Monthly Archives: December 2010
This year’s was the fifth Christmas lunch I’ve cooked and I stripped it back to greedily indulgent from ridiculously extravagant. In the past, I’ve gone for volume in terms of vegetables (I think personal best is 15). I decided that vegetable variety always proves a bad decision: goodbye red cabbage, peas, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, runner beans etc. This year we pared it back to what we couldn’t do without: meat in various forms, stodgy sauces, vegetables, lots of gravy and Yorkshire puddings.
Yes, Yorkshire puddings are a non-negotiable part of our Christmas, on the basis that my Yorkshireman husband would be heartbroken without them. Lots of people object to Yorkshire puddings because they are a ‘filler’ and not suitable for a feast day. I think that if it makes you happy, and gives the bonus side effect of more meat for leftover dinners, then that’s not to be argued with.
We also took the decision to get a big and happy chicken from the butcher rather than a turkey. It was daunting (what if it ruined Christmas!) but now we’re never going back to turkey for Christmas dinner as long as I’m cooking it!
Christmas Lunch 2010 Menu
- Garlic-and-herb-butter roasted chicken, with streaky bacon all over
- Christmas stuffing
- Pigs in blankets
- Bread sauce
- Leek sauce
- Yorkshire puddings
- Roast potatoes
- Roast parsnips
- Cauliflower cheese
I felt the meal provided the right balance of just what we wanted on the day and also furnished us with just the right amount of leftovers that we really enjoyed. There’s nothing like snaffling a roast potato just after the Christmas afternoon nap…
This is possibly my favourite festive picture of TLM – he’s in his hat, and totally in his element with oodles of gravy (there was more on the hob) and a mountain of Yorkshire puddings.
And in close-up, the Christmas dinner in all its glory.
I have to say that it was the most magical Christmas to date, with a delicious dinner eaten overlooking a snowy garden.
I’m so glad we dispensed with the turkey and cut back on the vegetables. What Christmas compromises do you make to keep yourself sane? What can’t you live without at Christmas (not sprouts… surely)?
I do love Christmas, and this year is the first year we’ve tried to choose some lovely wines to go with our food. After our ‘Choosing Wine With Confidence’ course, we felt it was only right! So what have we plumped for? Left to right…
This was a bin end and bought on a bit of a whim. It will be a totally new one for us, which we will be having with our Christmas ham tonight. A little investigation says it should go well with pork or charcuterie, so here’s hoping it’ll be a lovely match for Christmas ham. *Went very well with Christmas ham (and dare I say it… prawn cocktail!)*
Again, a bit of a whimsical choice. We bought some white peach juice from the local Italian deli so we could make Bellinis on Christmas morning so we thought something ‘extra dry’ would mean the cocktail wouldn’t be overly sweet. *Peach juice was quickly discarded so we could drink this alone. Lovely sparkles, very bubbly without being co-codamol fizzy.*
River Farm, Ben Morven (Sauvignon Blanc) 2009, New Zealand
This was one of our absolute favourites from the wine tasting course, so we thought we’d get some for Christmas day. I’m not sure it’d be a stellar match for turkey (probably better with fish) but we’re having chicken and usually end up drinking wine before and after the meal (and water during) so, why not go for something we like?
This was another wine we had on the wine course which was the only wine that everyone agreed was wonderful. It’s by winemaker Ben Glaetzer and is made from two lesser Italian grape varieties – apparently this Glaetzer is a bit experimental, but it certainly pays off. No idea what we’ll be drinking this with, probably on its own on Boxing Day!
Elysium (Black Muscat) 2008, California
We spent ages trying to find our very favourite sweet wine (Campbells Rutherglen Muscat) without success. It would have been perfect to go with Christmas pudding… However, we’d been eyeing up this little bottle for a while so we’re looking forward to giving it a whirl. *OH. MY. GOODNESS. Raspberry and blackcurranty, and it went amazingly well with Christmas cake. Would definitely buy this again to serve with a very fruity/berry fruit dessert.*