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Tasty traditions

44’s Claudia Williams discusses Moose Milk, our favourite traditions and all things edible in the run-up to Christmas…

It’s that time of year again; carols are playing, you’re finding bits of glitter everywhere and there seem to be mince pie crumbs on every table you come across.

’Tis also the season for family movies and Christmas special reruns. Two of my favourites are Shrek 2, in which food and insults fly around the royal dinner table almost as fast as any Brussels sprout that dares to make its way onto my plate, and the cringeworthy Peep Show ‘Seasonal Beatings’, an episode fraught with turkey tensions and cauliflower curses.

I’m very pleased to say that Christmas traditions here at 44 are a lot less stressful!

On the day of our annual Christmas party we make our company cocktail, ‘Moose Milk’, a tradition left to us by our partner Chuck. If you would like to join us in indulging in this festive tipple, here’s the recipe:

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The whole office is buzzing with Christmas chatter at the moment, and not least on the topic of Christmas food. Here are some of our favourites:

Zoe:

“My sister and I always peel the potatoes and sprouts on Christmas Eve ready for the big day. My mum’s vegetarian so we always have a nut roast sat proudly next to the turkey. It’s delicious and means that we can have cold nut roast sandwiches on Boxing Day.”

Gemma:

“Before we even think about tackling the Christmas dinner, the 23rd and 24th of December are always spent baking. If the kitchen and kids aren’t covered in a thick layer of icing sugar by the end of the day, it isn’t Christmas Eve!”

Amy:

“My husband is Greek and has shared a New Year tradition with me. On the morning of the 1st of January, it is traditional in Greece for the owner of the house to leave and return holding a pomegranate. When the door is opened to them, they smash the pomegranate so the seeds go everywhere and say a wish: ‘As heavy as the fruit is, I wish your wallet to be as heavy, as many seeds as the fruit has, I wish you the same amount of joy and as red as the pomegranate is, I wish your heart to be as red’. To this day people still smash pomegranates at New Year – though mostly in a bag so they don’t explode in the house!”

Alan:

“We do an annual wind-up toy race. After the Christmas meal, we’ll clear the table, wind up Santa, and fire him across a wine-glass finishing line.”

Katie:

“A fairly new Christmas tradition in my household is a post-lunch game called ‘Pass the sprout’.

“We pass the sprout around the table, to Christmas music of course, and in each layer there is a challenge and a reward. These range from ‘do an impression of the person sat next to you’ to ‘take a shot of Bailey’s’, which made my 79-year old Nanny quite tipsy last year…”


As for my family, we always go for a long walk on Boxing Day morning. It’s a great way to stave off any festive cabin fever, and to burn off that handful (bucketful) of Christmas morning chocolates! Any other sign of productivity between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve will earn you a stern look in my house, and a mince pie and glass of mulled wine will promptly be pushed into your hands.

While everyone seems to have their own festive traditions, these examples from my colleagues highlight something for me, it’s cliché but it’s true – the best part of Christmas food is sharing it with your family and friends.

How do your Christmas traditions compare with ours? Forget sprouts, will cauliflower have a place on your Christmas table, or do you agree with Peep Show’s Mark Corrigan that it is, in fact, “not traditional”?

At any rate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, ‘traditional’ or not, and if you’re looking for me in the next week or so, you will find me next to the breadsticks!

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