It is the most wonderful time of the year again, and it is time for the most wonderful meal of the year.
As part of Brig’s Advent Calendar of articles, this year I am going to be ranking each and every part of the average Christmas dinner, as eaten by me.
To start us off and ease you into it, I’ll start off with my all-time favourite, the icon, the legend, the she-is-the-moment Christmas dinner food and that is the pigs in blankets. When I tell you I am obsessed with these, I mean I am truly obsessed.
One Christmas my Nana actually bought loads of them and made an entire extra bowl just for me and I swear she even slapped my dad’s hand away when he tried to take one. There’s just something about a chipolata sausage wrapped in bacon that puts me in the Christmassy mood and I just can’t get enough of them. That’s why they are my No.1 Christmas Dinner Food.
Up next is the humble roast tattie. When done perfectly, this fluffy crispy goodness comes in at No.2. It’s got to be done right though otherwise it’s ruined. You don’t want them to be too soggy, but they need to be able to soak up some of the gravy. Crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside is the way forward.
In at No.3 is the Yorkshire Pudding. Controversial I know but its stable of any roast dinner so why on earth would you not have with it with your Christmas dinner?! It’s the perfect accompaniment for any element of your dinner and provides the perfect little boat for your gravy and all the trimmings to sit all snug in.
However, I draw the line at Brussel Sprouts. They are vile and have no place on my plate at any point whatsoever. They do not even make it on my ranking.
No.4 is gravy. It adds that perfect little extra something to enhance each element. Not too grainy, not too runny, the perfect gravy is the perfect texture and just makes every bite tastes that much better.
Now we’re starting to get into the lower ranks, my least favourite parts of a Christmas dinner
Coming in at No.5 is the meat. In this case, either chicken or turkey. They’re both fine, and I enjoy eating them, there’s just nothing really special about them. I’m not even the biggest fan of turkey and if I had to choose between it and chicken, I would always pick chicken. But, no roast dinner, in my opinion, complete without the meat, hence my ranking.
No. 6 is the cracker. Now I know I mentioned I would be exclusively ranking Christmas dinner foods but a Christmas dinner without a cracker is just a fancier version of your average Sunday roast. It is the perfect novelty cheese that goes along with the general joy and happiness of the festive season.
Coming in at No.7 is the stuffing. Whatever your flavour, everyone has a preference though it is not something I enjoy. I do get it, I understand why people enjoy it but it’s just not for me.
Finally at No.8 and probably the most controversial opinion of all (based on friends reactions), it is the cranberry sauce. I don’t get it, I don’t think it has any place on anyone’s plate. Everything else is already flavoured enough, if you’ve seasoned it correctly, why add it anything more that’s just going mess with it? Christmas dinner doesn’t need any tang and that’s final.
An honourable mention has to go to the vegetables, nevertheless. Whether that’s carrots, parsnips, or whatever vegetable recipe your family found in a Christmas magazine, they are the modest backbone of any roast dinner.
Bah humbug to the haters.