Monday, 19 December 2016

Have a Very Classy Holiday Period!


Upwards moan about Christmas because they have reached 35-40 and now have several small children and they need to do the whole thing – decorations, tree, crib, family get-together, presents. And it’s all rather hard work. They do it, but they whinge the entire time. Also, how can you be original and special? A tree is a tree is a tree.

But they do it – like they get married in church and have hymns. It’s like saying “I’m grown up now and I’ve got to join the establishment".

I’m not going to join in the moan about Christmas starting too early (shops need a lead time to sell to us, and we need the time to buy the stuff), but I do resent being sold “Christmas” scented candles and – "mulled spice scented" thick bleach? “Christmas spice” scented loo paper?

The Times asked a few celebs what they avoided at Chrismas.

Stephen Bayley (head of the Design Museum): "Christmas is a spectacle of alarming excess and waste, although there are ways to avoid the kitsch.” He and his family have neither turkey nor tree. “We eat peasant feast food... minestrone or a cotechino with spicy lentils and mostarda”. (Cotechino is a kind of boiled salami, and “mostarda di frutta is a Northern Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard-flavoured syrup”, says Wikipedia.) Lighting is “wobbly beeswax church candles bought in a Greek market”.

Kelly Hoppen (interior designer): “I can’t bear cinnamon sticks [as decoration] – they’re so naff – and those dried orange slices are the absolute worst.” Her favourite is “getting pine tree branches and putting them on the dining table” with some “big glass witches’ balls”.

Patrick Grant (designer) can’t stand not having turkey, and thinks the one-upmanship needs to stop.

Peter York (style guru) prefers food from Iceland, washed down with Kir Royale and Bayleys.

I’d love to serve Stephen Bayley peasant food – bubble and squeak (fried potato and cabbage), corned beef hash, lobscouse, Lancashire hot pot or stargazy pie (a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards, along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust). Brexit cuisine! His menu will be banned once we leave the EU. I’m off round to Peter’s.

In the best possible taste

More here, and links to the rest.

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