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festive cheer + turkey

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There I was grocery shopping again when the phone rang. It was my husband's assistant, the fabulously efficient Paula.
“Come on Kate, you are being really quite slack. It's been a while since your last blog.”
Give me a break, I thought, it's nearly Christmas!
I questioned why I hadn't written anything for a while. Then I realised, I'm a misery.
Why?  Because it's Christmas.
Even in Italy, George Michael bellows over the loud speakers. Sofia Loren look-a likes guffaw in flashing Santa hats. Super-Mamas boast they've already made and frozen their hand-made tortellini.   And they've lost those extra pounds, so the Cavalli literally hangs off them!!!
It's also the enforced 'having a good time' that irritates me. And the fact that my husband loves everything to be traditionally English circa 1952!  Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake, Brussel sprouts...the festive cheer seems to turn back time in our house. I'm anxious. I think he's seriously on the cusp of asking me to rustle up a yule log!
So, in a desperate attempt to make the holidays, dare I say it, less orthodox, I took a cookery course in our local town. I had a blast making black truffle flans, stuffing guinea fowls, delicately arranging candid orange peel onto chocolate semifreddi. For a wannabe epicure, it was inspiring, even though the dishes weren't for the faint-hearted. Stuffing minced meat up a flaccid guinea fowl takes guts, pardon the pun, but I was ready for the challenge of taking Christmas lunch to another level. I was all of a quiver at the thought of my maverick menu, especially as everything could be prepared in advance.
Hence, one wintery morning, I took my bull by his horns and mumbled,
“I've heard guinea fowl is the new turkey.”
“Er, how about trying something diff....”
“What? Turkey has been an English tradition since the 16th century. It wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey.”
My husband actually looked forlorn, despondent at the thought of a stuffed guinea fowl.
Alas, I'm a sucker for his puppy-dog eyes.
So, it's time for my annual ritual - the trip to Martini. Not the cocktail, the local butchers. Every year, I open the door and lock eyes with Aldo.  This year, he looked seriously sheepish.
“Not again. How big this time?”
“Huge. The in-laws are here this year!”
He made a phone call and the fate of a rather large turkey was sealed.
Don't worry I haven't turned into a Desperate Housewife quite yet. Rest-assured, I'll be subversively swapping the long-suffering smoked salmon starter for the seditious black truffle flan!
No seriously, I'll decorate like Martha, praise the Lord for Jamie and try ever so hard not to whinge!
Oh and I almost forgot,
Happy Holidays!
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Tom Wakeley 21/12/2011
Turkey it must be - it is Christmas! Have a good one... x
Roxanne Khan 20/12/2011
Thanks! you gave me the first laugh of the day! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :) ! P.S. Now that you have my email address when you have time please send me the info on how to perchase you olive oil. Thanks!
Matt 20/12/2011
What, guinea fowl is delicious!
Lucy Nash 20/12/2011
I'm sure it will be lovely whatever you decide to cook!! Bah Humbug all around - I'd love to go to the sun but my Husband likes English Tradition as well. I hate Turkey, thank god it's only once a year! Lx
Lindsey 20/12/2011
Last year was our first Christmas where I had to cook... it took me three weeks of daily begging for my husband to let me make ham instead of turkey. -.- Men get so stuck in their ways.

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