My wife and I do without family and friends on Christmas day because we like to treat ourselves to a nice long leisurely meal together.
Our courses are designed to minimise kitchen preparation time and cooking. There is a 45-50 minute gap between each course. This way the food is digested making room for more, and the wine doesn’t go to one's head.
First course: A smoke salmon and quail's egg salad, with a glass of Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc (from South Africa).
Second course: Roast Pheasant (now did I put an 'h' in that?) small new potatoes, asparagus and carrots, and a glass of Rustenberg (special blended grapes - too long to list them all here) Also from South Africa.
Third Course: I toffee and pecan roulade (from Waitrose) and ice cream, and a glass of Topaje #5 dessert wine (From Hungary with a terrific reputation).
Fourth course: Lovely ripe, soft, Stilton cheese on french bread, with a glass of Taylor's vintage port.
Fifth and last course: Espresso coffee and Belgian chocolates and a glass of brandy.
Christmas day is the one day of the year where I treat myself! However, there is bad news. The doctor extended my course of antibiotics (for a chest cough - not what you were thinking) so I had to drink in moderation. The wines were poured into a whisky double measure - yes that was all I could allow myself (now altogether say: Ahhhh!) And, for the port one of the old double measures - and Gawd, they were small. For the brandy, one of the old single measures and, Gawd, that was really small!
But, two and a half hours later, I still feel fine and not tired at all, so my new year's resolution is going to be to cut down my alcohol intake. Having small glasses is really fine and you enjoy the alcohol much more - I never knew that before.
Finally, the rumour about not drinking with antibiotics stemmed from the Navy in World War Two, my Doctor told me, and the story goes that when in port, the sailors would go into town, get drunk, consort with women of ill-repute and the next day report sick with the clap.
To ensure the sailors behaved themselves, the doctors told them that they couldn't drink for seven days whilst on the pills. This resulted in the sailors not getting drunk and therefore not consorting with the women who gave them the problem in the first place. By the time their course was finished, the ship was back at sea.
It seems that Doctors in Civvy Street continued with the fable. But having said that, too much drink can negate the good the antibiotics do.
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