The Ultimate Christmas Food Face-Off

White and silver decorations on a black background with the title text 'The Ultimate Christmas Food Face-off' and illustrations of snowflakes.

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to write this post because I ADORE Christmas food. Today I’m going to pit against each other the foods that my family and I eat around Christmas and December to find the ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS DINNER PLATE. However, first I would like to credit the Wonderful! podcast by Griffin and Rachel McElroy, because this format is very heavily inspired by their Thanksgiving food episode. (And what a fun episode it was.)

So ‘how is this going to work??’ I hear you ask. Well, I’m going to be organising the foods I normally eat at Christmas dinner (or have eaten at some point in time) into their various categories and picking a winner from each to give me my final ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS DINNER PLATE. Let’s get started!

centrepiece

turkey v fish

(Listen, I didn’t know what to call this section.) If my vegetarian cousins come over then we have fish as well, but although I do try to not eat meat… I have to go with turkey here. It’s just such a classic Christmas thing for me and it is also EXCELLENT as leftovers. (But I love fish too.)

WINNER: TURKEY

sides

sausages v roast potatoes v stuffing v bacon

Okay, this is SO DIFFICULT for me. I like sausages, but I do eat them at other times so…sorry, they’re going. Roast potatoes are one of my favourite foods ever and I can’t imagine a Christmas meal without them — plus they’re great for leftovers. However, I can’t eat stuffing at any other time and both sausage and parsely stuffing are so tasty. I love the bacon that we put on the turkey because it’s just! So good and crispy! (It’s one of the first things to run out at Christmas dinner.) UGH. But I just love crispy roasties so much that it’s going to have to be potatoes.

WINNER: ROAST POTATOES

veggies

carrots v parsnips v turnips v sprouts v sweet potatoes

I mean, vegetables are cool and all, but I thought they would get obliterated in the sides category, so. Carrots are such a good option as lots of people like them and they go well with everything, as are parsnips and turnips (which I can’t really tell apart, oops). Sprouts are not my favourite vegetable ever, but they’re so good when cooked well and absolutely ICONIC as a Christmas food. Sweet potatoes are also a solid choice, but I do eat them at other times. It’s a close one for me, sprouts are such an important part of my Christmas meal but at the end of the day I would prefer to actually eat carrots.

WINNER: CARROTS

sauces

bread sauce v apple sauce v cranberry sauce

I never really have bread sauce so that can go immediately, oops. I do love both apple and cranberry sauce, hmm…. But I think that cranberry sauce makes the best leftover turkey sandwich.

WINNER: CRANBERRY SAUCE

desserts

christmas pudding v christmas cake v yule log

Anyone who has talked to me about Christmas foods can probably guess what I’m picking here, and that’s christmas pudding. The others are good too but dude, Christmas pudding. I love making it every year with my grandma, I love when you get to set it on fire (!), I love finding charms in your slice. Also it just TASTES SO GOOD. Especially with rum butter.

WINNER: CHRISTMAS PUDDING

wild card

pigs in blankets v mince pies v bacon sandwich

This section is just the stuff that wouldn’t go anywhere else, haha. Pigs in blankets are great as party food, a bacon sarnie is a such traditional breakfast Christmas food for my family but I just love mince pies too much to let them go.

WINNER: MINCE PIES

That leaves my ultimate Christmas plate as: turkey, roast potatoes, carrots, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, and mince pies as a wild card. I’m very happy with that! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you’re having a good December. (It is VERY COLD where I am at the moment, brr.)

do you have a favourite food for a particular celebration? how is your month going?

Dashing Through the Snow Tag

dashing through the snow

Okay. It’s three days until Christmas, and I realised that I haven’t actually even written anything remotely winter-y. I, um, wasn’t actually tagged to do this tag, but I spotted it on The Writing Hufflepuff and it looked like fun! I hope you don’t mind me stealing it, Michelle. 🙂

Name a book you would like to see under your Christmas tree! *spits out tea* One book. Okay. This is going to be difficult… I mean, there are SO many books I’d love to receive. To stop all the unread books getting jealous, I would really like the US edition of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I bet you didn’t see that coming, right? 😉

A book you’ll be reading during the Christmas Season! I really want to re-read Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown before the third book comes out in January! I haven’t really been reading anything festive, except for the Geek Girl short story All Wrapped Up.

Favourite Christmas Movie? Nativity, or maybe the Sound of Music. We watch one or the other every year. Although both make me wince, especially when there is slightly drunken singing from various relatives.

Do you like snow? It’s so magical when we get it! But usually it doesn’t snow where I am, and if it does then it’s not actually at Christmas time. 😛 I do like it, though!

