Miss Tarabotti, as some of you may well know, is rather fond of comestibles. Thusly, the holiday season is one of great joy to her, from a food standpoint if nothing else. (The shopping, it must be admitted, she could very much do without. Her sisters are overly enthusiastic on the subject.) However, she has some tips for coping with the holidays Victorian-style.
1. Mincemeat pie. Sounds awful, looks revolting, tastes spectacular. The Americans have sadly neglected this part of their British heritage but there is much to be said for meat soaked in alcohol and then encased in pastry. If unwilling to venture in the mincemeat direction, how about exploring the fine art of Christmas Pudding? (AKA Plum Pudding ~ and no, there are no plums involved, don’t ask.) A dense fruity cake that is covered in alcohol and then set on fire. Fantastic.
2. Cloth wrapped presents. Instead of paper, why not invest in some fabric remnants from a craft shop or colorful little scarves and then tie with a ribbon? All the fun of unwrapping, none of the waste, and perhaps it will encourage others to reuse as well. As an added bonus cloth wrappers can be used as emergency clean-up towels for the inevitable alcohol-related spill (see: inebriation caused by over-consumption of Christmas Pudd, above.)
3. Roast goose. Benefits? Well, a goose is bigger than a turkey and more mean-spirited. Have you ever met a goose? The only bird nastier is a swan and, unfortunately, they are protected by Queen Victoria. Thus goose consumption gives one a sense of self-righteousness and satisfaction all rolled into one.
4. Frills and lace. Perhaps not a particular favorite amongst gentlemen for themselves (unless one is of a Lord Akeldama inclination) but for the ladies… Donning a pretty frock and perhaps a corset is bound to make one feel better ~ a little constricted but definitely better. On the other hand nothing, I am convinced of this, is funnier than a werewolf with a doily on his head.
5. Which brings us back around to drinkies. Lord Akeldama suggests a Pink Slurp (champagne & blood) but he’s a vampire and they have questionable palates. Alexia recommends substituting blackberry cordial for the blood resulting in a truly excellent and festive drink. Alternatively, for those particularly cold nights, one might opt for mulled wine, which can be a most excellent way to disguise the quality of one’s vino.