Ah Christmas 2019. Time to drink, be merry, share around some good will (if you can find any), and gorge yourself at tables straining under the weight of food, be it the Christmas feast with your loved ones, or trestle tables laden with finger food at one works Christmas doo after another.
But no, wait! There’s something missing. Where’s all the food?
Sadly I have news for you. Since we crashed out of the EU in March with that no deal Brexit we all apparently voted for, it’s in the back of a refrigerated lorry parked in a makeshift car park in Kent or on the Continent because nothing can get through thanks to border and customs checks.
But fear not, there is a solution that will see our tables covered with food – the rationing of the 1950s. And what better to use as our guide than Patsy’s Christmas Reflections. The wonderful Patsy was a young, skinny, blond newly wed cartoon housewife The Daily Mirror used to run as a cooking strip to show young women how to be dutiful and cook for her man. She imparts all she knows and learns with the help of her mother and other matronly women. And of course it comes complete with a nice healthy dollop of chauvinism – it was written by a man after all.
Am I going too far in using Patsy and rationing? Well maybe, I’m not convinced, but just maybe I am. But hey many did want to leave the EU so they could return to the golden times before we entered the EU, so I’m going with it!
Thankfully the turkey won’t be too much of an issue to get hold of, nor the smoked salmon – though you may be paying more this year as cheaper imports from Europe won’t get through so supplies at the lower end of the market will just not be there.
But what to do about the canapés for those Christmas drinks parties? Patsy, dutiful wench that she is has some solutions for us, including Cheese flavoured custard tart, Tomato halves filled with fish salad, Celery stuffed with cheese margarine mixture, peeled camembert diced and coated in bread crumbs, salami sausage on toast and toped with a pickle. Meat paste on toast with capers, Liver sausage on toast with pickle, Flaked grilled bloater mixed with cold scrambled egg on toast, and Shrimps mixed in curry sauce on biscuits or toast.
Ah but wait. The tomato halves are out, as they have to be imported, usually for Spain. What a shame, especially as we will have got back control of our waters and all the fish that would have gone in them would have been good old British fish. The salami? Well that’s out too, its stuck in Calais as it tries to journey here from Italy, while the Camembert will be stuck in a parking lot along the M20. At least the other mouth-watering canapés she suggests are probably ok, and many use long lasting tinned and jarred ingredients, so you’ll be fine. Just remember to add them to your panic buying shopping list when you go to stock up in February 2019.
Now, your Christmas pudding, many of the top end puddings are made in the UK, but even more are imported. So what’s to be do? Make it yourself of course; look at this as a chance to learn a new skill. Patsy’s recipe thankfully calls for long lasting dry goods that you can stock up on in advance – very handy given sultanas, raisins, sugar and mixed spices are all imported. She also proposes using marmalade and lemon essence; also a useful suggestion given citrus fruits will be rotting on a ship that can’t dock in Felixstowe. Now her eggs were reconstituted, but hey who knows, we may be reduced to that too. Finally her recipe uses beer, stout or milk, to reduce the amount of brandy from a number of glassfuls to a couple of tablespoonsful, not quite the same, but then Brandy also comes from the continent, so best make that bottle in the back of your cupboard last as long as you can, who knows when you’ll be able to get it again at a price you can afford.
But we still have other booze I here you say. True, on the whiskey front and the gin we’re ok; there may even be a glut of the stuff, as the producers will have an issue shipping it to the continent. Now, that may mean the distillers won’t survive such a reduction in market, but who cares when we may get it cheap before it runs out. On, a finally, more serious note one has to worry for independent gin distillers who won’t have easy access to Spain anymore, a market that drinks more of the stuff than even we do in the UK.
Oh I should also point out that your mulled wine is defiantly gone, unless you want to try the reds of England. Though not even the most vocal supporter and lover of English wines would say English reds are drinkable.
But worry not I have some good news for you. Once again dear old Patsy with her thick coiffured blond locks comes to our hard Brexit return to the golden days Christmas rescue with her cider cup. A titillating blend of orange squash if real oranges can’t be obtained – which they wont be – with ginger beer substituted for some of the cider if you can’t get hold of enough in the shops.
Personally I just can’t wait, why would you want the Christmas we’re used to or that we used to have when you have the prospect of all this before you?