I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post, as well a YouTube video. 

Festive – relating to a festival, especially Christmas
Nosh – a snack or small item of food
Vast – of very great extent or quantity; immense
Majority – the greater number
Outbreak – a sudden occurrence of something unwelcome, such as war or disease
Poultry – domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese
Free-range – livestock kept in natural conditions, with freedom of movement
Contentious – causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial
Invariably – in every case or on every occasion; always
Consume – eat, drink, or ingest food or drink
Complement – a thing that improves or emphasises something else’s quality
Mainstay – a person or thing on which something else is based or depends
Homemade – made at home, rather than in a shop or factory
Spicy – flavoured with spice
Nutrition – food or nourishment
Staggering – deeply shocking; astonishing

Today is Boxing Day, so as you learnt from last week’s blog that because I’ve already eaten the biggest meal of the festive period, I’m now in a better position to talk about food. Not only did I eat my share of nosh, I was also more active in the preparation of it than I normally am, too.

Like every year, we had a typical Christmas roast turkey dinner, which the vast majority of the population will have eaten too. We had pre-ordered the bird from a nearby farm in October to ensure we got one at all, after an outbreak of avian flu had affected poultry stock and reduced the number available. We decided on a free-range organic turkey, which had been raised on a nearby farm. We had eight people at our dinner, so we had more than enough meat for everyone. In years gone by, when we’ve had fewer people at the dinner table, we’ve bought a turkey crown, which is basically the bird minus the legs and wings; effectively only breast meat.

To accompany our meat, we prepared roast and mashed potatoes, parsnips as well as some vegetables. We chose carrots and peas as well brussel sprouts, which is a contentious ingredient to have, because even though few people claim to like the little cabbages, invariably all sprouts have been consumed at the end of the meal.

Turkey is a relatively dry meat, so it’s essential that gravy is made. Additionally, we had bread and cranberry sauce, which complement the taste and add a touch of colour to the plate. Finally, we had pigs in blankets (mini sausages rolled in bacon), which have become another mainstay of our meal, mainly because my sister enjoys making (and eating) them so much.

For dessert, we had a homemade pudding, which is basically like a spicy sponge fruitcake, served warm. We had a tasty brandy-laced vanilla sauce to complete the calorie bomb. On the subject of nutrition, it is said that the average dinner contains nearly 1,000 calories, which would require a staggering 5-hour walk afterwards to burn off. It’s a good job that Christmas only comes once a year.


To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

Learn English through short stories - Christmas

Click on the image to watch a video about Christmas in the UK

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