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Christmas 2020 (gluttony) Thread


air_raid
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This is a thread mostly about food but if you want to ruin it with other general nonsense about Christmas, you are welcome. Preparations for Christmas have begun in earnest in my house and I had my first Festive Bake on Sunday, and I was just doing an inventory of the pantry * so I don’t forget about some wonderful snack that I insisted on buying “for Christmas” then don’t open until 29th like last year. So I started wondering about everyone else’s rituals with Christmas eating. No, I don’t mean Turkey or goose fat potatoes or nut roast. I mean snacking, all the random shit you insist on having around you to pick at because you’re off work and need to constantly cram something into your gob.

There were many traditions of snacking in my youth with the parents although about the only one that survived to today is Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I just don’t feel like it’s Christmas if I don’t have one. Mama raid always used to have shortcrust pastry homemade mince pies and sausage rolls out for a few days either side of Christmas Day and while we will be buying our mince pies, Mrs raid says we can make our own sausage rolls (the small type) as long as we use skinned Richmond sausages - she doesn’t trust any other brand. Also there were always liqueur chocolates - I’m pretty sure the box is called Famous Names and gives you a square of Grouse, Bristol Cream, Baileys, Tia Maria, Cointreau etc. Last year I had a 64 piece box from CostCo which were the chocolate bottle types and included Galliano which I loved, so I insisted on getting a similar variety box from Tesco this year.

But to those treats of yesteryear.... Toblerone was always a part of our Christmas along with the chocolate orange but into adulthood with the freedom to buy my own chocolate there’d always be something I’d rather have. Quality Street always turned up, papa raid ate all the coffee creams (100% fine by me) and mama raid had dibs on the hazelnut in caramel, which she is still partial to today. You can guess what I’m getting her.
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Over the years of boxes of chocolates turning up in the workplace, it’s just not a “Christmas” thing to me any more. Ditto selection boxes, they’re usually unimaginative combos of the same chocolate you eat all year. Matchmakers were a fixture too, both mint and orange showed up every year. Last year Mrs raid and I had some, including the new caramel flavour, nice but I wouldn’t necessarily miss them. Forerro Rocher always came out even though mama doesn’t care for them and although delicious they’ve been overtaken today by Kinder Bueno and Nutella in my nutty affections. We always seemed to have a box of After Eights and again, they’re great if you’re in the mood but I wouldn’t insist on having them. We always had jelly Orange and Lemon slices though I remember the sugar coating would be something I might consider too much these days, Chocolate Brazil Nuts though I was never hugely bothered about as the chocolate wasn’t that great, and sugar coated almonds which I remember eating even though I didn’t really enjoy them.

Here is the list of what we’ve currently got stashed. ** It started life off as “I’d like some nuts, some crisps and a chocolate orange” and swelled to something ridiculous. This is a split of what I wanted, what she wanted, and some impulse buys :

 

Sausage roll puffings

Turkey stuffing puffings

Pigs in blankets nuts

Bbq crispy nuts

Salted peanuts

Honey roast mixed nuts

Scratchings

Turkey stuffing crisps

Pretzels (multiple types)

Biscoff (multiple types)

Maryland chocolate orange cookies

Walkers Shortbread

Terry’s chocolate orange

Lidl chocolate whiskey truffles

Liqueur chocolates

A chocolate Santa each

Caramel spread

Biscoff spread 

Lindt spread

Anna’s Thins (3 flavours) from IKEA 

Pretzel flips - hers

Toacker biscuits - hers

Haribo - hers

There are plenty of things were short Best Before dates mean we will buy them nearer the time. Essentially desserts and at last count, four different types of mince pie. Alcohol is probably a thread in itself but I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention a bottle of Frangelico for a Christmas swig after pudding. I used to have a bottle of Amaretto for my annual “Marvel film then Thrones” marathon but a man can change.

So what about you lot? Not including your dinner plans, what treats are you stockpiling? And childhood traditions that you still observe even if the snack isn’t largely thought of as a Christmas offering?


** Yes, only two of us plan to eat all that.

* Small cubby under the stairs. We’re not Tory.

Edited by air_raid
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I can't stockpile anything these days. I might treat myself to a mince pie one day, but I'm more than a little nervous about really overdoing things this Christmas because of the diabetes.

I used to love a dark chocolate orange, a tub of the little Toblerone pieces, or a Toblerone of my own (usually the fruit and nut one). The coated peanuts were a must, and maybe those Christmas tree shaped cheeselets (called treeslets for the occasion). Decades a go a friend and I used to bake mince pieces every Christmas eve. 

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39 minutes ago, ElCece said:

For some reason I have associated Cashew nuts with Christmas and will no doubt gorge on them again.

I seem to only have cashews at Christmas. I have a bag of honey roast mixed nuts from Lidl which are peanuts, almonds and cashews. Although along with the scratchings they’re included more because “I’m allowed treats at Christmas” far more than just “it’s Christmas.”

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What a tremendous topic.

I love Christmas, and food is a big part of it. Mince pies were always a fairly big one growing up for me. Presently, I have to give the championship belt to Greggs' Sweet Mince Pies. They've become a favourite of ours over the last few years, and now it seems like every other mince pie pales in comparison. The Morrison's ones are average, the Kipling ones are good. There are others to mention and acknowledge (Sainsbury's are nice), but the pastry style and ratio to the mince is just fantastic with Greggs. As you mention Raid, the first festive bake was had this week by me and my wife (she'd never had one before), and she loved it, big thumbs up. 

