What to do when you’re down to bring yourself a little joy this Christmas season?
People, I always aver, are simple creatures. We enjoy tasty food, pretty objects, pleasant company and not being poked with pointy sticks or other injurious things. Christmas seems a time for these basic human needs to be fulfilled, with the promise of family, friends, lashings of Yuletide fare and no one being carted off to hospital with severe burns and no eyelashes after standing too close to the Christmas pudding when Grandma sets alight the brandy.
Yet, science tells us, Christmas is a time of mixed blessings and occasionally one can experience a little ennui as the first door on the shop bought cardboard Advent calendar disgorges its first disappointing little chocolate.
At such times it is important to brace oneself and, as it is not in most peoples’ means to simply ignore the season altogether and hire a little chateau like Vaux le Vicomte (pictured above) for the month, one must resort to simpler measures to assuage one’s growing sense of panic and horror.
Ignoring the health messages on Australian television which tell us of the certain death that awaits from the toxic fat caused by overeating and the irreversible metabolic damage caused by drinking glasses of wine, we choose to invest in large quantities of good things and start cooking. If you are trying to follow a new recipe using unfamiliar ingredients you have little time for feeling down and, providing you only choose recipes involving glacé fruit, chocolate and alcohol it does not matter if your recipe fails because it is still quite likely to taste delicious regardless.
My suggestion therefore is to invest in a bottle of brandy as a starting point for cooking your blues away, and if you find you cannot afford all the other ingredients…well at least you have the brandy.