Is your Christmas already threatening to descend into chaos?
With trees and decorations to put up, an ever increasing list of presents to buy, visiting family and friends to be accommodated, costume making for the nativity, cards to be written and delivered…
Is it any wonder that by the time the big day arrives thoughts of peace, joy and goodwill to all men have been replaced by stress, anxiety and borderline insanity?
Of course it’s not helped by the fact that even before the barbecue’s been packed away we’re bombarded with magazine articles, recipes, TV programmes, supermarket adverts et al - all persuading us that the be all and end all of Christmas is the FOOD.
It’s little wonder that we have a national obesity problem. I remember when Christmas meant brazil nuts in a bowl (still there in March because the nutcrackers were lethal) , a tangerine in your stocking and a selection box, which was classed as a proper present.
Christmas Day lunch of turkey, three veg (sprouts NOT optional), crispy roasties (cooked in dripping, not goose fat) and slightly lumpy gravy followed by Christmas pudding which nobody really liked but it was the only time we got pudding so we ate it anyway. If you were very posh and/or very rich, there’d be a tin of Quality Street passed round after the Queen’s Speech.
And then, over the next few days as the family and visitors popped in, there’d be turkey sandwiches for all…cut into triangles with the crusts cut off. Everybody tried to be a little bit posh at Christmas!
The focus on food at Christmas these days is, to me, a little horrifying, not least because that focus seems to be so much more about quantity than quality.
Take, for example, the ‘three bird roast.’ I’m not sure at what point someone decided that stuffing a turkey with a duck, stuffing that duck with a goose, and eventually getting round to stuffing this monstrosity with Paxo’s finest was a good idea? Undoubtedly it was the same person who rolled chicken, pork, gammon AND beef into one ‘joint’ of meat.
Now if I’m in the minority here (each to his own obviously) and these Christmas Day centrepieces sound appealing to you, consider this. The examples I am currently looking at cost a mere £10 for ‘1.6kg serving 6-8 people’ and there are others including a ‘four bird roast’ for less than £8.
Which surely raises question marks, if not alarm bells, as to the quality of what’s on those 6-8 plates?
And then there’s the party food proudly advertised at ‘less than 7p per piece.’ It really begs the question of what is actually in these, predominantly chilled or frozen, delicacies.
Let’s move to the other end of the scale (for the posh and/or rich folk of Haverhill!). Canapes anyone? You can get 60 for £29. Now by definition, canapés are designed to be popped delicately into the mouth in one delicious bite…so that’s 50p a mouthful then. And I can’t help but notice the small print stating the product contains preservatives, additives, artificial flavourings and colourings. A quick scout around other website reveals you can actually easily pay up to 65p per piece …and yet you still have to cook them yourself!
If you’re a more down to earth, sandwich type person you can get a ‘platter’ of 24 quarters (cut into triangles, crusts cut off) for a mere £20. I’ve done the sums for you, that’s 12 slices of bread/6 rounds of fillings…for £20.
I could go on and on, go to every supermarket website and offer up examples from either end of the scale. And yes, for some Christmas is a time to splash out, and for others stretching the budget can be difficult. But the point I think I’m making (because I am having a bit of a soapbox moment!) is that whatever your budget, you don’t have to compromise on quality. And what’s more, you don’t have to do battle in overcrowded supermarkets with over excited kids and never ending queues.
Kedington Butchers, in Haverhill. You know the one, but let me remind you.
This is fresh, locally sourced and ethically raised meat and poultry. It is cut and prepared for you by Master Butchers with a coveted maximum 5 star hygiene rating.
But equally as important, Kedington Butchers in Haverhill cross check their fresh meat prices with those of the supermarkets on a regular basis to ensure you are getting value for money.
And it’s obviously not just about the meat. All the trimmings can be taken care of at Kedington Butchers, who have fresh fruit, vegetables and salad delivered daily. You can guarantee your sprouts will be the sweetest, whether or not you decide to serve them sauteed in garlic butter with crispy pancetta and a sprinkling of pine nuts, or just as they come, slightly soggy…like the good old days.
Your Boxing Day buffet doesn’t have to be limited to those turkey sandwiches of old (although I’m pretty partial to them myself). Kedington Butchers can also supply your cheeses, preserves, cold meats, pies and seasonal products.
If you want to impress or are just looking for something different Kedington Butchers also sells game and fish, and a huge range of sausages for pigs in blankets with a twist! And of course you can pick up your milk, eggs, cakes and biscuits from their excellent selection.
All this and not a supermarket queue in sight! In fact Kedington Butchers will deliver your order free, and fresh, in Kedington, Haverhill and surrounding areas. I would however strongly recommend you pay them a visit also, as time and again their Customer Reviews cite chatting with the friendly, helpful staff as a major plus point. Oh, and ok, I think you can get your goose fat there!
Please click here for more information about Kedington Butchers.
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!