Kipling's far greater contribution to Christmas snacking is the Festive Bakewell, which seemed to show up in shops rather inconsistently for a couple of years, but has now become a staple.

I remember my Nan having a massive tray of mixed nuts in shells that required the old metal nutcracker and Danny Hodge grip strength. After Eights, of course, as well as a healthy supply of dates, which I never even tried. My wife remembers stuff like strawberry jelly and ice cream, and chocolate Angel Delight on Christmas Eve being something of a tradition.

In more recent years, spending a extra quid or two on a Belgian chocolate yule log has been a wise investment for Christmas week, and Morrisons does a Winterberry lattice pie that is gorgeous as well. 

Roses and Quality Street needs to be in the discussion for traditions, obviously, and we always buy a tub of each, but it's worth mentioning that tradition is really the only thing maintaining this annual purchase, since the selections themselves have gotten less interesting. My wife loved the Roses' coffee chocolate, now removed, and Quality Street's over-reliance on tooth-chipping toffee makes for an uninviting experience. Still, opening up a tin of either and being hit by the smell of them takes me back to being a kid, sitting by the tree, doing the same. 

We've got some pretty simple stuff that we like and do consistently every year, like make fairy cakes and those mini-sausage rolls. My team leader at work pitched a great idea that has been a family tradition of his for years - a Christmas Eve Domino's Pizza order. It works out brilliantly, an evening meal with the garlic bread, chicken dippers and cookies, maybe a slice or two of the pizza to fill up at night, then wake up Christmas morning and have the remaining slices early - a quick way to fill up for the ensuing present opening fun. We tried their chocolate orange cookies last week, which turned out to be quite the disappointment. Nice cookies, but lacking the advertised orange flavouring.

My wife mentioned that a family tradition she had growing up was for her Grandad to bring over bags of stuff to serve as a "Christmas hamper", a variety of different random items that guests or family could just go to at any point and snack on. It's probably unnecessary, but since gluttony is the word, and the year has been shit, we're doing it this year, and we've been stocking up on a litany of stuff. Among them is the Christmas flavoured crisps, like Tesco's Turkey and Stuffing balls, things like that. Feel like these have far more hits than misses, so it's always fun to give stuff like this a shot.

 

 

Edited by Liam O'Rourke
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I've made 2 cakes and 2 puddings ready. I always like to make them because I stock them to the hilt with whisky, stout and fruit. That's pretty much it until I start making mince pies early December. 

A week or two before I'll go on a bike ride around all the shops to fill the fridge with all the cheese and open the nice port. There's a ton of pickled onions, beetroot and courgette to go with it.

I picked up a turkey ready, but apart from that we've got a load of veg in the freezer from summer growing and I'm hoping the cabbage and leeks will be ready then. I was hoping to have home grown sprouts but I was too late getting them in for this year. 

I got a celebrations, quality street and swizzle tub but they've almost all gone already so I'll pick up another, but normally being on my bike these days limits space. 

If/when the market in towns back on I'll get some chestnuts for the fire. 

I always keep a bottle or two of amaretto in for coffees anyway but they only really get used at Christmas. I have got a few extra bottles of whisky in ready for the run up and boxing day (although I've started them early) , along with a small selection of cigars. There's a fuckton of shop second wine I won in a raffle at work knocking about too (there's some superficial damage to the bottle but the wine is perfectly edible). 

As pork scratchings have been mentioned Black Country Snacks do 1kg or 2kg bags for delivery on their ebay site at a good price. They do pork dripping too, if anyone is partial to it on toast as a winter treat. 

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2 hours ago, Liam O'Rourke said:

I love Christmas, and food is a big part of it. Mince pies were always a fairly big one growing up for me. Presently, I have to give the championship belt to Greggs' Sweet Mince Pies. They've become a favourite of ours over the last few years, and now it seems like every other mince pie pales in comparison. The Morrison's ones are average, the Kipling ones are good. There are others to mention and acknowledge (Sainsbury's are nice), but the pastry style and ratio to the mince is just fantastic with Greggs.

Have you experienced CostCo mince pies? They changed my life. For all the adventures in crumble top, sloe gin, salted caramel, iced, and the Aldi blood orange/gin that I might end up trying, I still think CostCo ones are unbelievable. They’re a good size, and instead of a pastry lid, there’s a slab of cake. Fantastic addition to a trolley of cinnamon swirls, Aussie bites and random umbrellas, slippers and whatever else is going cheap.

Edited by air_raid
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There’s not really a particular chocolate I’ll have every year on the day, but at some point during the season I’ll have to have a bag of chocolate coins.

Christmas dinner-wise, our tradition tends to be to treat ourselves and go to M&S a few days before to stock up on everything, starting on the 23rd when we gorge on their ‘party food’ section. Christmas Day is all their stuff too because it’s just less stress to bung in all in the oven and it still tastes pretty good. The wife will make sticky toffee pudding with the greatest toffee sauce I’ve ever had and repeated portions of that’ll keep me going the rest of the day.

And it’s not Christmas if you don’t have an excessive number of pigs in blankets. Though don’t try the Pigs In Blankets sandwich from Costa. Disappointing.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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