This was our Christmas table, delightfully devoid of “Christmas” food. Instead, a middle Eastern mezze feast, including some pretty delicious Maldivian specialty labelled as tuna/coconut-chilli-and-onion mush. And we did feast in style: this assortment of goodies stretched to three (if not four?) solid meals for ten people.
We weren’t entirely without Christmas delights, though: next day’s lunch did see the addition of a lovely ham, and there was Christmas cake too (oh, and mince pies, but only special people got to eat them, in secret. I was one of the select few. They were good).
It’s a nice way to get around some of the tedium of a routine celebration which most of us don’t subscribe to anyway (thankfully all graces at the table were aimed at each other, or at people we have known to be true, living people who were present in their absences).
But the best thing about not doing Christmas food at Christmas is that you get to crave it. So today, on the 2nd of January, when most people are slogging away at the gym trying to convince themselves of the virtue of whatever detox diet they’ve recently enslaved themselves to, we are getting ready for a proper (Danish) Christmas meal. There will be turkey (just a little one, 6kg of bird for the three of us). There will be red cabbage, and cucumber salad. And caramelised potatoes too.
We’ll skip the rice pudding with the hidden almond, but if we can handle any more, we can have some fried Christmas cake crumbs (think hot and crispy) over salted caramel ice cream. It seems an appropriate way to retox into the new year. Skål!