From the satsuma used for The Snowman’s nose to the enormous goose placed on the table at the end of A Christmas Carol, food is an integral part of our favourite festive films and no Christmas movie-watching session is properly complete without snacks. Food and films are the true meaning of Christmas, right?
At this time of year, your fridge is probably already bursting with wedges of cheese, packets of pate and different kinds of mince pie and accompanying alcoholic butter, so it can be a struggle to decide what to eat when you’re settling down with a film.
Christmas films are full of food, so why not make a snack that’s inspired by the movie you’re watching? Here’s a few ideas based on some of our favourite festive movies.
If yours isn’t on the list, remember that a clever bit of white piping on the upper body of a home-baked gingerbread man can soon turn it into Die Hard’s John McClane. No one’s going to argue with you about whether it’s a Christmas film if their mouth is full of Bruce Willis gingerbread. Trust us.
Love Actually-inspired lobster pasta
It’s hard to sum up Love Actually – there are just too many good things about it. All the turtlenecks for one. Colin Firth at his most romantic. Hugh Grant as prime minister, with Johnny from Corrie – who has since stepped down from the role to take over a backstreet knicker factory – as his deputy. Martine McCutcheon. Loving yet hating Alan Rickman all at the same time. And, of course, lobsters.
The daughter of Emma Thompson’s character Karen returns home from school to tell her she is playing the first lobster in the school Christmas play. There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus, remember? This is where we’re taking the inspiration for our first movie night recipe from.
What’s more comforting on a cold winter’s night than a huge bowl of pasta in front of the telly? Miss Pond’s recipe for lobster seafood pasta is incredibly flavoursome and feels posh, even though it uses frozen fish and you’ll be eating it in your ‘jamas watching Bill Nighy sing ‘Christmas is All Around.
Mrs Weasley's magical ginger fudge
Although not technically Christmas films, it’s become a tradition for many to sit down and watch the Harry Potter movies over the festive period – what else was the time between Christmas and New Year made for?!
And there are few fictional cooks better than the Harry Potter series’ Mrs Weasley. In the first HP book, Harry receives his first ever proper Christmas presents after a childhood of near-neglect, which include a parcel of homemade fudge from Mrs Weasley.
Of course, the Weasleys are now among the world’s most famous and best-loved ginger-haired folk, so we suggest you incorporate ginger (ground, stem or in biscuit form, not hair) in your batch of fudge.
Jane’s Patisserie has a brilliant recipe for gingerbread fudge that’s chocolatey, gingery and festive – especially if you top it with red and green sprinkles. Swap out the white chocolate for dark if you prefer – and to make those sprinkles stand out even more – and enjoy.
Buddy the Elf's breakfast
Buddy the Elf comes from the North Pole and he is not familiar with 21st century New York. As such, he eats spaghetti covered in maple syrup, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, M&Ms, pop tarts and mini marshmallows for breakfast when left to his own devices. To be fair, so did we on the first day we left home.
Now, if you fancy some sweet pasta, recreating Buddy’s breakfast would be the perfect accompaniment to your Elf-watching session. But if you prefer your sweets sweet and your savouries savoury, swap out the spaghetti for strawberry laces for a snack that actually works.
Alternatively, stick with the pasta and replace the syrup with passata, the M&Ms with olives and the sprinkles with chilli flakes and herbs – respectively, they’re red and green, so it’s still festive. And just leave out the pop tarts and marshmallows – or save them for dessert at least.
Hagrid's teeth-gluing treacle toffee
Here’s another festive snack inspired by Harry Potter! Well, there are eight films, so you’ll need plenty of goodies to get through them all.
Another present that Harry receives in the books is treacle toffee that makes him fear for his jaws and teeth baked by Hagrid, who while incredibly lovable, is not exactly the best chef. Hagrid would definitely be booted off Bake Off in the first week – if not for his questionable baking, then definitely for wearing his animal skin coat in a food preparation area.
Toffee that you can actually get your teeth into and chew on throughout a long film is the ideal movie-watching snack, so try out this recipe for Harry Potter-inspired fudge from Hungry Forever. It’s sticky and sweet, but you won’t need major jaw surgery afterwards.
Bah! [mint] Humbug! Cakes
‘Bah! Humbug!’ is one of the most famous festive catchphrases of all; it’s up there with Noddy Holder screaming ‘IT’S CHRISTMAAAAS’ for sure.
Scrooge might hate Christmas, but everybody likes cake and seeing as he bangs on about humbugs so often, we think a batch of mint humbug cupcakes, like these ones from This is Not My Home, would be the perfect refreshments to accompany a viewing of A Christmas Carol this December.
Whether you’re going for the Muppets’ version, Mickey Mouse’s, the one with Jim Carrey or keeping it classic with Albert Finney, mint cupcakes work every time.
Festive popcorn ideas
If you’re of the view that it’s a crime to eat anything except popcorn while you’re watching a film, there’s no reason you can’t add some festive magic to this too. Instead of the usual sugar or salt, top your popcorn with cinnamon and nutmeg for a beautiful Christmassy twist.
Or take inspiration from Buddy and add syrup, sweets and bits of chopped up pop tart.
So, what’s next on the Christmas movie list? Jingle All The Way?! You’re going to have to give us some time while we think up Schwarzenegger-themed snacks…