Sunday 27 December 2015

Christmas 2015

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!! 

The table was festive, 
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 

Served with 
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,  
Lid on
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


  1. What a lovely day!¬
    Must look up that Yorkshire recipe - my last offerings have been dire!
    Happy Christmas Sunday to you and yours, lovely lady!
    J x

    1. Joy, it's so easy. You have to start with your eggs. Crack a minimum of two into something. I always use a little half sized mug! Note where they go to. Tip eggs in jug, fill the 'something' to the same line with milk. Add to jug, whisk just to break the yolks. Wash and dry the 'something' , add plain flour to the same line , whisk briskly into the jug a little at a time, sieving if you can be bothered, until it's the usual double cream consistency.
      The main difference I noticed between this and my Nanna's way - now my normal way - is flour in bowl first. Always by eye, never measured! Crack the eggs in - can be made with just one - my Nanna never had much money, then add half your milk. Whisk till thick and smooth and then 'let down' with cold water until right consistency! A thinner crisp Yorkshire but perfectly risen X how do you make yours normally?

    2. The thing is, I make them so infrequently that I have to google for a recipe each time and they all make too much as well as not being all that great. Usually I only want enough for one. The Brian Turner recipe, being based on capacity, means I can make just a small amount of batter at a time which is just perfect. It's what I call a 'template' recipe and one (I can remember. I shall have a go today! Many thanks.
      J x

  2. I usually make Yorkshires but left them out this year. My Norfolk turkey was so tender that I can only assume that it had sat on it's bum and watched all the others frolicking. I even ate a slice, a whole slice and it did not choke me, but it will still be goose next year. I was up early and have had a really slow start to my day, just a shower and a walk with Ben before I enjoy an even slower journey through the rest of the day.

    1. Heheheheheh Pam you are so funny!! I've never tried goose. Hopefully you are sat sewing away, feet up! After commenting on your blog I admit to browsing the hobby craft online sale - all the beautiful wool they have!! I must not buy, I must not buy!!

  3. I disagree that Romanesco looks like Christmas trees. I think it's the dead spit of Madonna's bra xx

    1. LOL I shall never look at them in the same way again!

  4. Sounds like you've all had a lovely time.M also eats his Christmas cake with cheese. I'd never heard of it until I met him.
    How did you fair with yesterday's rain fall. our little town had lots of roads flooded but so far as I can tell no homes.

    1. No real problems here though the fields are flooded. It has been a lovely day here though I think it's raining again now

  5. It sounds like a perfect day and your dinner sounds yummy. I made a small dinner for son and myself as daughter was doing a buffet in the evening, I love Christmas cake with cheese it's my favourite way to eat it. :) x

  6. You should write books. You are just too funny.
    Glad you had a good Christmas. Ours was lovely....especially visiting Ruby and family for tea.
    I did brussels and chestnuts roasted in olive oil and garlic.....very yummy and butter glazed carrots too....gorgeous.
    Christmas cake with cheese sounds delicious. I have a piece of cake from my daughter in law so I might try that tonight.
    Have a lovely day-x-

    1. Your Brussels sound good Sheila, how do you do them? I might give them a try! Let me know how you get on with the cheese/cake!

  7. I always lose a gift, and days (or weeks)later, I find it and pass it to the person, it's a laugh in our house, what has mum forgot. Hubby once purchased 10 packs of Starbucks coffee on special and left them in the supermarket, he went back oh so very quickly. I love close family Christmas's so much fun.

    1. It's a good job I have the HG because he does say ...what about the.....??? And it's always some gift for the kids that I've hidden well!!

  8. what a great post. But the thing that stuck in my mind was 'ooh, her nails look nice'. Shallow? Moi? Totally, and proud!
    your table looks so pretty, and the food sounds yum. I made cauliflower cheese this year, and it was so good. We had beef, no idea why, I love cauliflower cheese with beef. We had savoy cabbage & sprouts in onion sauce too. ooh, so good. Gives good wind too!!!

    mm. cheese. have eaten far too much lately.

    happy Sunday to you :O) x

    1. I tried to copy and paste you a pic of my nails! They are called impress nails from Asda. £6
      My friend always has them and I've long admired them! Easy easy stick on nails that have lasted well so far!

  9. Loved your essay on sprouts..........didn't understand a word of it though! enjoy the rest of the day.
    BTW Christmas cake with cheese MUST have an apple too!

    1. I'll try that tonight!
      I do waffle n ramble on a bit in my posts!!

  10. Sounds like a good day was had by all. I do not think I could peel layers of sprouts. I would end up throwing them all against the wall! XX

    1. It definitely was not on my
      List of funniest things I've ever done

  11. Glad you had a lovely day, Rachel. Like you we have leftovers with chips on Boxing day, usually with baked beans instead of peas. I'm glad it's all over so I can get back to eating more healthily. I overindulged on everything and I can feel the extra lbs. I've given a tin of biscuits, the last tube of Pringles, a pack of Cadbury's choc fingers and a box of After Eights to the boys to share with instructions to keep them out of my sight so I'm not tempted. Hasn't stopped me downing 4 mince pies and about 8 Celebrations chocs today. I think I have sugar and chcocolate poisoning!

    1. My darling offsprings bought me a box of my favourite white Ferraro rochers called Raffaellos. I've nearly eaten them all!

    2. Update: 24 hours later - I have eaten them all!

  12. Sounds bloody lovely my dear x

  13. Thats one impressive Christmas dinner and sounds absolutely amazing. You are going to love Downton!

    Happy Christmas x

    1. I just need theHG to bugger off for an hour so I can watch it in peace!!

  14. It all looks and sounds lovely. I'm definitely going to give those glazed carrots a go. I just boil my sprouts but always add butter and black pepper, delicious. Could eat a plateful of them on their own. And I can also eat fruit cake and cheese, but yes, it definitely has to be Lancashire. xx

    1. We had plain sprouts tonight. Delicious!! Do try the carrots, they just make a change from plain old boiled!


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