Hello everyone, did we all make it intact?!
I'm awake at 5.30. I'm in no rush to get up today. Christmas Eve was a lovely day of prep, relaxations and you know I went to Midnight Mass, so I went to bed after taking the yearly tree/presents photo, feeling all blessed and smugly festive.
From this angle, it looks like the tree is going to fall!
We had a lovely day, just the four of us, pleasing ourselves. The HG and I spent a lovely day in the kitchen, with the radio on faffing around with the dinner. The offsprings were happy looking through their gifts, occasionally coming in to the kitchen to help and to mostly enquire when would it be ready!!
Once seated, we feasted on
well let's look at the menu...
( astonishingly I didn't take photos!! I know!!! )
Handmade by the HG chicken liver pate served with lightly toasted by me granary bread. A bit of lettuce and some optional caramelised red onion chutney.
Fresh, organic, has frolicked in the dappled sunshine of a leafy meadow, drinking from the crystal clear waters in the pond created from a waterfall, sleeping on a bed of the finest organic free range hay in a hand carved, solid oak, bespoke barn Bronze Turkey
Mashed potatoes - soft, fluffy ( and only a little bit stuck to the pan where I'd reheated it )
Roast Potatoes- in duck fat. Parboiled for ten minutes, drained, rested, shaken till fluffy and tumbled into the hot duck fat, sprinkled with salt. Definitely the crispest roast potatoes in the world!
Yorkshires - we are Northern. We serve these with everything. They were whoppers! I used the Brian Turner recipe as I always do which is same volume of eggs, flour and milk. They were done in duck fat. They were billowy and crispy, deep deep sides with a crispy on the outside, soft on the inside well for your gravy - everything you'd want from a Yorkshire.
Carrots - glazed. Gary Rhodes showed me how in the mid 90s. Chop yer carrots into diamond shaped carrots, in a small pan, just cover with water, add a teaspoon of salt and sugar and a large knob of butter. Lid on, boil rapidly. When carrots are just done, lid off, high heat until all the water has gone leaving the butter to glaze the carrots! Takes about 8 minutes in total. Perfectly reheatable so good to make in advance.
Romanesco cauliflower - because it looks like Christmas Trees! Originally planned to be covered in cheese sauce but I decided I couldn't really be arsed to make any and it turned out we were full anyway so was glad we'd left it out.
Sprouts- brace yourselves! Last year's sprouts were Heston Bloomingwhatsheonabouts recipe. Where each individual leaf was peeled off by me and then faffed about with to create a delicious sprout dish!
This year - we're giving thanks to Jamie Oliver and his programme on Christmas Eve. It was basically the same recipe as Heston's. Fry bacon, add sprouts, splash water, lid on for four minutes, lid off, add butter n black pepper, serve.
But the difference was the sprout prep.
it's the shredded sprouts!!
Right, I'd peeled enough sprouts for us,
3 each for kids ( they'll eat three but no more ) 4 for the HG and 6 for me ( I love em lol )
The HG said lets do 'em a laJamie.
Shred em fine in food processor
Cut 4-6 rashers streaky into tiny cubes n fry, add sprouts, splash water,
Mins, add knob butter, toss, done.
BUT the HG commented that there didn't look to be enough, so we emergency peeled another 15 sprouts!!!
The technical term for the amount of sproutage we ended up with was Ducking shitloads!!! A massive frying pan FULL! It was good, though the offsprings , who quite happily eat normal unfettled sprouts AND ate Heston's sprouts last year, did not care for this hot baconY coleslaw.
Let me tell you also, shredding sprouts increases their gas inducing capability ten fold.
Still, be good bubble n squeak!!! ( I can't believe I just wrote an essay about sprouts! )
Pigs in blankets - the original two packs of outdoor reared porky goodies missing in action. I bought two packets of them. To this day I have absolutely no idea where they are. I remember dithering about buying them/making them. I recall deciding that I'd buy them. They were two packs for £5. ( organic frolicking in mud in the dappled orchard etc piggies) and that is where my memory fails me. They are not in any fridge or freezer! I've no idea if they went through the till in the shop, if they are lying festering in the work's van having fallen out of a bag!! No idea!
I did have emergency chipolatas in and plenty of bacon so made my own - which made me a tad tetchy because I KNEW I HAD BOUGHT SOME!
Stuffing - sausage meat and dried stuffing, with chestnuts. Yum.
Gravy- thick and unctuous, hand made by the HG.
Raspberrytopped Vanilla Pannacotta made by J. Sainsbury.
We sat down to eat at 3.15pm. It was good! We left the table at 5.15pm. Stuffed and heart happy. We all pitched in with clearing the table and then I think we all snoozed - the HG and the kids did, I tried, but kept being distracted by Paul O Grady's dogs on the telly!
No one wanted anything else to eat. We had a light supper of cheese. The HG had his with a sliver of cold turkey and a slice of bread, I had mine with a slice of Christmas cake! It HAS to be Lancashire Creamy Mild. I've eaten it this way since I was little because it's how my
Beloved Nanna had it! Note festive nails! False, ready painted stick on ones! Still in situ as I type!
Yesterday ( Boxing Day ), we had various relatives round. We had our traditional Turkey, chips and peas dinner. I did a buffet tea. I say *I*. The HG did most of the get the stuff out of the fridge and plate it bit and the kids did the traipse in and out of the kitchen to the table bit.
I made the trifle for pudding. And as it rained outside, we ate and made merry.
I'm still full now. At 6 o click in the morning! I do not want ANYTHING to eat today. Today will be lazy. There will be Sunday Dinner but at tea time. Same as Christmas Day but with carrot and swede mash, the cavelo nero will provide the gas power and the gravy will be stretched by granules! Pudding will be whatever you can find/make yourself if you want it!
I've yet to watch Downton so no spoilers please! I did start watching that Dicken's thing on BBC1 but am a bit undecided about it.
I'm just off now to reply to my lovely comments from you gorgeous lot and to have a nosy in your Christmasses!
Lots of love from
Rachel *fat as a ( missing, in blankets ) pig* Radiostar xxx