This week’s question was provided by the ever cool and eternally wrong (at least when it comes to crocs and pineapple on pizza) Sparky.
Okay, I was chatting away with Renee the other night, trying to fathom how things work in the land of moose, hockey and mounties and I was suddenly shocked to find that… they don’t have suet! No suet?! No steak and kidney puddings, no proper dumplings! Oh such terrible deprivation, I don’t know how she manages with such lack. I mean, how can you make Christmas pudding? Or mince pies…
And then Renee pointed out that mince pies were confined to specialty shops in her part of the world.
And this boggled me so much because here, the idea of not having mince pies for Christmas is like not having a tree. They’re probably the most advertised food stuff at the moment. Even I have made a few dozen and I’m not even fond of the things (Beloved is willing to eat them for me. He’s such a saint). Leaving mince pies out for Father Christmas, was as much a ritual of Christmas as a kid, as hanging up stockings and going to bed when it was still light outside.
And crackers! They only have crackers in specialist shops? How can you have Christmas without crackers, so parents and annoying younger kids can make annoying noises all dinner and dad can read out the not-funny-joke and nearly die laughing into his whiskey, and granny can put the paper hat on and cackle into the sherry (and maybe accidentally set the hat on fire. Because it’s not Christmas if we don’t risk immolation at least once).
So boggling on all this I find Renee makes… gingerbread houses? Iced gingerbread houses? And that it is traditional to have apple pie at Christmas They have allowed the glories of Christmas pudding to be usurped by apple pie? Catch me someone, I feel faint…
And sweet potatoes? Now I’m fond of yams.. but yams with brown sugar and marshmallows? What what is this? At Christmas dinner?! I can feel my old grandmother spinning in her grave, I can! Oh the humanity!
So now I’m curious and I had to pursue this. What is iconic in your Christmas? Not just in yours but in the culture around you? What thing can you simply not imagine not being there – and would it make the rest of us scratch our heads?