This is, from memory, the thirteenth time Mrs in Frame has composed a special menu for the “12 Days of Christmas” in a countdown to the big day itself.
This year it was the turn of the traditional “Partridge” 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 or some kind of bird reference to some degree.
Due to the rather prolific recurrence of birds in the traditional carol (Partridges, Turtle Doves, French Hens, Swans, Geese..), there may also be some sort of alliteration or similar tie-in, otherwise we might as well have the “Twelve Days of KFC”….
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 have some fun as I reveal what my true love made for me over the Twelve Days of Christmas Deliciousness for 2021:
Day 1 – A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Part-ridged Pear Tart
Pretty straight forward – as stated above we usually kick off with something involving pears, this pear tart is “part-ridged” – see what we did there?
Day 2 – Two Turtle Doves: Hard shell Tacos / Nachos
Tacos come in hard and soft-shells – just like turtles!
Day 3 – Three French Hens: Ratatouille
Day 4 – Four Calling Birds: Karage Chicken Sushi from Tu Meke Don
Tim, Junko and Tane have been our go-to for Sushi for a number of years. and their karage chicken in sushi, donburi and just straight out fried is a favorite. (While I and Miss in Frame had the chicken, Mrs in Frame had Salmon.)
Day 5 – Five Gold Rings: 5 Golden Pasties
Pretty straight forward again – Golden rings of pastry filled with: Roast Carrot & Carrot Pesto, Mushroom & Broccoli, Asparagus & Onion, Roast Capsicum Dip & Feta, and Chocolate Ganache Tarts!
Day 6 – Six Geese a-Laying: Home-made Vanilla Ice Cream
I had to ask how she figured this one, too, but it’s because the vanilla pods’ contents give the ice cream a speckled appearance like the geese at our local park (she obviously spends more time there than I do).
Day 7 – Seven Swans Swimming: Squid Ink Pasta with Garlic and Lemon
Alliteration (using a number of words starting with the same letters / sounds / syllables) is a common trick we use when doing out 12 Days of Christmas. #FunFact: When the alliteration uses “S” sounds it’s called “sibilance” like in “Seven Swans Swimming”. The only swans I am aware of locally are the Black Swans down at the park and they are outright psychotic, so we’re not going anywhere near them. This Squid Ink Pasta is black, like the swans, starts with an “S”, and is far less homicidal.
Day 8 – Eight Maids a-Milking: Mac & Cheese
The predominant percentage of ingredients in Macaroni and Cheese are produced from what the titular maids have been extracting – Milk! (bonus points for it being such a glorious staple comfort food).
Day 9 – Nine Ladies Dancing: Chickpea Carrot Sauté with Homemade Focaccia Bread
While I initially thought the reasoning here was that the Chickpeas dance around the pan as they are sautéed, like the Ladies (“Chicks”), it was actually because most of the ingredients (sans Chickpeas) came from our garden and Mrs in Frame tells me her garden makes her happy enough to dance.
This was also the first time Mrs in Frame made Focaccia Bread by hand – and absolutely nailed it!
Day 10 – Ten Lords a-Leaping: Big English Breakfast for Dinner
“Lords” is a word we generally associate with England (not to be confused with “Lord’s” – the home of cricket). And this big English Breakfast of sausages, beans, eggs, etc. is fit for a, well.. y’know…
Day 11 – Eleven Pipers Piping: Shortbread
To keep in theme with Scottish pipers piping I suggested a bottle of good single malt whisky. But apparently that’s “irresponsible parenting”, so shortbread – another Scottish staple it was.
In related Scottish news – Miss in Frame took up Highland dancing this year and in her first competitive dance WON FIRST PLACE! All the more reason for a celebratory bottle, but I digress… #ProudDadMoment
Day 12 – Twelve Drummers Drumming: Pumpkin Cake
Ending on another sweet note we aligned pumpkins with their drum-like appearance to create Pumpkin Cake with cream cheese icing. Pumpkins and their gourd relatives have been used as many things aside from food for centuries, including basic drums for Twelve Drummers!
So there you go – another Twelve Days of Christmas Deliciousness completed for another year. Sorry for the delay I usually try and get these out on Christmas Eve, but 2021 has been, well, 2021.
All the very best to you and your family for 2022 – May it be more fun and fortuitous than this year, and I’ll catch you in my next post – here’s a hint – the “12 Days of Takeaways” gave me an idea!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!