So Christmas is finally over. I don’t mean the cards and twinkling lights and presents beneath the tree, all of which were kept to reasonable proportions. I mean the meal. There was only one, really. It lasted a month.
The main course was meat. In fact it was meat the whole time, pretty much. Pheasant, beef, duck, lamb, pork. And haggis for good measure. And then some more pheasant. Followed by Chistmas cake in case we were still hungry. Which we weren’t, of course, but we ate it anyway, as it made a break from the meat.
Why such gorging, you ask? Well, once upon a time there were three sisters, who came from the most carniverous family in the most carniverous region of France. And I married one of them.
When they get together, the kitchen becomes a slaughterhouse outlet, strewn with bones and slabs of flesh and goose fat and carcasses, while they discuss the merits of roasting versus grilling, or saignant versus à point. Don’t worry, it’s just how they bond. They’re rediscovering the wonders of their childhood.
Which is all very well, and mighty tasty too, but after a while my system screams for a halt. Mercy! No more! And I understand the appeal of becoming a veggie. And of course, it’s not just to unclog the fat from my body, but to save the world.
Will I ever convince the sisters? No. But when it’s just the two of us, Madeleine is at least amenable to the idea. Occasionally, if my veggie dishes are succulent, original and subtle, she’ll go for a whole two days without so much as a quail. But then, just as I’m rustling up a quinoa stir-fry with kale chilli and nuts, she’ll open the fridge door and say, ‘You know, I fancy a nice entrecôte.’ Saignant, of course.