Christmas Lunch, that time of the year where huge families come together in mutual joy or loathing and eat, what is to be honest about it, a slightly larger version of a Sunday Lunch.
Christmas Lunch also causes anyone who is not part of a huge family that comes together for the day(s) to wander around the food aisles the day before looking for something vaguely “not sad and pathetic” to eat.
Obviously, anyone half sensible can knock up Christmas lunch for one – it’s just a case of buying fewer sprouts, potatoes, etc.
What about the turkey?
A bird that causes even the largest of families to exclaim “not more turkey” on Boxing Day is a week or more of turkey for a single person.
Christmas Lunch for One is incompatible with turkey.
It is actually surprising that in the modern era of supermarkets and semi-prepared meals, that not one that I checked is selling a box containing “Christmas Lunch for One”. As supermarkets have long realised that most single people prefer to buy meals for two, then split them – as it looks a little less sad in the shopping basket (we don’t even get to use the trolleys!) – I am even more surprised that there isn’t a “Christmas Lunch for Two” option.
I can buy a chicken breast on its own, and the same for chicken thigh or wings – but not turkey. Only turkey slices for sandwiches, and that is just pathetic on Christmas Day!
As it happens, I am not a huge fan of large Sunday lunches, but there is tradition, and there is something curiously participatory about eating the same sort of meal that 90% of the population is eating, even if you are sitting at the table alone.
So here is a message for food vendors – try to find a way of selling turkey in two-person portions next year, or failing that, someone breeds a pocket-sized turkey please!
For this year, in the absence of single-person turkeys, I am having a much more manageable Partridge instead. But no pears.
Incidentally, as noted in this week’s Spectator magazine, the origin of a Partridge in a Pear tree might have an interesting history to it.
The theory is that it derives from the introduction, in the 17th century, of the French partridge, which has gradually crushed our native grey. The French is “une perdrix”. So the original words offered a choice of “a partridge or oon pear-dree”.
I now have a strong suspicion that my Christmas Lunch this year will be French.