Name a character you would like to spend your Christmas day with! WHAT IS THIS QUESTION. Hmm. Maybe Penelope Bunce? I mean, I don’t really have any other reason except PENELOPE. ❤

To give or to receive? I would love to be able to honestly say to give. I can’t really, though, because… it’s always nice to get presents! But seeing other people’s reactions as they open your gifts is always the nicest thing. So, like Michelle, I’m going to say both!

What fictional place would you like to spend Christmas at? I am going to say Hogwarts here. asdfjkl CHRISTMAS THERE WOULD BE SO LOVELY.

Fondest Christmas memory? This isn’t my fondest memory, but everyone seems to find it hilarious: I remember opening my stocking in Australia when I was visiting my cousins and completely rejecting the can of Coke. The same cousins also have a tradition of Skyping us wearing ridiculous Christmas beach shirts. My family has a lot of kind of Christmas in-jokes, haha,

Can you say Christmas tree ten times FAST in a row (pronouncing it correctly!) Haha nope, that’s a definite tongue twister!

We’re actually off to collect my other cousins this evening (with the help of a takeaway curry). The house will probably be pretty busy over the next few days, so if you celebrate Christmas I hope you have a wonderful time! 😀

The Christmas Tag (Finally)

TheChristmasTag

I’ve let my mountains of tags pile up in the last few months (yes, months), and for that I sincerely apologise. It’s not much, but may I offer you a sorry salad? I’ll try my best to get them done and dusted now that the holidays have begun!

I was tagged for The Christmas Tag by two people: Anna @ Just a Thought and Elly @ A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts. (A lot of thoughts happening there.) I thought that I’d better do it before Christmas came around,  so on we proceed with the festive spirit!

Anna’s Questions

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I know it’s kind of bad, but I’ve always liked Nativity. If we’re thinking of something a little more traditional, then my family always has The Sound of Music rolling as everyone comes and goes on Christmas day.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning!

3. Do you have a favorite (favourite) Christmas memory?
When I was about five, I spent Christmas with my Australian relations. I remember getting a bottle of Coca-Cola in my stocking and turning up my nose at it: “But Mummy, I don’t like Coke! Why would Santa bring me this?”

4. Favorite festive food?
I ADORE Christmas pudding – you know, the one you set on fire and eat with brandy butter. I wish I could eat it all year round. I’m also prone to a nice bit of stuffing.

5. Favorite Christmas gift ?

I know this is kind of shallow, but probably that Pokémon Black DS game I got one year. I lay in my bed Christmas Eve planning out my whole journey and stuff; I was SO excited. I still haven’t finished the game, but I’m (in theory) just about to beat the Elite Four for the last time.

6. Favorite Christmas scent?

I’m not sure. The smell of cooking Christmas lunch? We have an ancient fake Christmas tree, so I’ve never really associated the smell of pine with Christmas.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

We put milk, a mince pie and carrots in front of the fireplace. I’m responsible for the glitter on the windowsills.

8. What tops your tree?

A star that isn’t meant to go on Christmas trees; it’s rather hard to keep it from falling off.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I didn’t make a massive fuss of it, but I did have some extravagant presents on my list. Sometimes, it was another cat, and others it was magical powers from the fairies. (I want to be able to fly so bad.)

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Like Anna, I love being able to see my family. My mum’s one of seven, so it’s not often that the majority of my relatives are together. But I also love the feeling of being absolutely full in the evening, and I’m not oblivious to the Boxing Day sales, either.

Elly’s Questions

1. What do you want for Christmas?
Books, of course, and some earrings from this cute shop called Cakes With Faces. (Their designs are simply adorabubble.)

2. Do you look out the window on Christmas Eve and wonder if you can see Santa’s sleigh or a shooting star?
The sky is quite hard to see from my house, so no. I’ve always been the kind of person who needs their *coughs* beauty sleep!

3. What shape of chocolate did you get in your advent calendar today?
I have a Fairtrade Divine one, and all the shapes are hearts.

4. What did you put on your tree?

We’ve been known to put up Winnie the Pooh baubles, but this year we have an (in my opinion) rather tasteful and restrained silver and red colour scheme. (A colour scheme! *gasps*)

5. What is your favourite Christmas song?
We have a Pink Martini Christmas CD that gets played every year, and I do love Carol of the Bells/Schedryck, Schedryck on that. (I’ve had a full rendition of it in the original language by my Ukrainian friend.) . If we’re just talking about non-carol songs, though, then I’ll admit that I have a thing for All I Want For Christmas is You. It works excellently with All I Want For Christmas is…[insert unpublished book here] too.

