By Mike Raven
An annual tradition for me at this time of year is the Christmas breakfast.
Every year, I have breakfast at my parents on Christmas Day. Rather than having a big turkey dinner as most people have as their traditional meal, my parents always went for a large and impressive breakfast in a morning.
There are several advantages to this. Firstly, it started the day as a celebration. Christmas morning I would get up as a child, open my stocking (which sometimes was a pillow case at home, and that was absolutely fine with me; you can get significantly more stuff in a pillow case than a stocking), and then it would be breakfast.
A glorious breakfast, with buttered toast, baked beans, cooked tomatoes, bacon (with the fat on, and cooked in oil), fried potatoes, and sausages.
Not just any sausages.
Lincolnshire is a county within England known for its special sausages, with a strong dose of herbs, particularly sage. Each butcher has their own recipe for this prized fare and it is not unusual for Jacksons of Louth, the butcher which my own family favours, to have people queuing out of the door in a morning trying to get their hands on a bag of them before they sell out.
My dad will put bowl after bowl of roasting hot food onto the dining table, the table itself coated in teatowels and whatever else he can find in order to stop the incandescent kitchenware from burning straight through the wood. We always watch in excited anticipation in case he accidentally burns himself and sets off on a tirade of swearing. Meanwhile, my parents’ two collies will circle the table, not quite tall enough to see what is going on but definitely able to smell it. It isn’t unusual to get a wet and pointy nose jabbing your arm for attention as you try to eat.
This huge, weighty, filling, and slightly exhausting breakfast sets you up for a long day of doing… nothing!
There are other reasons for the breakfast. The tradition at my parents’ home is that presents (apart from stockings) are opened after breakfast, so it actually worked well to calm the nerves of an excited boy waiting to frantically open gifts.
The other great advantage of the big Christmas breakfast is that once eaten and dishes are washed up, the rest of the day can be enjoyed at a pace to suit. My parents’ kitchen will be loaded up with crackers, pate, pork pie, and a huge selection of snacks so when the mood strikes for something to eat you’re able to help yourself to a little something, and no one has to, on Christmas Day, take on the challenge of cooking a huge dinner. I’ve always felt that it’s somewhat bizarre that, for a day supposedly to be spent with loved ones, a good portion of those loved ones have to spend hours slaving over a hot stove creating a large meal that, because people have spent the day stuffing their faces with chocolate, no one is actually excited by.
So, particularly if you are someone who spends half of Christmas Day cooking, why not consider a change to the routine this year? Try a breakfast!
Image: Carla Aston
Mike lives in the UK is spends his days managing construction projects. When not at work he lives with his wife and son, and enjoys blogging, playing computer games, and eating inadvisibly.