Menu-planning at Christmas-time should always begin with dessert.
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.
If you do not plan dessert first, armies of meringue snowpeople will come to sit on your table.
If you do plan dessert first, during your every waking moment you will be accompanied by two perfect little Santas who will bring you luck and joy.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
It’s difficult to decide which dessert to have. Unless, that is, one chooses them all and decides to spend every waking hour leading up to the day flying around the kitchen whisking butter and sugar and eggs into the glorious ephemeral bite.
Buche de Noel is traditional. I like to make mine out of chocolate cake, then fill it with a quick blend of vanilla whipped cream and crystallized ginger. Then on with the fancy dress.
But here is another gorgeous one with an elegant, most stunning robe . . .
It’s tempting to order ready-made a devilishly red cake from the glorious and musical Laduree website. Naturally their buche has macarons stuck on it. Ah, if only I had spare macarons hanging around. That would make life easy!
The little Birds fly
Down to the calico tree,
Their wings were blue,
And they sang “Tilly-loo!”
Till away they flew –
And they never came back to me!
It’s been eons since I’ve made a croquembouche. But what could be more perfect for Christmas, with its tree-like ways! Wrapped round with spun sugar like an angelic barrier crunch crunch then the tearing apart of all it, the creamy centered puffs disappearing but for the moments of memory which cunningly sidled up into them then gathered like glittering rings in a jewelry box to sparkle into the futures of the ones who opened their mouths to crunch, melt, devour.
The little Fish swam,
Over the syllabub sea.
Yet my heart still returns to linzertortes – of calico jams mit syllabub schlag
Who, or why, or which, or what,
Is the Akond of Swat?
That’s the question at Christmas-time, isn’t it. Who is the Akond of Swat.
Everyone must make up their own mind about that, to find an answer that fits them best.
But remember, whatever you do . . . plan dessert first. Then you can be sure
When awful darkness and silence reign
Over the great Gromboolian plain,
Through the long, long wintry nights
Ploffskin, Pluffskin, Pelican jee!
We think no birds as happy as we!
Plumpskin, Ploshkin, Pelican jill!
We think so then, and we thought so still.
And please don’t forget your runcible spoon! Things just aren’t the same without it.
All quoted poetry from Edward Lear (who probably liked mince and quince pies.)