Merry Christmas to you all.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, and most of all healthy, New Year.
When Mrs JJ flounced off to her mother’s last week, she took with her the key to the cupboard with all the baubles and dangles and sparkly things and streamers and bunting and angels sans wings, so Christmas was looking bleak in the Jefferty-Jeff household until I came across a large and knobbly thing with a ‘use by 25th December 2014’ sticker on it. It also had a sticker on saying ‘Reduced to 83p.’ Mrs JJ, despite her faults and playing bridge and being bad at cooking (and that occasional funny smell,) is a most remarkably thrifty lady. She often spends pounds saving money.
Assuming by the use day date that this is one of her more bizarre ideas for Christmas decorating I have improvised to make the humble home look as festive as possible and I want to share my ‘Thing’ that adorns the hall in Chez Jefferty with you all and invite you to raise a glass of red with me to celebrate.
Do any of you realise that is was Richard the III who made Brussels Sprouts a traditional English Christmas meal food? When he and Edward had to flee to the Low Countries they had no money. Edward even had to pay for the sea voyage with the coat off his back. Desperately hungry they made their way to Brussels, sleeping in ditches and eating where they could. Some days the only food they could find were small cabbages – sprouts up a stalk of a Brassica.
That Christmas was cold and they were hungry and lonely and they were sitting around the fire cooking snow for Christmas dinner when someone tripped and dropped the small cabbage they were all sharing into the cooking post. After weeks of cold, hard and half-frozen small cabbages the taste of the overcooked, mushy, smelly green thing was such a welcome change that they vowed to take some back to England and always have them for Christmas day for ever more.
Eating sprouts at Christmas became law in 1479 and despite the Puritans trying to get the law abolished in the late sixteenth century, the statute still exists and that is why still we all have to eat Brussels Sprouts at Christmas!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!
Original source material and references:
Morrison’s own ‘Orange and Lemon Jelly Slices’ (85g)
A Christmas card my Aunty Pat sent me.
A car parking ticket from the city centre.
Santa Claus and all his Elves.
The Radio Times Chistmas (2013 edition.)
© Words and picture: Jeff Jefferty Jeff December 24th 2014