We ate Rudolph for Christmas dinner – Susan Morrison

Venison meatloaf with a fabulous gravy turned out to be a delicious alternative to turkey, despite the lack of a cherry tomato garnish, writes Susan Morrison.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 6:00 am
Susan’s low opinion of The Great Escape as appropriate Christmas viewing has not changed since the Great Strop of ’78

Well, I hope your Yule was as cool as a beer in snowman’s hands. Let’s all just hunker down for that strange week out of time where we all wander about demanding “What day is it really?”

I did not do the cooking this Christmas. This is a profound relief to all who know me and my family, My skills in the kitchen are legendary, in the same unforgettable way that little Ernie Wise’s playwriting skills were legendary.

I am more than capable of rustling up a cheese toastie, but I was informed in no uncertain terms that this was not considered a suitable dish for the festive table, even if I put a sparkler on top.

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My daughter, who inherited the sensible gene from her father, can cook. We are not fans of the turkey in this house, and so she created a venison meatloaf with a fabulous gravy.

The irony of eating a deer on the very day we cheer on a fat bloke in a red suit being hauled about by hard-working flying reindeer was not lost on me, but I was told to shut it when I started to refer to the main course as “Loaf a la Rudolph”.

Great Escape debate

My garnish idea of popping a cherry tomato on top met with icy resistance. It was a reference to that famous red nose so bright it lit Santa’s flight. I was told to shut it. Again.

When do your kids grow old enough to tell parents off? My own offspring told me I was one smart alec comment away from being sent to my room.

Backing my daughter up in the Reprimand Wars was my own mother, who reminded everyone that I’d been banished to my bedroom in 1978 because I threw a strop when the family chose to watch the end of The Great Escape over the Top of the Pops Christmas Special.

I stand by that teen temper tantrum. You can’t see that edition of ToTP now because it was hosted by someone I hope is roasting in his own private hell in a tinfoil suit.

Who needs to see the end of the Great Escape anyway? We all know what happens when young Gordon Jackson says ‘Thank you’ to the Nazi officer at the station, and since when was the spirit of Christmas summed up by a war movie which ends with Steve McQueen wrecking a BMW on some barbed wire? I said that in ’78 and I stand by it today.

Smart move by grannies

The Matriarch has been in residence in her Eastern Retreat since her release from Wishaw General, where her hip, which has long been playing up, has been “revisioned”. This is NHS-speak for whipping out the old one and slamming in a new one.

She’s recovering well, and I expect Strictly to call up any day soon for the next series. Her foxtrot will be amazing, but in the meantime, she’s happy to back up the kids in any family dispute, as is traditional for all Scottish grannies.

Once the DNA has been handed onto the next generation, Scottish grannies switch their attention to the grandchildren. The children are irrelevant.

In some ancient cultures, the elderly were loaded onto ice floes and sent on their way for the good of the tribe. Scottish grandparents got wise to this and made sure the grandkids were on their side. Smart move.

The meatloaf was delicious, by the way.