So: Omicron has officially made her entrance, and your hopes of a Christmas spent demanding various foodstuffs (selection box, sandwich with three different meats, a whole camembert, etc.) at your family home may be dashed. How are you supposed to eat yourself into a depression to celebrate the birth of the Christ child now?
Well, a Christmas spent away from home can be an opportunity for experimentation, and to break free of your mum’s dry turkey and overdone carrots. Below are some alternative food recipes from the Munchies archive to incorporate into your shopping list for generous friends or contact-free deliveries, should you be struck down by the dastardly variant or otherwise suddenly relieved of your original plans. We’ve split these into the three major festive food groups: mains, dessert, and, of course, drinks.
I don’t eat meat but when I used to, even I knew that chicken is better than turkey. This little pan roasted number brings together roast chicken with the best bit of Christmas dinner (potatoes), so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
Alternatively, if you are sick of Christmas being held in the vice grip of Big Bird, and dread the yearly deification of turkey, try salmon instead. Society seems to have decided that this is the most festive of fish, –not sure why – but it looks good, doesn’t it?
So you want to chow down on a meaty Christmas treat, but you want to avoid the lumpy gravy route? Enter braciole: kind of like meat roly-poly, this is an Italian occasion classic stuffed with breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, and all of the other god-tier tastes.
For the veggies in the house, a spicy, warming chickpea concoction could be just the antidote to the sometimes Groundhog Day-like vibe of Christmas, where you eat the same dish every year, watch the same TV every year and have the same almost-physical altercations with your siblings every year.
Likewise, here is a sweet potato casserole that will make for a comforting, in-front-of-Eastenders hit. Tastes even better when eaten straight from the dish, all in one go.
Like, it’s your weird Christmas, so you can do what you want, right? And 90 percent of the time, what I want is to be eating lasagna. This recipe is a nice twist on the form that’ll make it feel fancier and more festive.
Or try a veggie version, which is just as delicious and features even more cheese, which is really the most important thing. I do think lasagna should be something we as a society take far more seriously, and what could be more serious than serving it on Christmas Day?
Nobody is doing anything any more. You never want to hear the word “sourdough” again, and you stood on your knitting needles. Of course you have time to make something called Peanut Butter Mousse Crunch Cake.
What is Christmas without a bit of variety? It is a time for excess – that’s why there are so many different flavours of Cadbury’s Heroes. So to keep in the spirit of the period, here’s a foolproof cookie dough which forms the basis for five different cookies.
A crisp pastry top; a sour, ruby-red middle. There could hardly be a better Christmas Day dessert: a damn fine cherry pie of which even the Double R Diner would be proud.
A time-honoured Christmas tradition is getting absolutely smashed from the moment you wake up until the moment you nod off to sleep at 6PM in a seated position, and then again after that. Start the day right with an Aperol Betty, which is like a mimosa, but with Aperol. So, better.
For your evening drink, you could do worse than The Mountainside, which is Old Fashioned-style with an earthy twist, and will make you feel extremely classy and attractive.
Or, you could simply go with a Negroni, that bitter alcoholic mistress. Bitter and orangey and almost syrupy with booze, it’s a classic for a reason! (The reason is that it gets you really pissed.)
Christmas 2021: there’s fuck all else on, Paddington 2 doesn’t air until Boxing Day, you’ve already done that Peanut Butter Cake from above, so it’s probably time you learned to make eggnog. I don’t care that you don’t actually like it.
Fuck it, it’s Christmas! What better way to occupy yourself than stocking up on every alcoholic spirit possible, and sloshing them around into various combinations? Shut up, play the hits, make ‘em all.