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The best part of Christmas dinner as voted... by us

Turkey, roast potatoes, gravy, pigs in blankets, vegetables - there's a general consensus about what belongs on a Christmas dinner.

But ask people for their favourite food on the plate and then you have an argument that's worthy of the Christmas dinner table itself - up there with 'Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? and 'Who'll be the first to break open the chocolates?'

Not necessarily looking for an argument, ourselves and colleagues from our sister papers across Iliffe Media, decided to pin our colours to the festive mast and go on the record about the absolute best bit of the food extravaganza that is December 25th.

From victorious vegetables to underrated accompaniments it's time to start licking those lips in anticipation of the great festive feast.

Agree or disagree? What do you do differently in your household? Let us know in the comments below.

What's the best bit of Christmas dinner? Do you agree with any of our writers?
What's the best bit of Christmas dinner? Do you agree with any of our writers?

John Burgess, sports editor, Grantham Journal

To me, the best part of Christmas dinner is, of course, the humble Brussels sprout.

Unusual for traditional Christmas fare, sprouts are available all year round, which just shows how wonderful they are - unlike yucky Christmas pud and mince pies!

Needless to say, sprouts should be cooked al dente, not boiled to mush.

Kerry Coupe, editor, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Bourne Local and Rutland Times

An unpopular opinion I know but I can take or leave Christmas dinner.

My dad cooks and he makes a mean cauliflower cheese and I get pretty unhappy if there's no Yorkshire pudding on there (another unpopular opinion, I'm sure) but the real joy in Christmas dinner - and this is properly corny - is watching my mum have one too many drinks, my dad read out terrible cracker jokes, my brother tucking into mint Vienetta while I try to eat a whole Christmas pudding (!) and my fiancé trying to pull off a paper hat, all while the family dogs are hoping to eat any leftover turkey.

Katie Green, trainee reporter, Grantham Journal

Hands down the best part of a Christmas dinner is the pigs in blankets.

The combination of a mini sausage wrapped up in crispy bacon hits the spot.

And to top it all off, you have to smother them in gravy because having a dry pig in a blanket would be utter madness! What more could you want…

Maddy Baillie, senior reporter, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Bourne Local and Rutland Times

Pop me open a bottle of buck's fizz then mix me a Christmas morning mimosa, while I prepare the Christmas dinner.

Once the table is wonkily laid and gravy sploshed on every plate, it's time for the best bit about Christmas dinner - cracking open a nice bottle of wine.

With glasses full and merry conversation flowing there is no better way to spend Christmas Day. Cheers!

The table is set for Christmas dinner but what's the best bit? (60539793)
The table is set for Christmas dinner but what's the best bit? (60539793)

Rebekah Chilvers, head of news, Lynn News

Done right, nothing beats a roasted parsnip on a Christmas dinner for me.

As a vegan, I am bypassing the meat options (although some of the vegan versions are pretty good), but even when I was a meat-eater, I think these veggies were up at the top.

They're a delicious balance of sweet and crunchy, and I'm always slightly gutted once I've polished them off.

So the caveat of 'done right' does suggest there is room for these root vegetables to be a let down - if they're underdone and lack the crunch, or aren't quite sweet enough, then it's a wasted opportunity.

But when they're cooked to perfection, there is nothing on the festive plate that I'm looking forward to more than a crispy parsnip.

Sarah Cliss, senior reporter, Fenland Citizen

The best bit about Christmas dinner - apart from the Brussels sprouts, which I love - is sitting round the table with all my family.

We tend to go with the flow on Christmas Day and have no fixed time for our meal.

But it is normally chicken not turkey and also a nut roast as we have vegetarians among us.

Obviously we have piles of veg including Tom Kerridge's star anise carrots. Wearing the hat from the crackers is compulsory and reading the jokes is a favourite part of the meal too.

Duncan Browne, senior reporter, Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian

The great thing about Christmas dinner is that there's not a single bad bit (unless you let the wrong person loose in the kitchen).

But the standout part of the plate has to be pigs in blankets - two great ways of eating a pig brought together for a cracking taste.

I have a Spanish friend who wraps bacon around chorizo sausage, a whole new level of brilliance.

Lucy Carter, trainee reporter, Lynn News

To my disgust, not everyone has Yorkshire puddings with their Christmas dinner. But, they have to be the best part about it, closely followed by roast potatoes!

They have to be done just right, so they're quite 'airy'.

To justify why Yorkshire pudding deserve a place on the plate remember it's the perfect item to use up any excess gravy, and tastes good with everything.

Yes, we have Yorkies all year round, but it gives us more reason to have them to accompany a Christmas dinner.

Turkey dinner (1932501)
Turkey dinner (1932501)

Kris Johnston, trainee reporter, Lynn News

No stuffing? Don't bother. In this country, we subconsciously (or consciously) decide what the best part of any meal is by leaving it until last. When the dust settles on Christmas dinner, stuffing should be the last man standing.

These bauble-shaped treats never miss.

The turkey may be dry, the sprouts may prove controversial, but a combination of sausage, sage and onion will light up the festive season for even the biggest of Scrooge copy-cats.

Nicola Irwin, digital news editor, Midlands

You've got the centre piece of turkey, the novel excitement of pigs in blankets, and the table-dividing choice of Yorkshire puddings on a Christmas plate (which I'm all for) but for me the thing that will always win through is a good roast potato, with cranberry sauce a close second.

They've got to be cooked right, par boiled before they go into the oven then come out with a crispy outside and a soft and fluffy middle.

As a child I called them yellow potatoes and I dare say that's the colour I'm looking for now, maybe golden is the cookbook description.

A little bit of salt, but no need for mad amounts of flavouring.

How do I know they're the top choice? Leave them off the plate and everyone will be asking where they are and there's never any left at the end.

I rest my case.

Matthew Taylor, trainee reporter, Grantham Journal

The best bit of Christmas dinner has to be pigs in blankets, for taste and novelty value alone.

Most of the food found in Christmas dinners also crops up throughout the year on a standard Sunday roast, but not pigs in blankets.

The same could be said for turkey, but it's a pretty average meat when you think about it, especially when compared to those little sausages wrapped in bacon.

However, the best bit of Christmas dinner is not a food item.

It is the moment just before you become so full that you can no longer function as a human being. Luckily, there is always plenty of time to sleep this off in the afternoon.

Suzanne Moon, news editor, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Bourne Local and Rutland Times

Stuff the turkey and put away those pigs in blankets.

If there's one thing not to cremate while opening pressies with a large pre-lunch drink, it's the roast parsnips.

This king of root veg sweetens up an otherwise sprouty plate with a crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth gift that should not be just for Christmas.

Fionn Burrows, trainee reporter, Newark Advertiser

I hear it's a controversial topic but the best part of a Christmas dinner is a Yorkshire pudding.

Some say it should be a starter and others say it has no place anywhere near a Christmas dinner.

But for me, there is nothing quite like a home made Yorkshire pudding covered in onion gravy to really bring some comfort on a cold Christmas day.

It helps that as a vegetarian it's also one of the most delicious options I have when other family members are reaching for the turkey or the pigs-in-blankets.

Kat Wakefield, reporter, Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian

Much like Marmite, this combination is probably something you'll either completely love or truly hate, but I'm all about smashing soft sprouts together with deliciously thick bread sauce.

Alone, both elements of the dinner are fantastic, but scramble them up together and you'll be in food heaven.

Honourable mention also has to be given to pigs in blankets, of course.

This is like Sophie's Choice... Can I not just say the whole dinner - but only if it's cooked by my Mum? No?

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