I love Christmas dinner. I don't get tired of it. I love turkey. I love roast potatoes. Most of all I love the extras: really good stuffing, pigs in blankets, red cabbage, roast parsnips, bread sauce and gravy. I don't feel like experimenting with goose or rib of beef, much though I love both. I don't want to do unusual things with salmon and prawns. I am a traditionalist. For Christmas, only a turkey dinner will do.
This year our turkey will come from friends who somehow find the time and energy to run their family, a business and a part time teaching career while keeping sheep and hens, sometimes pigs and, in the months coming up to Christmas, turkeys. This is about as local as you can get without raising your own. The turkeys will have scratched and strutted in their little orchard about a mile and half away. They are fed organically, mature slowly, and will eventually be slaughtered locally too.
The potatoes are our own home grown ones. I'd like to be able to tell you that the parsnips will be ours too but that would be a lie. Parsnips stubbornly refused to germinate for us this year so they and the brussel sprouts (notice they are not in the litany of things I love!) will come from our local shop. The sausagemeat and the bacon are from the local butcher. Apples and onions in the stuffing are home grown and the bread in the bread sauce is home made.
I hope that the people sitting round the table - our children and their partners and our small grandchildren, gathered from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire and Manchester - will have travelled further than any of the food in their dinner. Ah I had forgotten the dried fruit in the Christmas pudding! The puddings were made in my kitchen on Stir Up Sunday in November but the raisins and currants have come from much further than Wales as have the nutmeg and spices. That's OK though. Spices from the East. That's an honourable tradition!
What will be on your plates on Christmas Day?