Thank god, the Christmas food (and drink) fest is almost over. Though if your Christmas is like mine, you may end up with quite a few culinary curiosities in your food cupboards.

I buy numerous jars of pickles every year. Last year’s pickled walnuts were still in the cupboard when I put this year’s bottle on the shelf.  Someone opened last year’s bottle – I only know because when I pressed down on the top it popped up and down. This year’s jar remains, as yet, unopened.

Last year our neighbours brought us a gift of some jaw-clampingly glutinous buns from Fitzbillies, which they openly admitted were an unwanted gift. This year we received the same sticky buns as a gift… from the same neighbours.

One of our guests has a liking for a rare liqueur called Kummel. He claims it was originally produced in Denmark for the Russian Tsars. The bottle is labelled 39% proof  - and evidence proves that anyone who drinks over half of one is likely to spend a fair part of the day in a somnambulistic stupor.  Yet this drink is much sought by after by said guest as a precious Christmas tipple. So we always buy it, just for him.

Whilst toiling away in the kitchen, I managed to catch a glimpse of Heston Blumenthal’s giant Christmas igloo/pudding on television.  How absurd.  But we didn’t complain when we tucked into one of his ‘hidden orange’ Christmas puddings at home. How soon can we put our names on the list for one next year?

It’s a bit random, this crazy scorpion-in-candy (much appreciated by my godson), mad macaroon-Marmite Gold-chocolate-orange-cigar-and-cheese-football filled food fest.

So, which Christmas foods do you like  – or loathe? And which will forever remain curiosities at the back of the cupboard in your household?


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  1. ian russell on Saturday 29, 2012

    Is Blumenthal back to his old tricks, could Delia not put him straight?

    I’ll proffer pickled red cabbage. Awful stuff, tastes of nothing but eye-watering vinegar and turns everything else on your plate alizarin crimson.

  2. BenSix on Saturday 29, 2012

    I’d never even heard of pickled walnuts. They look like olives on steroids.

    My brother and friend were having a conversation yesterday about the wonders of pigs in blankets, and one of them thought to ask why they tend to be reserved for Christmas. The look in their eyes as they realised that one could wrap bacon around sausages at any time of the year was akin to that which must pass across the faces of religious evangelists.

  3. George on Saturday 29, 2012

    39% alcohol is 78 proof (at least by US reckoning), about what most whiskeys are. Drinking half a bottle of that would leave one a bit dazed.

    There are certain dishes we seem to make every year, but no standard purchases except for their ingredients. A friend does send us a batch of home made chutney every year–which may not get used, but is more likely to than the jar of apple butter a realtor used to leave on our doorstep in the house where we lived before.

  4. Peter on Saturday 29, 2012

    My wife loves pre-Christmas craft shows. The crafty stuff bores me silly, so I usually wander over to the food section. Consequently, we have a fine collection of unopened Italian bread dippers, fruity relishes and flavoured mustards our heirs will no doubt be fighting over some day.

  5. Brit on Saturday 29, 2012

    There are quite a few Christmassy things I really like, but have no desire for whatsoever other than 24-16 December, notably brandy butter.

    As for Advocaat – surely nobody drinks that outside Christmas…

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