Our Cruelty-Free Christmas Feast

Christmas2006I am not a man given to boasting, but if i must boast, let me boast in the Lord’s bountiful provision of game, seafood, grass fed beef, and the many culinary blessings of the Orkney Islands. Especially around Christmas time. We have been working on our Christmas feast since summer and are really excited about bringing out our best for our guests – six of whom are flying in from USA.

Here are some of the highlights:

Goose with rowan jelly made from rowan tree in our back yard, ducks from Orkney’s St Ola Island, Orkney crabs [which nearly bit me yesterday with their huge claws, Orkney herring in a sweet marinade, venison sausages with chocolate sauce, London Broil from a cow down the road that had a bad leg. I bought the back quarter of it from the farmer. Poor old cow. But I dont think we will be feeling sorry for it as we eat my delicious beef and rosemary sausages [i really did make my own sausages on the MIGHTY Kenwood food processor and sausage making attachment, but thats another story]


CrabAll the meat was killed humanely and we know most of the farmers who killed our birds and beef. And I popped the crabs in the freezer to put them to sleep before boiling them – although i was tempted to taunt that big horrible one and get him back for scaring me!

Breakfasts will include gingerbread waffles and crepes.We have German stollen and pepper gingerbread. Friday night pizza will feature a special Christmas pizza – complete with ham, pineapple and cherries. Tonight we will have my beef and mushroom pie cooked in homebrewed stout.

What’s to drink at the Jones Christmas Feast?

To accompany our white and red wines, and the mandatory Orkney Highland Park 12 year, I will be offering something closer to home this year. Our homebrewed stout and dark ale and .. . most importantly, our CelticMonk-inspired Heather Ale with heather that we picked in Stenness. I have also made a Christmas mead and a gooseberry wine from our gooseberry tree. It has been aging in my wine cellar for about 5 months. Oh . . and we have some bottles of German gluhwein [mulled wine] for the cold evenings.

And my Christmas Ale? Ahhhh . . just when i was on a roll you would have to ask that. Well, the truth is my glorious Christmas Ale, inspired by Trappist monks in Belguim, and brewed in late summer to give plenty of time for maturation, actually turned out to be total CRAP . . ghastly stuff!! . . if evaporated to half its size and is practically undrinkable. I think the temperature on the first fermentation was unstable and too low so it messed up the whole process. Oh well.

Anyway, I hope your Christmas is also filled with good friends and good food.

Related: Righteous men and eating meat

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Phil says:

    We bought organic Brussel Sprouts at Tesco. Does that count?

  • Rob Grayson says:

    Wow, Andrew…all I can say is I hope you’ve been eating light in preparation for all the weight you’re clearly going to pile on over the next week or so! My mouth is watering just reading your description.
    This will be our second Christmas in France and we quickly learnt last year that it’s impossible to get decent-sized turkeys here. The biggest you can get is around 3 or 4 kilos. (We did find a bigger one in a butcher’s shop last year but it was £60!). This year’s solution – the freezer is now bulging with three turkeys!
    Enjoy the food and the fellowship, and let it all be for the glory and praise of Emmanuel.

  • Liam says:

    mmmmm….sounds like a delicious christmas in Orkney, Best wishes to the Jones’. Im still looking for a good egg nog recipe as I am stuck in a land of the uncoverted (thats is to commercial sales of egg nog!)

  • inspirational…inspirational….the best of Jesus to you at this time.
    mikey L.

  • brodie says:

    Christmas eating at the Jone’s sounds fab. Our cooker broke last week so we’ve been thinking about what to have that can be cooked on the hob and does not need the oven! I think we’re goingto plump for a lamb stew!
    PS – heather ale is great – I’m just a tad jealous that you’ve got the time, space and skill to brew some.

  • emma says:

    Wow that food all sounds and looks amazing! Hope you are eating lighly, or doing lots of exercise to burn off those calories!

  • kent says:

    Oh Lord help me, my arteries!!!

  • Andrew Jones, Why do you taunt us so?

  • Jen says:

    Maybe you’ll have to change your name in the new year to TallChunkyKiwi

  • Bryan Riley says:

    You better be careful…you may have a bunch of Rileys show up on your doorstep for that meal! 🙂

  • Mike says:

    This sounds wonderful, have blessed Christmas.

  • Andrea Trapp says:

    cruelty free? You are disgusting. I hope you and your hick family don’t eat the dog, too. What a loser.

