Christmas food: There has never been a better time to eat for Lancashire

Ready for an impressive festive feast. Picture by Getty Images

Ready for an impressive festive feast. Picture by Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Our food editor Emma Mayoh will be filling her festive table with food and drink from Lancashire producers

Christmas this year will be different. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard countless times already, and we’ll hear it many more times before we tuck in to the big meal on December 25th. In the Mayoh household, like so many across the county, it’s always been a time for extended family to get together for the usual exchanging of gifts, enjoying good times and falling asleep on the sofa.

This year, it’s likely to involve laptops with Zoom calls where people would, a year previously, have been sitting. There might be more chatter of tiers one, two and three than those on an elaborate Christmas cake and there will undoubtedly be talk of the year that coronavirus changed everything – and the wish for 2021 to be better.

But there will also be hope – not just because the amount of washing up to be done will be drastically reduced, and cooks around the country won’t have to prepare a feast for 12. This Christmas, food will become more than just sustenance but will bring real comfort and joy.

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It’s always been a day associated with indulgence. But this year I’ll be giving myself permission for that little bit extra. If ever there’s a time we need it, this is it. For me, it’s been Bucks Fizz and croissants for Christmas Day breakfast, one person tasked with the warming up of the soft, buttery treats while the others sit patiently, trying to avoid diving into the pile of presents stacked nearby - heaven help the person who fails to resist. It was a tradition started by my mum and as a teen officially under drinking age, it was a fancy 80s treat I loved and have carried on with my own family. And then of course you gorge on whatever chocolate, Brazil nuts, crisps and confectionery you might have received – I can guarantee there will be a selection box mid-morning feast for my seven-year-old.

Christmas dinner is usually a Jacob’s join with various members of the family contributing different courses – mine are starters and puds. But this year it will probably just be the three of us. My order for a Christmas Day spread from our local farm shop has long since been put in and there has been much browsing of the glorious Booths Christmas book, selecting treats much like many children do with the catalogue from their favourite toy shop. We’ve ordered the extra pigs in blankets, the selection of nibbles and the family size pork pie we’ll undoubtedly be feasting on way past Boxing Day. And the cheeses – oh, the cheeses. We’ll be pushing the boat out this year and we’ll be buying as much of it as we can from Lancashire suppliers. These are the people who kept us fed in the darkest of times and will now help us celebrate a special time of year. There’s never been a more important time to support them - and we’ll be embracing all of the wonderful food produced in the county. And while this Christmas will indeed be different, there will be comfort and joy in those meals. Merry Christmas.

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