This festive season has been a little irregular, due to a range of factors (work, travel, family) – with the bottom line being that Christmas AS WE KNOW IT got cancelled.
But before you worry for my health – that just left the window open for some creative planning – and thus Fake Christmas was born, on December 8th 2013.
What is the difference between fake and real Christmas? Very little – the family gets together, presents are exchanged and – most importantly – we eat and drink until exhaustion sets in.
The cooking for the evening was left to my brother-in-law and me, and well…even though the sky was grey and the temperature hovering around zero, we got the barbecue out!
This isn’t a recipe post, but it’s quite straightforward – we used the ‘beer can chicken’ approach, with my new favourite liquid for steaming poultry on the BBQ – ginger beer! I stuffed a few chili peppers under the skin of the bird, as well as some fresh rosemary and covered with bacon.
All that was left then was to plonk it into the BBQ for an hour.
When it came off the barbecue it was beautifully cooked, moist, juicy chicken with crispy bacon on the outside, and the fragrances of the herbs and spice of the chilis adds a new dimension to a classic dish.
I’m also convinced that I could taste the ginger beer in the meat – but that might just be wishful thinking…
The chicken was served with jacket potatoes (done in foil in the BBQ), roast winter root vegetables and green salad. I also had a bit of home-made raspberry vinegar as dressing – recipe to come in 2014!
I was lucky enough to be sent two delicious wines to drink with the meal, both from the fantastic Carmel Winery in Israel (and which are now being served on the world-famous Queen Mary II cruise ship…)
The red was a Carignan/Shiraz – very fruity and refreshing (certainly light enough to drink with white meat, even though it does have enough body to keep a fully committed red wine drinker happy!).
The Carmel Ridge white wine is a blend of a number of grapes (predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay), and was crisp and light – and it would have been perfect for a summer’s afternoon. As you may or may not know, I don’t tend to drink white wine (unless all of the red is gone!), but it had a tangy almost citrus feel, and was a good partner to the red.
Overall Fake Christmas was a hit – we managed to have the fun of the actual day, just two-and-a-half weeks early. The strange feeling came when I saw some friends the next day in their office, and they didn’t seem to share the same level of ‘Christmas Cheer’ (I’m sure they’ve made up for it by now though!)
I hope you are still enjoying the ‘real’ festive season now, and that 2014 is going to be even better than 2013 was for you and your family!