A rather negative take on Christmas perhaps - too much Pumpkin Pie Spice and too many goodies!
Pumpkin pie spice. Ok, I’m as much a fan of pumpkin pie as anyone else, (well, perhaps not the many Dutch people who find it just peculiar) but since when has pumpkin pie spice broken its bonds and run rampant across the land? It’s become as much a harbinger of the Christmas season as those ubiquitous carols which are driving us mad by the first of December. Suddenly we are transformed into a nation of merry English folk sprinkling our vocabularies with words like swaddling and yuletide and wassail and such, a world where cattle low and shepherd’s watch and lang syne is auld and life is wonderful. Pumpkin pie spice somehow evokes those days of yore when Grandma baked cinnamon buns and children were polite and Dickens roamed the earth arm in arm with Norman Rockwell. It is a scent that ties us to the mythology of merriment. Although a successful marketing strategy for Starbucks and more power to them, it does seem to have gotten out of hand. Baking, sure. And coffee, ok. But gum? Cheerios? Oreos? Where will it stop? All this spicy nostalgia spurs us on to be persistently merry in spite of our oft underlying wish to just let the whole jolly business wash out to sea.
But, somehow that pumpkin spicy sniff of tradition subtly suggests that we hop into our kitchens and bake endless cakes, cookies, and treats only force feed them to our not entirely reluctant friends and relatives as though they are geese being fattened for foie gras. “But I made all this stuff! You have to help me get rid of it, or I’ll have to eat it myself, and you know my diet!” Somehow there’s always fudge. And shortbreads and fruitcakes. Plum pudding and eggnog for heaven’s sake! If there is a way to add richness to anything, bring it on! Brie is so everyday. Bake it in pastry! Pretzels? Nonsense! Dip them in chocolate! Whatever it is, wrap it in bacon! Slather it with cheese! It’s the holidays! Time to kick up our heels and abandon all reason!
Perhaps it’s a grand conspiracy by the makers of antacids, or perhaps we are whipped into a frenzy of gluttony that results in the loosening of our purse strings somehow. Perhaps pumpkin pie spice is emotional crack and a simple latte is a gateway drug.
So how do we come down from the Christmas high?
I suggest a simple bone broth for the enjoyment of a sensible, healthy, nutritious soft landing.
“Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavour. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often for 8 hours, and sometimes in excess of 24 hours), with the purpose being not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release a small amount of trace minerals from bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.
Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in protein, and can be a source of minerals as well. Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health.
Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which may support skin health. Gelatin also support digestive health which is why it plays a critical role in a healthy diet.
And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too. Chicken broth inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections. Pretty cool, huh?”
So says nourishedkitchen.com and it does sound convincing, but I don’t need convincing beyond simple and delicious.
And you have that turkey carcass anyway:
“TURKEY BONE BROTH
Turkey Bone Broth is impossibly simple to make, either on the stove or with a pressure cooker,
• leftover bones from your roasted turkey
• ½ cup white wine
• Stock Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
Place the turkey bones and wine into a large stock pot, cover with water by two inches, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately turn down the heat to medium-low, and keep at a bare simmer for 4 to 6 hours.
Strain the broth and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or the freezer up to 6 months”. With thanks to nourishedkitchen.com
Make your Turkey Bone Broth in the Instant Pot. Place your turkey bones into an electric pressure cooker with the wine, cover with water. Pressure cook for 90 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.”
After all of the hullabaloo of the holidays, once the dust has settled and the decorations have gone back into hibernation, and pumpkin pie spice is at the back of the spice drawer where it belongs, I suggest you enjoy a steaming bowl of clear bone broth, containing a floating vegetable or two, perhaps accompanied by a slice of fresh baked bread. In silence. Alone. Exhale. Breathe. The war is over. January.