Thursday, 11 November 2010

That's Christmas dinner sorted then

I'm sure I read somewhere that the brain is very good at problem solving and organising while you sleep.

I woke this morning at 4am needing the loo (its an age thing - since I reached about 39 I've woke in the night for a wee nine nights out of ten. Ah well.) As I lay down to sleep again I reeled off the Christmas dinner menu despite not having given it too much thought previously.

I always cook Christmas dinner and normally do a traditional one. Sometimes it was just for us, sometimes for us and my mam and dad and one year for us, mam and dad, Sue's parents, and her sister in law and her family. That year I really went to town and not only made the usuals but also the Christmas pud, various sauces, a venison and walnut stew for Boxing Day, sausage rolls etc. I even made my own chocolate truffles. By Boxing Day morning I was exhausted.

Three years ago we'd just moved back to Leeds and hadn't yet had the kitchen done out so all we had was a very small unfamiliar kitchen and most of our equipment still in boxes in the garage. That year we did a Marksies Christmas with ready prepared veg. It was pleasant enough but not the same.

For the last 2 years I've tried to be different and cooked curries. The year before last it was excellent - an absolute banquet that we all enjoyed. Last year I got even more ambitious and began cooking and freezing curries from late October onwards as well as doing an awful lot on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I've lost the 'menu' I typed up but there were Indian lamb shanks, two other lamb curries, 2-3 chicken curries, 3 dal curries, at least 8 vegetable curries, a banquet style rice, breads, 2 different salads and at least 8 different sauces and accompaniments. All home made barring the bread. Again I was too exhausted to enjoy it on the day though there was enough for the next 2 days as well as far, far too much that had to be thrown. I think I got a bit manic about it.

This year the plan is to revert to a traditional Christmas dinner but not too OTT, and then do a couple of good curries for New Year's eve.

In the last couple of years at the old house we used a series of Jamie Oliver recipes from a Christmas dinner DVD he did. There were some real winners there - a light Christmas pud (think a heavier version of spotted dick but with winter spices), flavoured butters for veg, excellent roast butternut squash, a really good chestnut stuffing...

We're doing the same this year with most recipes from JO and a couple from Delia's Christmas book, so I can reveal Christmas dinner 2010 will comprise:

  • Roast turkey
  • Roast gammon
  • Chestnut stuffing
  • Pigs in blankets
  • Homemade gravy
  • Roast potatoes
  • Honey glazed roast parsnips
  • Roast spiced butternut squash
  • Mashed carrot & swede with orange and cumin flavoured butter
  • Peas with flavoured butter
  • Stir fried sprouts with chestnuts and pancetta
  • Cranberry & orange sauce
  • Bread sauce
Beforehand there may be a bit of salmon on brown bread and afterwards Christmas pud for us and some over blown, over priced, over engineered, cleverly marketed American ice cream for the kids. Unless I can think of something creative that the kids will enjoy but also has a Christmassy feel. Any ideas?

I feel quite festive now.

Whats everyone else doing for Christmas? Where will you be? Have you decided on the food yet? Am I just a little bit sad for thinking about it in early November?

Before I forget....yesterday's hill training was fine and my food consumption good...


Laura said...

You sound like quite the chef! I've never cooked a christmas dinner on christmas day but Mike and I usually have our own extra christmas dinner a few days after.. Nothing too adventurous though!

runningcupcake said...

Wow you sounnd like you are a fantastic chef :)
At christmas I will be in Florida for some winter sunshine- hooray! Never gone for the traditional christmas meal anyway :)

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