Well, the turkey in my case! But, with Christmas just around the corner I’m getting more and more excited. My Christmas cake is baked and sitting in a cupboard being liberally drenched in booze every few days – the recipe I’ve used soaks the fruit in whisky and since I’m spending Christmas in Scotland it seems quite appropriate! Jane (our Food Editor) has followed her great-great grandmother’s Victorian recipe this year, which uses sherry instead. It’s very firm in telling you that gravy browning won’t do instead of treacle – I can’t imagine what Victorian cooks used to get up to! I love using recipes that have been handed down through generations. My own great-grandmother’s Christmas pud recipe is still the one we use now, and it takes me right back to being tiny when I make it.
As well as the traditional turkey and Boxing-Day ham, I’ll also be cooking venison this year. It’s such a lean meat, it’s great if you’ve been over-indulging and the boulangere potatoes in this recipe are to die for. We always buy either Kelly Bronze or Copas turkeys. Both are reared to the highest possible standards, and the meat is incredibly flavourful. They also come with full cooking instructions and temperature gauges so that there’s no guess-work involved. Perfect if you like to cook Christmas dinner with a glass or two of fizz!
As an alternative to Christmas cake for the big day, I’m going to make our Christmas trifle. An absolutely divine mix of caramelised nuts, alcohol-steeped fruit and Marsala syllabub – there’s not a toasted almond or sugar sprinkle in sight, and it makes the most gorgeous centrepiece.
. Like most New Zealand whites it has the most fabulous fruity flavours, perfect for drinking on its own, or with nibbles before dinner.
I could keep going on and on about Christmas food, but there’s a cheesecake in the oven so I’d better stop! I’d love to hear about everyone else’s plans for Christmas food though – are you sticking with tradition or going adventurous?