Attention all holiday cooks. If you, like me, will be getting up good and early on Christmas day to prepare a delicious feast for your family, then you’ll need something (apart from the sherry) to get you in a festive mood.
The first thing you need to do, after switching the oven on and making a nice cup of tea (there’s no way you can do anything before you’ve had a cup of tea) is go and have a shower and make yourself look halfway decent. Once I get my head down, and go into a trance cooking and getting the table ready, I lose all track of time and more than one I have greeted my glittering, glammed up guests wearing my slippers and pyjamas and a silly apron with uncombed hair and no makeup on. Of course, nobody is surprised to see me looking like this. After all I am a translator and, as we all know, translators do not get dressed, brush their hair or wash their faces for days on end! Best get yourself ready for company first thing in the morning.
Once in the kitchen and having donned the silly apron and perhaps some reindeer horns from the Chinese bazaar, you can get in the party mood with some Christmas music. I’ve got a fantastic Christmas music playlist on Spotify with lots of fun tunes which features absolutely no shrieking children singing carols. It’s easier chopping carrots to Rockin’ Robin and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer! If you would rather leave the music for later then please allow me to recommend the most amusing piece of storytelling you will ever be lucky enough to hear. I am talking about Episode 47 of my favourite podcast ever, entitled Christmas and Commerce. The first ‘act’ is a fun piece with people buying expensive gifts at Toys r Us at closing time on Christmas Eve, but the unmissable part of the programme is David Sedaris reading from his absolutely hilarious Santa Diaries, which is about working as an elf at Santa’s grotto in a department store in New York. It is so funny! I have listened to it several times and just adore his sense of humour. This is followed by a third piece called Christmas Freud, which is so clever and funny. You’ll find it all here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/47/transcript
I am sure that by the time you have listened to this great Christmas storytelling you will be in a magnificent good mood however many potatoes you have peeled and giblets you have boiled. Happy cooking fellow chefs!