I’ve read a lot of things recently about Christmas and a common thread that runs right through people’s understanding of Christmas is FOOD; those with lots to eat and those who are championing the cause of people who have not enough to eat. Hold your horses; I’m not about to tell you about a manger and wise men and all that! I actually just want to talk about food and the consumption of it therein during the Christmas holidays.
Last week, I had Christmas lunch with my sister and her work mates and everything in this picture on the left was spread out. Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots and Mashed Potatoes. We had pudding for dessert and a little wine which is always good for the heart. Anyway, so as I gingerly worked my way around the food, trying to avoid the hideous Brussels Sprouts, someone on the table noticed I was using my fork to dance Azonto around the plate. “I take it you don’t like vegetables much.” I replied that I loved vegetables, I just didn’t understand why this was the standard Christmas meal. I mean, the same thing every year? At this point my sister must have noticed I was trying to get uppity, she stopped me right in the middle of my tirade with “Isn’t this the same as the standard Jollof Rice and chicken that is associated with Christmas?”
Then it all came flooding back! Christmas in Ogbomosho was not complete without pounded yam, efo riro and chicken for lunch and jollof rice AND chicken again for dinner. My young mind associated every Christmas with pounded yam and efo riro, such that ‘Harking of the Heralds’ became synonymous with ‘Harking of Chicken Consumption’.
Now, because I had asked for what the food on the table symbolized, and gotten something about the three gifts that the Wise Men brought to the manger, it was our turn to explain the importance of Jollof Rice and chicken. My response? “I don’t know! It’s sha sweet!” glaring at the horribly blanched out carrots on my plate.
Anyway, how will you be spending Christmas? What are you cooking/eating? What’s going to determine your choice of meal? How are you gonna spread love and good cheer this Christmas? Oh, and if you know why we eat Jollof Rice and Chicken on Christmas day please share so I won’t go and disgrace myself and you people at the next Christmas dinner I’m invited to.
Me? I’m going to make peppered gizzard, mashed potatoes, drink lots of cider and watch re-runs of Big Bang Theory!
Have a wonderful Christmas. Live, love and find a reason to smile.
Love, peace and cupcakes!
Photo credit: lechuaphotography.com