For Seven years now, Mrs in Frame has composed a special menu for the “12 Days of Christmas” – alternating between the traditional (Partridge in a Pear Tree) and New Zealand (“Pukeko in a Ponga Tree”) versions each year.
This year it was the turn of the traditional version.
Wherever possible she tries to tie in part of the carol lyrics to the dish – i.e. “Partridge in a Pear Tree” will usually contain pears to some degree, or there is some sort of alliteration or similar tie-in.
When all else fails, a fair chunk of artistic license is brought in. It really takes a fair bit of dedication and imagination to pull off!
I’ll do my best to explain the theory behind each dish as we go.
So sit back and enjoy as I reveal what my true love made for me over the Twelve Days of Christmas Deliciousness for 2015:
Day 1 – A Partridge in a Pear Tree:
Meal: Pear and Blue Cheese Tart
Reasoning: The Pears for the pear tree, but also serve as PART of a RIDGE atop the tart.
Day 2 – Two Turtle Doves:
Meal: Chocolate & Pecan Turtledove Bars
Reasoning: Straight forward and VERY delicious!
Day 3 – Three French Hens:
Meal: Chicken Cordon Bleu
Reasoning: Again., pretty straight forward – Chicken with a bit of French flair!
Day 4 – Four Calling Birds:
Meal: Seared Lamb with Couscous
Reasoning: Ok, this is where we delve in to the “artistic license” category – Originally the line was “Four COLLY Birds” (Blackbirds in ye olde England) and has since evolved to now resemble sparrows with cellphones.
Mrs in Frame took it as “CULLING” birds, so we had lamb – which is culled and couscous – Why? Just be-couscous! XD
I’m more inclined to say it’s because the couscous looks like bird food…
Day 5 – Five Gold Rings:
Meal: Panko Deep-fried Origin Earth Camembert
Reasoning: The cheese is round like a ring and fried till it’s a delicious golden brown.
Day 6 – Six Geese a Laying:
Meal: Roast Goose and Potatoes
Reasoning: Simple one again – This goose was well and truly cooked!
Day 7 – Seven Swans a Swimming:
Meal: Baked Eggs with Truffle Oil
Reasoning: Swan-white eggs cooked “swimming” in a bain-marie.
Day 8 – Eight Maids a Milking:
Meal: Steak and Roast Veges with Herb Butter.
Reasoning: Reasonably straight forward from the butter perspective, the steak, however, was from less lactose tolerant cows.
Day 9 – Nine Ladies Dancing:
Meal: Duck with Cherry Glaze
Reasoning: Dancing ladies, just like ducks, love to “shake a tail feather” 😉
(I actually made this one, because Toddler in Frame was having a bad day and only Mummy cuddles could fix, so my wife was indisposed.)
Day 10 – Ten Lords a Leaping:
Meal: Baked Terakihi in a Rice Salad
Reasoning: Fish, especially those on the end of lines on TV fishing shows, apparently love to leap out of the water. Lords (allegedly) also like leaping – though the lords are more likely to be on the other end of the fishing line.
Day 11 – Eleven Pipers Piping:
Meal: Scotch Eggs.
Reasoning: Pretty straight forward again – Pipers, especially the bag-pipe variety are from Scotland. We shall ignore the fact Scotch Eggs were apparently an Indian-inspired dish first made in London and, instead focus on the fact Scotch whisky is from there instead – Slangevar!
Day 12 – Twelve Drummers Drumming:
Meal: Biltong and Mushroom Creamy Pasta
Reasoning: The Biltong represents drumsticks, while the pasta bowl looks not too dissimilar to a drum!
So there we go, another year of deliciousness done and dusted! Many thanks to all the Facebook and Twitter friends and followers who liked and commented on the dishes!
Wherever possible, we sourced ingredients from our own garden, the Napier and Hastings Farmers’ Markets, local greengrocers, butchers etc.
For the more specialised ingredients, we went to Gourmet Direct and Vetro – any Napier foodie’s best friends!
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!