Saturday, 22 December 2007

To turkey or not to turkey?

I think I mentioned a couple of weeks back when musing on Christmas, that I would be making a special effort for Sean and I this year and would be cooking a christmas lunch for the two of us. This is because we'll be out in the country at Sean's parents house on Christmas day and I really, really want to get the chance to cook a Christmas meal. We'll open our gifts to each other after the meal and save ourselves having to lug them all the way to Young and back.

So, to this end, I have been pouring over my books for weeks, searching the internet and asking myself tough questions such as, is it really ok to not have turkey?

I think it is and here's why I think it is just fine.

1. They're freaking expensive birds and you can't get a small one for love nor money. Not that I'm a tight arse when it comes to expenditure on food, but I don't think we love turkey enough to devote $60 of our food budget to it.

2. I didn't grow up with a Christmas turkey and in fact always believed it was just something our American friends ate at Thanksgiving.

3. Later on, I assumed we didn't have turkey at Christmas (well, except for a turkey roll once in a while) because my mum is English but actually no. I read the other day that turkey has been a long held Christmas favourite in the UK and is only just recently being knocked off its perch, so to speak, by a return to the traditional roast beef.

4. Just because something is always done, doesn't mean a person can't do it differently.

5. I've only been roasting chickens for about 18 months and I'm not over the sheer wonder of it yet. I reckon I can happily roast a large chicken, stuff it with something festive like pistachios and cranberries and be as happy as a pig in mud.

6. Speaking of pig, we're doing a glazed ham. It'll be my first. Ever. And I'm glazing it with quince paste and cloves. How could a turkey compete with that? At least the chicken will know it can't compete and it will just be a well cooked, festive chicken and be done with it.

7. We like ham better than turkey.

So there you go. All good reasons for not doing a turkey. I could have got turkey breast, or a turkey hind quarter but I really want something I can stuff.

If anyone else baulks at the idea of 'having' to do a turkey (and subsequently rebels!) I want to hear about it!

My entree will be a salmon mousse. My dessert will be a honey and raspberry semifreddo. And we'll drink champagne cocktails and later a bottle of French red that was given to us as a wedding gift.

We'll sit around, fat, full and very, very satisfied.

Now I just have to shop.