In the spirit of Christmas Eve, this tuesday I’m going to be looking at tactics that even Sun Tzu himself never covered. The old, long-lost art of managing an inordinate amount of food at Christmas.
First off, I always think you’ve got to pace yourself. If you rush in to the snacks, starter and even drinks too early or with too much gusto, you’ll probably want nothing more than a Renees and a lie down by the time the turkey’s ready. Similarly, planning ahead is important – that third helping of turkey may look tempting, but what about the pudding in the oven? Got to consider the long game! On this note, it’s a good idea to have a balanced meal rather than overloading on one particular food. Potatoes help soak up gravy, while veg adds variety and chiploatas are just awesome.
As for sauces, I tend to go for a mix. They add a lot to meat for me, and turkey just isn’t complete without cranberry and / or bread sauce. I don’t recommend mixing the two – it’s far better to add them to the meat in sequence, or on separate portions. Some foods were meant to be mixed – custard and crumble, fish and tartare, gin and tonic – but I’ve always thought that cranberry and bread sauce go better separately. Whether you want them on separate parts of the plate or one after the other is up to you. Personally, I prefer the former as you can mix and match as much as you like rather than being confined to just one sauce for half the meal.
‘But what about drinks?’ I hear you say. To me, it’s all about the balance – fizzy drinks, cider etc. just fill you up on liquid and leave no room for the actual food, which is never good. I like to balance my meal with something refreshing, such as a glass of pinot grigio. This accompanies the food well, while leaving plenty of room (and sobriety!) for port and cheese later in the evening, It can be sporadically broken up with traditional glasses of sherry, soft drinks and strong coffee to keep you going throughout the day.
This was ridiculous but great fun to write! Thank you so much for sticking with me the last year, and have a good holiday everyone :)