I’m tagging The Writing Hufflepuff and YA Inspires. (You can just choose one set of questions, if you like.) Anyone reading this is also welcome to participate!

Merry Christmas!

How to Survive the Season of Cards

Hello, there! This will be my last post for a couple of days since I’m away on an impromptu school trip until Sunday. Now, you probably know that I do tend to get stuck in the topic of beauty, so I’ll be doing a Christmas-related one today!

CARDS. An inescapable part of Christmas. Not as anticipated as much as presents, not hated as much as an overcooked brussels sprout. They’re just…well, there. Here is my guide to writing excellent ones with minimum effort, making them look pretty and, above all, how to survive the season of cards.

Step 1: Find the perfect cards.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It’s a bit hit and miss here. We often buy charity ones, but if those are unavailable for any reason, then I recommend you head to the nearest pound shop when you need large quantities. If not, head to a post office or stationary store for some slightly less tacky ones. Christmas markets are also great.

On designing your own: simple and/or stylized with some sort of quote (or non-quote) on the front. Go for bold colour. Cut the card into different shapes. Experiment.

Xmas card

Step 2: Write the perfect message.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Okay, so the majority of cards have a printed message in them. They key here is not to leave that do the talking, but, on the other hand, not to write an exact copy. That’s just boring. By now, you may well be thinking ‘There’s no way I’m spending 10 minutes on each of my 28 cards like this person will probably suggest.’ I assure you, 10 minutes is really too much if you’re giving a card to someone you’ve only had a handful of conversations with. Do a modern twist on the old fashioned ‘merry Christmas’. I usually write something along the lines of ‘have an awesomely awesome Christmas’. For closer friends and family, spend a bit more time to write a more personal message. One about their pet hate (or love) goes down well, if you’re stuck for ideas.

Step 3: Don’t go into overkill on the envelope.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Keep it nice and plain: neatly write the name, underline it freehand and be done with it.

Card envelope example

Step 4: Take action on your cards as soon as you receive them.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Put the envelope in recycling as soon as you get it, and place the card on the mantelpiece (or also put that in the recycling). Make sensible decisions over whether you really need to keep that piece of paper from the person-you-don’t-know-the-name-of who sits five spaces to your left. You’ll never look at it again.

Step 5: Do not go over the top: cards are just cards. Embrace the Christmas spirit.                                                                                                                                                             This one speaks for itself.

Christmas Tag!

I picked this up from Polka Dots and Lipgloss and thought I’d give it a go. I haven’t actually ever done a tag before, so this was pretty exciting for me.

If you’re a blogger, then you’re tagged to do this, and if you’re not then please feel free to leave your answers in the comments box. Well, here goes!

Christmas decorations

1. Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
I love the smell of real Christmas trees, but we have three cats that just love to climb trees, so we had to get a synthetic one. I couldn’t bear to see all the leaves falling off a real one when they jumped on it…

2. You’re in a coffee shop, it’s December, what do you pick?
I know this is going to sound strange, but I’m not that much of a coffee drinker (shock, horror!). Instead, I get a super-deluxe-or-whatever-the-equivalent-is hot chocolate with cream. And marshmallows. And more cream.

3. Whats your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
Colour scheme?! What colour scheme? We basically just put everything we have on the tree. I’m pretty sure we still have some Winnie the Pooh baubles in the bag.

4. Giving or receiving?
I feel pretty bad for saying this, but it’s probably equal. I love seeing the surprise on people’s faces when you give the, something, but, then again, I do also love getting that item at the top of my Christmas list. This applies to both giving and receiving: I love that crinkly feel and sound of wrapping paper.

5. To mince pie or not to?
There is no question to this. Mince pies forever! Christmas would not be the same without it.

6. What’s your traditional Sunday lunch?
One side of my family are peskitarians (they eat fish but not meat), and the other does eat meat, so we usually have a fish and then a stuffed turkey, plus (I’m struggling to remember, here) roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, parsnips and the famed Christmas pudding. Mmm, I just love Christmas pudding.

7. Christmas day fashion
Usually pyjamas for a good amount of the time, and then a selection of clothes we have been given/loungewear.

8. What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Oh, this is so hard…probably ‘All I want for Christmas is You’. Or ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’.

9. What’s your favourite Christmas film?
It may be a bit childish, but I still like ‘Nativity!’. It’s hilarious.

10. Open presents before or after lunch?
Before. There’s no way I’d hold out until lunchtime!

Are you all feeling as Christmassy as I am? Let me know!
Apple xx