  • chad says:

    sheesh..someone floated in off a search engine.
    My Christmas day meal is usually at the international house of pancakes. I need to learn from you andrew.

  • David says:

    I could see this post annoying veggies or animal rights campaigners!
    Or Defra!
    mmm Enjoy. We are having Welsh lamb. Blessings.

  • Bob Roberts says:

    Cruelty free!!!!! Yeah – ah ha. That’s what we say in Texas too when we blow bambi’s head off. “It happened so fast she didn’t know what happened.” Come on Andrew you took PC language to a new high!!! That cracked me up. Deep down you’re a hunter. You held those dead animals up smiling. Give you a 12 guage – couple of huntin dogs – coon skin cap – I’d rename you tallslaughterhappykiwi!!!! Just kidding you Andrew – Merry Christmas

  • AJ, why wasn’t I invited?

  • andrew says:

    David – actually you will find many vegetarians that say if you ARE going to eat meat, then you should INSIST it is cruelty-free, even if you have to pay twice as much money to get it.
    especially turkeys.
    am i assuming everyone knows what cruelty-free means???? maybe i should have spelled it out for Americans.

  • knnuki says:

    In light of this sumptuous feast, you must read Wade Burleson’s latest post on the sinful excesses of tea drinking and other vices at kerussocharis.blogspot.com. It’s both naughty and delightful. Happy Christmas to you all!

  • eddie says:

    Andrew, thanks for your inspiration over the last year. Best wishes to you, your family and your guests over the Christmas period. Bon appetit!

  • David says:

    Actually you are right, I know several veggies who will eat free-range, organic meat that has been humanely killed. There should be a name for this…
    Agree with Eddie, Have a Merry Christmas.

  • gareth says:

    wow – sounds fab… just wondering if there is anyway I can stuck near orkney some time tomorrow… you guys really are livin up to the monastic tradition of hospitality and good food 🙂

  • andrew says:

    hi gareth – yes – pop up and say hello

  • bobbie says:

    oh my, what a celebration!
    could you please post the recipe for the gingerbread waffles andrew?? we’d love to give them a try over the holiday!
    merry christmas!

  • Mike says:

    Next time send out an invite list…say in July and we can all plan to pop by for a little grazing.

  • Two42 says:

    A Christmas Sermon

  • KJV says:

    Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth forever.
    Psalms 136:25 enjoy…God Bless

  • Gabi says:

    Many times I see the looks and hear the warning – a drunkard & glutton… while I’m only enjoying Creation. Good to know there are others out there… like Jesus… partying a lot. 🙂
    Wish you and your family and guests wonderful Christmas!

  • Bob Roberts says:

    OK Andrew forgive my “American” ignorance on crueltry free – is that where you give your turkey a shot of sodium penathol or place a laughing gas mask on it before plucking it’s feathers? Is it praying with the turkey telling it, “You’re now going to take a long nap but don’t worry you will be with me.” What is crueltry free?

  • Alan Cross says:

    Sounds great, Andrew. Although, I am glad that your work with the Boaz Project is ending. You really shouldn’t have any connection with any Baptists with all of that wine and beer. You might cause multiple spastic fits all over America! 🙂 I hope you all have a great time!
    Merry Christmas to the Jones Family. You’ve inspired me. I’m preparing shrimp and grits for Christmas eve, a stuffed pork loin, and such an assortment of dishes to make your mouth water. I can’t wait!

  • Barbara says:

    Wait a second – so that thing you are holding is the back leg of a cow? Wild.
    Sounds like some great fixin’s for a feast! I got hungry just reading about it.
    Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family!

  • ok now i’m GONNA ask for the Gift of Translating in the spirit.. and show up on your door step!!!!!!! Hope D brought some of his ale!! I already have given Phil and early christmas present… (no room to hide the blasted thing)- it’s a wine making kit! too cold for the fermintation… so we’re waiting for spring! Can i ship pesto in a sealed bag over there…. i make tons in the summer.. basil city! Ask D&A about my pesto!!! xoxo cathryn

  • Tara Eastman says:

    Put them in the freezer before boiling?
    I can’t help think that would be like being trapped in a snowstorm on Mt.Everest and then dumped into boiling water. I hope they don’t wake up in the middle of the process – ouch.
    Anyhow, sounds like a fun evening.
    PS. Don’t get stuck in the walk in freezer yourself.

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