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Friday, 16 December 2011

I've Got A Problem (Part the First)

The problem is that I quite like Christmas.

I really like the 6 weeks away from Nuiova Lazio High School, lolling about relaxing, with nothing serious to do, just enjoying the lovely summer weather.

I really enjoy all the traditional foods that get rolled out at this time.  Roast Turkey (but only with plenty of bread sauce and lashings of rich gravy), sausages, crisp and crunchy roast potatoes, even Brussel sprouts.  Then there's the Kiwi foods. Steaks on the barbie, cherries and strawberries galore, Pav and Ice Cream (Pavlova for those not from NZ).

Best Christmas food

Then there's the days of satisfying nibbling on all the leftovers. My absolute favourite being turkey sandwiches made with good wholemeal bread, thick butter, turkey of course, mayonnaise with dill and just a hint of cranberry jelly and bread sauce.

There's the opportunity to raid the fridge at night for those essential midnight snacks.  Bread dipped in the gravy, crispy bits pulled off of the turkey carcass, cold bread sauce smeared on a couple of crackers.

I'll admit it. I really, really like bread sauce.

One Christmas about 10 years ago, when we were still in Scotland, my Beloved had produced a superb Christmas Dinner. All of my family were there, and some friends.  About 12 people around the table. 

I had just finished pouring the wine for everyone and I sat down to load up my plate in that gargantuan way we do at this time of the year.

4 or 5 slices of the turkey, about 12 roast potatoes, 5 or 6 of the little sausages, a mound of stuffing, some of that delicious red cabbage my Beloved makes, the sprouts, some of the alternative chestnut stuffing, all covered in rich tasty gravy.

The bread sauce.  Where the hell was the bread sauce?

I looked at my Beloved questioningly, with a raised eyebrow.

She stared back.

"Where's the bread sauce Dear?"

"Oh I didn't make any this year"

"WHAT?" I'll admit it. I may have raised my voice a tad.

She glowered at me.

"I didn't bother because nobody really likes it" she said

"I DO" I snarled replied.

Everyone else either wasn't aware of the exchange, being too busy stuffing their faces, or they were too polite to mention the slightly heated exchange between their hosts.

Except my wee boy (He was about 14 then, bless him) who said "I like bread sauce too, Mum"

"Well, I'll be quite happy to let you both make it next year" she said.


Said is far too poor a descriptor for the subtleties included in the method of delivery.

What she meant was:
  • Just you wait.
  • I'm not going to make it.
  • You and the Fruit of your F*cking Loins can do it next year.
  • And Hell Mend You, You Bunch Of Ungrateful Bastards.
And thus it was written:

  1. So next year my son and I made the bread sauce, and it was good, and the earth did not open up beneath us and all was great, and all were happy.
  2. And lo, much feasting took place.
  3. And lo, the Damsel of my Life took pity on the Head of the House and His First Born Son and said:
    "I'll do it next year, and it will be better"
  4. And lo it was.
  5. And it was good; Nay it was absolutely f*cking magical
  6. And there will be Bread Sauce and it will be good unto the Ends of the Earth
  7. And all were content. 
  8. Apart from the Head of the House and His First Born Son who were forever more condemned to do the Washing Up. 
So endeth this lesson, and peace be upon you and your families, even Aunt Gladwys who has been at the brandy and egg nog.  Again.


Lucky Richard [of RBB] has a brand new Dishwasher, so he won't have to do this like my son and I.

But that isn't the only reason that I've got a problem, but I'll explain that on the next post.

I'm glad my problem's not as big as hers.


  1. I had not heard of the sacred bread sauce. I will make some and try it.

  2. Laoch of Chicago: Please do, but beware. There is an American anaemic version. Try and follow the recipe given in the post for the full European experience. You can find the recipe here

    It also makes a good dip for potato chips if thinned a little with more cream.

  3. looks more like breast sauce...........

  4. Oops. Should try to widen my reading a bit. I know the name of that model. The word verification is a badly matched "flopi".

    Can't wait for Christmas Dinner now, although you will think me a heretic to be banished beyond the norms of polite society when I say that we have nut roast instead of turkey. (Honest, it's dead good - it has prunes soaked in armagnac in the middle),

  5. Your Beloved has kindly agreed to make delicious bread sauce, so what can the problem be? Is there a bread shortage in New Zealand now?

  6. Young at Heart: Oooh, that sounds very titalating.

    looby: flopi? HAHAHAHA. I don't know the name either, but I'm pretty sure she suffers from a bad back.

    There's nothing wrong with vegatarion food, taken in moderation that is, and smothered with rich meaty gravy.

    As a starter that is.

    Like the idea of prunes soaked in Armangac. Gets you pissed and keeps you regular all in one.

    Patience_Crabstick: No Patience, there's no bread shortage in NZ, but one problem is that m'son and I are now condemned to eternal dish washing and pot scouring. The other problem will be addressed on a future post.

  7. Ahhhh, bread sauce. No Christmas meal is complete without it! I can't get my head around the fact that you are mid Summer at Christmas. Call me brainwashed, but Christmas without shitty weather, not for me!!! I bet deep down you miss home. Almost every Scot I met when there called it "God's country". In Wales we have something calle "Hiraeth". Google it. The Scots must have a similar word.
    Thanks for all your great comments. It's been great meeting you this year.

  8. Yonks: I must admit it was a bit strange for the first few years, especially the very first.

    We'd been in NZ for about 6 months, and m'son was living up in the Coromandel, so we set off to celebrate our Christmas with him. We were staying at a motel and used their barbeque to cook on.

    Sitting under a beautiful blue sky, in the shade of a palm tree, eating steaks fresh of the charcoal, with crisp green salad and crisp NZ Sauvingon Blanc was an absolute delight.

    Mind you we did finish with Chritmas pudding and custard, which felt decidedly odd.

    Enjoy your sleet.

    Merry Xmas.

    BTW Scots do have a name for "Hiraeth"; we call it Laphroig.

  9. What is Bread Sauce?? I've never heard of it ever. But then I'm just a fifth generation antipodean girl, unlike you folk from the Northern Hemisphere. Please enlighten me.

  10. VG: Bread sauce is an ambrosial infusion of onion, clove and bay leaf in a milk based sauce, which is then thickened with bread, hence the name .
    See here for full details

    It goes well with any bird or game dish or anything really except fish.

  11. looby:


    I just remembered your earlier post when you were talking about breakfast. You described a sausage and black pudding fry-up, so when did you go all vegatarian on us?


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