I admitted last year that I didn’t really enjoy mince pies, Christmas pudding, Yule Log and the like, the family don’t either. But I still buy them every year. And every year we try to get through them because… why? Because we think we have to? Because we won’t be festive without them? Because it’s not Christmas unless you have some mince pies handy for unexpected guests (of which we get none)? So I dutifully fill the house with boxes of stuff we won’t eat and don’t even like.
I have a terrible fear of missing out, of not trying something I feel I should and I inflict this on my family. Someone mentioned Cherries in Brandy on Twitter and decided that I must have some.
Could I find them? No! And it burned. I tried everywhere, my husband drove me to farm shops and delicatessens all over Sussex for my search. Even on Christmas Eve I was still asking hopefully in every shop I went into (the card shop in Shoreham were slightly surprised by my request). I’ve not even tried them, I don’t drink Brandy and cherries make my mouth itch so what was I thinking?
During my search I did find some last minute Brandy Butter on Christmas Eve though, and was pleased about that because we didn’t have any in the fridge. We did however have Brandy Sauce, Vanilla Custard and Courvoisier Cream. Just how many pudding toppers would we need? For a pudding we don’t even like and actually didn’t even eat (it’s still in the cupboard).
I’d seen an advert for something called Christmas Tree Bread – a swirl of sweet buns in the shape of the tree festooned with dried fruits. It was being marketed as the perfect breakfast for the big day and only on sale in a supermarket that we never go to – because we don’t have one anywhere near us. But on Christmas Eve after our unsuccessful last ditch attempt to find the Cherries in Brandy I whined to my husband that we didn’t even have that Christmas Tree Bread…
‘What Christmas Tree Bread?’
‘The one you have to have for breakfast tomorrow morning while opening your presents’
And so off we went miles away to a supermarket we have never used to find it. While the family parked dangerously outside I ran up and down the aisles searching and searching (also keeping an eye out for Cherries in Brandy).
Breathlessly I asked a lady working in the Bakery about it. She looked at her watch and sucked her teeth (if she could have kicked some tyres she would have).
‘I’ve just put the last three out at the front of the store’
THE LAST THREE!
I must have walked straight past them, the last three Christmas Tree Breads and possibly my last chance to have a Happy And Fulfilled Christmas…
I raced back to the front of the store and there it was, not three but ONE.
The last ONE. The last Christmas Tree Bread on sale that Christmas Eve.
God Bless Us Everyone.
I snatched it up of course and nearly punched the air as I happily looked around at other customers who DID NOT have Christmas Tree Bread.
Our big day was saved.
The next morning, no one really fancied it.
We were all a bit stuffed with shortbread and chocolate.
I managed a couple of slices because I had to or it wouldn’t have been Christmas. My son and husband didn’t like it, only the dog showed a huge interest but he couldn’t eat it because it was covered in raisins.
Half of it ended up in the bin, along with my heavy heart.
And here is what happened to rest of our festive fare:
- Mince Pies: All six eaten by me to make sure they didn’t go to waste, I don’t even like them
- Heston’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pud: Hard fought for, bought in October, still in the cupboard
- Creams, Custards, Butters: All ended up out of date and in the bin or dog
- Panettone: One slice eaten by myself and my husband, the rest went hard
- Mulled Cider: Bottle hidden away until we start drinking again
- Sloe Gin: Unopened and also hidden away
- Cheeses: We manfully tried to eat them all but the dog had most of them (inc a whole Brie)
Don’t get me wrong we ate loads! I spent two weeks snacking on crackers and drinking Cava and I’m finding it hard to settle in front of the TV now without a bowl of peanuts or Partymix next to me. But after all those big lunches and eating out with friends we didn’t really fancy setting fire to a huge pudding and smothering it with boozy cream, although the idea is wonderfully festive.
I hate wasting food so really need to curb my overbuying tendencies – next year note to self: DO NOT BUY AS MUCH AND CERTAINLY NOTHING YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE! Yes, I’m contemplating a Christmas without a mince pie in sight… Please remind me of this in 11months time. Thank you.
Replenishing our fridge after the festivities this week with normal everyday (and less calorific) foodstuffs in the supermarket I use all the time I walked straight into a display of Cherries in Brandy. Reduced at £2.
My hand hovered over a jar…