Ever since making Australia my home I’ve been locked in a constant battle between the Northern and Southern hemispheres of my soul; a battle that reaches its peak every Christmas time. For however much I love the chance to relax in the warm weather, surreptitiously ogle the beautiful women wearing next to nothing and relish in the frequent thunderstorms, a part of me deeply misses cozying up in front of a fire, surreptitiously ogling beautiful women doing Eskimo impersonations and relishing the endless dark nights.
So it doesn’t surprise me that the foods I crave each and every Christmas reflects the eternal struggle between my lust of Australia and love of Scotland.
Since moving into my unit nearly two years ago I decided that one of the safety measures I could implement to help me survive this upsetting and lonely time of year was to create some new traditions. One of these traditions was the cooking (and eating) of Yorkshire Puddings each and every Christmas day.
These simple, delicious mounds of light, crispy batter have been one of my favourite foodstuffs for as long as I can remember. In fact, many of my UK memories revolve around the eating of these heavenly orbs of mouth-watering perfection; the Yorkshire Puddings as big as your plate that a pub in Inverness served up, the mini-puddings that my father made from scratch, the addition of sausages into the mix to create Toad in the Hole and the ‘eat as many as you like’ offer in numerous mid-market restaurants.
I never eat Yorkshire Puddings at any other time of year, only Christmas, because I want the flood of memories; of family, of friends, of laughter, of bliss, of nostalgia, to be something special, something unique, something that comes only once a year. For this way, it gives me something to look forward to amidst the bleak, depressing nothingness that floods my soul during the festive season.
The second food – the Southern hemisphere’s weapon of choice – is the humble Calippo. There is a reason that this triangle of frozen water, reconstituted fruit juice, cane sugar, glucose and numerous flavours and additives made my list of 101 Things That Make Me Happy; because sucking on one fills me with a level of bliss that few other foods even come close to.
Whether it’s the cooling effect these icy treats contain on a 30-40 degree day, the fact they remind me of sunny days with bikini clad babes or simply the additives playing havoc with my mind, it is categorically impossible for me to eat a Calippo without an ear-to-ear smile on my face.
Hence why, as with the Yorkshire Puddings above, a box of Pineapple and Raspberry Callipos has become a tradition during my Christmas Eve food shop.