The Goose Fattening and Penny Shortages

Christmas is coming. Duh. There is now around a month left until the BIG DAY and while I am happy to say Santa Claus has kindly sorted everything out for our end, we have not been so… preparation frenzied at this end. I was in good ole M and S today and idly picked up there Christmas Order Catalogue. And promptly dropped it. Not because of the wince-inducing prices of the wonderful looking feasts framed beautifully within, no it was either the catalogue or the cookies. When we reached home, I pulled it out of my bag and sat down to peruse. Wow. If I ever host a Mad Men style party in my house, I would order this stuff. I could make it myself… if I was truly that pernickety and dedicated in the style of Ina Garten. I am not, however. I would spend the 20 odd coin to partake in rosemary and cranberry soaked sausages wrapped in smokey bacon though! Hell yes!

I doubt we’ll be doing much entertaining over the festive season so I wont need to stock my ‘pantry’ but I do know a lot of people who will and good God, fair dues. The Trunchbull- I say this with regard merely to her omnipresent demeanour and no nonsense attitude rather than the fearsome Scylla encountered in Dahl’s fantastic book- has a room- A ROOM- entirely stocked with Kringle season goodies and by golly does she prep. Perhaps others start earlier but holy cow, we bought a box of shortbread today for Christmas munching and there’s already a fifth gone. Trunchbull has nearly 10 boxes of varying cookie, cracker and nibbles assortments in this room which is not small. She stores Christmas décor in there too, and when the décor comes out, more stuff goes in! I am prepared in so far as I know I am not cooking Christmas dinner so all I need to buy are low maintenance foods to keep us going until the stores reopen. I have made my Christmas cards, I have already started on my garlanding- a vastly therapeutic and yielding hobby around the autumnal and winter times of year, although I suppose Spring garlands would look quite cute.

We do not have a lot of money, we get by. I want to meet these people who must exist who order the Jumbo Super Fabulous Combination Package from places like M & S and, Betty Draper style, simply slip all in the oven or the microwave at 10 am on Christmas day and serve at the strangely early though Emerald time of 2pm with ne’er a hair out of place. If I won the lottery, I would probably do this, but in this recseeion, I want to meet the families (or singletons) who are planning their Christmas feasts off catalogues like this and I have another question- can I come!? I daresay I won’t be able to happily place a tureen of red cabbage, garlicky kale and crazy mash on the table without being eyed fiercely by Overlord or wailings of ‘Eeeew’ or ‘I not eat that!’ echoing up from the far side, behind my obvious vases of bread sticks and cranberry bouquet. HO hum. I get to stay home this year while my beloveds are all plumped up good and fat by the Trunchbull and her staff of motley maniacs. I can potter around, having tea at intervals, watching my boxset- if I get one- and calmly preparing the munchies for when my unruly brood arrive home with sacks of gifts, chocolates, clothes, party hats, awful cracker jokes and sleepy eyes.

I was hoping to have a TurDuckEn to cook for ‘blinis’ or melba toasts, but I’ll just get a chicken in a pan from Dunnes instead and scoff contentedly amid the newly returned chaos and maybe nab some Phfisch Food while I’m at it.

I can’t wait!


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