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It's beginning to look a lot like christmas!

By December 04, 2014 , , , ,



We're now officially in December, the temperatures have plummeted, it's crisp and frost outside and it even snowed a little the other day.
How many of you have given a thought to xmas dinner? Me being the sad person I am having being mulling over the main event for some time now, it's come down to two choices, cote de boeuf or roast pork.

So you'll have guessed from those two choices that I'm not the words biggest fan of traditional xmas fare such as Turkey or the whole xmas dinner charade. I don't understand the whole stuffing your face on one day and then repeating the whole process again with the leftovers on St Stephens/boxing day.

I think my hatred of xmas dinner may go back to when I was a kid and my grandmother used to have a live Turkey which was kept in her back yard and fattened.
Now this was all well and good but my grandmother's toilet was an outside one (yes, really), so in order to get to the toilet you had to pass the turkey and boy was he a vicious bastard, well I suppose you would be too if you knew what was in store for you.
For for the month of December going to the loo at my Grans was an ordeal to say the least, consisting of a mad dash past the turkey in the hope he wouldn't chase me so you'd think I'd be grateful to see the turkey on my plate come xmas day?

Not really, my mother is from the 1950's school of cooking which means vegetables are boiled till unrecognisable and meat should be cremated, so you can imagine what the turkey and accompanying veg were like. We did have roast potatoes, but for some reason my mother never par boiled them beforehand so they were unpalatable bullets.
For dessert we'd have christmas pudding, sometimes my mother would make it herself and thankfully where she may be not great with savoury she can bake, but alas, I hate dried fruit, so that ruled that out.

Since I've had the option of cooking my own xmas dinner rather than spending it at someone else's behest and eating turkey. I've enjoyed other options such as goose which didn't go so well as this was before I had my own house and kitchen and the rental house here in cloggers had the worlds smallest combi oven with a mind of it's own, in other words the goose didn't cook as the oven decided it was on strike that day, so it was a veggie xmas dinner that year. The following year still in said rental house and having learned from the previous years problem, I went for rack of venison, pan roasted with a black pudding crust and served with squash purée and a carrot and parsnip mash and that was very nice indeed.

So this year, I'm more exited because we're not renting and don't have a crap kitchen (I ripped the old one out in the house we bought and installed a new one) any more and I have a double oven which actually works and also my beloved egg at my disposal.

So I need to put the thinking cap on and decide on pork or beef, and what to have for starter and dessert.
We're currently erring on the side of retro prawn cocktail  or scallops ( if available) and dessert for my other half will be bombe ( whipped cream with vanilla and meringue frozen),  or possibly chocolate fondant, I have no idea as yet.

 There will be cheese and I need to see if Neal's Yard dairy deliver to the Netherlands, so I can get some nice bespoke cheddars.
As for the wines, well I need to visit some shops to see what half bottles are available to pair with the food.

But what you need to keep in mind is that xmas day does not need to be a stressed out mad dash to the finish line where the meal is concerned. Think about what you'd really like, and think about what can be prepared in advance, doing things a day at a time up till a week before is always a good idea. That way you can take food out of the fridge and reheat.

So xmas dinner prep for me will probably begin a few days beforehand, so that on the day, I can enjoy the festivities and not get me knickers in a twist on the day.

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