Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Traditions are wonderful things. They link us to a group. They hold out memories in their fabric of sameness and comfort. But like everything, they have to evolve. Not change, so much as evolve. Like Mater Beige's AMAZING Xmas pudding. It was her mother's recipe of WW II, when many "traditional" ingredients were unavailable. That particular recipe has now become the tradition for myself and my children.
This year is the third without our beloved Hobbit. And will be the first of a new tradition of just lunch with Mum, my family and my brother's family. Other family members are off starting other family traditions with other families, and I am only too aware that this may be my last Xmas in Melbourne for a very long time.
So this year is going to be the best Xmas lunch EVAH and I have been given the best Xmas present of all time... darling Mater Beige has handed me the responsibility of the vegetables this year.
Now, it mightn't seem a big deal, but I can assure you it is. Mater Beige keeps telling me that my turn will come.
I have been champing at the bit, to get my hands on cooking the Xmas lunch. I lie awake at night planning and plotting. Subbing the glace cherries in the pud for 1/2 and 1/2 dried cranberries and glace ginger. Sneaking a small ramekin of brandy butter onto the table. Doing a 2 cavity stuffing of sage and chestnet puree for a real whole bird.
The possibilities are endless.
So, I need to keep traditions alive (potatoes, cauli and cheese, string beans) while giving these humble veggies a pg twist!
So my plans are:
Kipfler potatoes cut lengthways, roasted in duck fat with chunky-cut Speck, sea salt and garlic.
organic cauli with Gruyere and nutmeg sauce.
blanched organic green beans with balsamic glaze and toasted slivered almonds.
What say you, dear reader? Any other suggestions on how to keep the veggie traditions alive, yet improve on them?