2023 is (give or take) the FIFTEENTH time Mrs in Frame has composed a special menu for the “12 Days of Christmas” in a countdown to Christmas 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 2023:
Day 1 – A Partridge in a Pear Tree – Yule Tide Log Cake!
Somewhere out there is a chocolate partridge missing their chocolate pear tree, as we’ve harvested it to make this delicious Chocolate Yule Tide Log!
Day 2 – Two Turtle Doves – Chicken Sausage Baguettes with Macadamia and Apricot Stuffing!
(Fun fact: For our honeymoon 18 years ago Mrs. Frame and I went to Monreale Estate in the Dandenong Ranges just outside Melbourne, Australia. On one night the estate made dinner for us, which was chicken with this very same macadamia and apricot stuffing!)
Day 3 – Three French Hens: Corn Fritters
A pretty straight forward one here – Chickens eat corn, ergo corn fritters!
Day 4 – Four Calling Birds: Delivered Takeaways (Hell Pizza)
It’s not just birds that come calling, takeaway delivery drivers do too! Two years ago I did a 12 days of HB Takeaways and, let’s be honest, 12 individual, themed meals in 12 days are a real mission, Mrs Frame deserved the break!
Day 5 – Five Gold Rings – French Onion Soup with Golden Grilled Gruyère Baguette Slices
French onion soup has become a regular recipe in the “12 Days” line up, being adaptable from French Hens to many others, including Five Gold Rings – Gruyère cheese grilled until golden on round baguette rings!
Day 6 – Six Geese a Laying – Vegetarian Scotch Eggs!
Ignoring for a moment that Scotch Eggs may not actually originate in Scotland, Mrs Frame, a vegetarian, replaced the usual sausage meat or mince casing for blitzed chickpeas. The result was surprisingly moreish and doesn’t fill you up anywhere as much as the meat does – I can highly recommend! The “a-laying” aspect can either be seen as the whole egg being laid in the chickpea mixture or the egg, still ensconced in the chick(peas) awaiting laying. (I may be overthinking this one…)
Day 7 – Seven Swams a Swimming – Sausage (and Vegetarian) Rolls!
Before being cut up into individual bite-sized pieces these sausage rolls look like a swan’s long neck. Once cut up the rolls look like cervical vertebrae.
Day 8 – Eight maids a milking: Vegetarian Haggis
Okay, here comes some artistic license: Haggis is traditionally made from sheep (“Vegetarian haggis was first available commercially in 1984, and now can account for between 25% and 40% of haggis sales” according to Wikipedia).
Day 9 – Nine Ladies Dancing: Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Burgers!
A bit of artistic license here again: Barbeques are often part of a party, and at parties people dance (the burgers and chips are typical party food, too!) Mrs. Frame discovered this Jackfruit recipe just recently and once again it shows how diverse vegetarian dishes can be!
Day 10 – Ten Lords a-Leaping: Baked Eggs with Truffle Oil!
“Lords” are posh, so are truffles. Discovering truffles might be exciting enough to cause the lords to leap! The truffle cream also makes the baked eggs very rich, like lords.
Day 11 – Eleven Pipers Piping: Enchiladas
Enchiladas are pipes of delicious sauce beans, chilies, and cheese. It’s dishes like this, and so many others on this year’s list where you don’t actually miss meat, with all the vegetables and pulses doing the heavy lifting.
Day 12 – Twelve Drummers Drumming: Ratatouille
We did ratatouille as “French Hens” in 2021. This year it’s Drummers Drumming, as we slow-cooked it in our Crock Pot, which looks like a big round drum (does that make it a slow drum roll?). I added leftover ratatouille to some of the meat leftovers from Christmas day as a refreshing mix in the days following (and to avoid cooking in >30-degree heat)
So there you go – the Twelve Days of Christmas Deliciousness completed for another year. Interestingly, only three dishes involved meat!
All the very best to you and your families in 2024 – May it be more fun and fortuitous than this year!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!