I am delighted to live in a country where it’s possible to celebrate twelve days of Christmas. Thank you, Great Britain, for inventing it! No need to get cards and letters to people by the 25th of December. Let them arrive after the first day of Christmas, when people have more time to read them. Decorations can stay up until Epiphany. And friends are much more amenable to parties if they aren’t squeezed into the tight time before December 25th. It’s good to keep Christmas Cheer throughout the festival of the twelve days. It offers a chance for those celebrators who are weary from cramming in shopping, cooking, wrapping, and writing during the time when it is NOT Christmas, (when it’s really Advent – another season entirely) to let their hair down when the work is all done and they can relax.
Last night we had a Twelfth Night Party for our street. Long ago ancient Britons used this time to play pranks on their friends, baking cakes with foreign objects in them to surprise or choke an unwary consumer. But our party was just food, drink and chat. Visiting relatives and friends were also welcomed to pop in anytime during the evening. The floor was joyously strewn with toy cars and lego and the edges of the rooms buzzed with enthusiastic talking, laughing and sharing. It was wonderful, and my heart rose a couple of altitudes.
Food – two chillis and rice plus finger food — were easily available, and because everyone knew everyone, there was no formality in helping themselves and each other. You really get to know your neighbours well, don’t you, when they’ve seen you emptying the dustbin in your dressing gown [bathrobe].
Snack foods that accompany drinks: now there’s something I’m not good at. I can’t pretend that hovering over a cherry tomato trying to stuff it with miniscule amounts of cream cheese is a joy and delight. Mass produced finger foods come easily, and disappear easily as well. Here’s one of my favourites:
Toasted Onion Canapes
This is easy because it’s three parts finely chopped onion with 2 parts mayonnaise, and one part grated parmesan cheese. If you mix ¾ cup of minced onions (therefore ½ cup of mayo and ¼ cup cheese) together, that will comfortably spread 20 slices of half-toasted French bread. Then grill about 2 inches from the flame for a couple of minutes or so. Watch like a hawk as it soon scorches. Also, don’t eat immediately as it will blister the roof of your mouth.
1. Stir in a little dried tarragon to the mixture before spreading. Sprinkle in some paprika and mix well.
- 3. Top the grilled canapes with a cooked prawn, or some smoked salmon before serving.
- 4. Use any other cheese for a different taste sensation.
That’s it, dear friends. Happy Eating.
note: unfortunately we cannot provide a photo of the finished product because the subject was consumed too rapidly. Here’s a very fuzzy photo of Bernie (right), eating the last one.