Why let Santa have all the fun. Chilled dry sherry is great. Spain, large bearded men, Hemingway, high rate of suicide at Christmas, moving right along…

  16. Hot-cross buns: save them for Easter.

  17. Breakfast: Automatically casual and leaves the day for ooohh playing on new drumsets.

  18. Charity: Social darwinists can fuck off. The impersonal perspective is our finest quality. Poor? Alone?

  19. Lunch: Stretch to prevent post lunch collapse. Salad is a course.

  20. Borscht: Why not?

  21. Seafood: You will be gouged. Early shopping and frozen. Little freezes better than tuna. Think smoked. Prawns are luxury standards for the common man. Wrap in prosciutto.

  22. Healthy eating: Unless tasty, give it up for Christmas – but that isn’t an invitation to eat shite.

  23. Brandy Custard: No. Cognac Creme Anglais. Yes.

  24. Tradition: Why European? The Middle East is the authentic locale for Chrimbo food and a long history of cooking for warm weather. Latin America has some of the most devout Christians on the planet, Mexico is also warm.

  25. Soft bit/Loud bit: Finicky entree leads to impressive centre-piece main. A fowl wrapped in a fowl wrapped in a fowl wrapped in a fowl has made an appearance at Mondo butchers. Or just have a whole snapper stuffed with sardines stuffed with whitebait.

  26. Gas BBQ: Charcoal. Otherwise, make sure the cylinder is full, or you’ll look like a nong.

  27. Crackers: Knick knacks, crap jokes, and ludicrous headwear – our second finest quality.

  28. Twilight: Beach. Sunset. Wine. Cigar.

  29. Heroism: Don’t. Many hands make light work and food can be shared.

  30. Cheese: Only needs a knife. Same for dips, patés, and terrines.

  31. Beer: I’m thinking James Squire. Crownies? Fosters. Get a few Europeans for special – you don’t want port in summer. Avoid world’s finest beer packs.

  32. Evening: Catch up with friends. They love you too.

That’ll do for now.



  1. Robert’s avatar

    Try the new James Squire golden ale. Specifically brewed for hot summers’ days. Serve icy. Crisp flavour. Light on the fizz so you can slam it down fast.

  2. Avatar’s avatar

    Where’s my invite, dude?

  3. pixelkitty’s avatar

    Absolutely brilliant.

    If only I could spend my christmas with family.

  4. Anonymous’s avatar

    Thanks Anthony, that’s great. I really like the idea of the traditional food from the warmer climates like Mexico and the Middle East, I will have to do some research now! Cheers[xmas cheer?!] ab

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Yes. It’s refreshing and challenging and for the marketing icing on the cake, it’s a limited edition so get in quick before it’s gone, gone, gone.

    Theres always room at the inn for dudes.

    Thanks. What are they having? I’ll have Christmas with them for you.

    If only as a way of rescuing the moribund Mexican restaurant industry here.

  6. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Is Hello Kitty (Christmas edition) boozing it up already? =P

    Excellent post…took a while for me to read it though.

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    Yes indeedy because december is bounenkai season in Japan. She’ll be off to an office party at an izakaya with clients for a few remon-sawazu and then will be throwing up on the platform at Shinjuku station before falling asleep and missing her stop at Yokohama and ending up in Mishima on the last train.

  8. Anonymous’s avatar

    But the presents are always the hard bit for me. Meanwhile, world’s finest beer packs? Yuk. Mine had a Toohey’s Extra Dry in it.


  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Snort! It shouldn’t even be in the best Toohey’s pack.

    How about interestingly shaped rocks for a gift. They make excellent paperweights and fine companions.

  10. Anonymous’s avatar

    Thanks Anthony. Don’t know about your other readers, but I love lists! Might come from the job?
    I especially liked numbers 14 and 28!

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    I can think of at least two here that love lists.

    HM? That wouldn’t be a HM that would add

    33. Plastic Bag full of heads


  12. BigBob’s avatar

    Only one small quibble.

    There is always space for Port.


    Even if it is very late Christmas eve, after doing Santa all evening!

    Of course, Morris or Chamber’s Reserve Liquer Muscats or Tokay’s (or whatever they call it now) are always essential late on Christmas day.

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    I guess a refreshing port shandy wouldn’t do it?

    Actually that bottle of Donelly River in the corner of the room isn’t getting any younger.

  14. s’s avatar

    Great post.
    I love breakfast.

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    Thanks Saint.

    I’ve now got two breakfasts I have to go to simultaneously this year. Christmas – confounds at every turn.

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