Right, come on, look, you’re just going to have to do this, get your food for Christmas sorted. I KNOW, it’s just the beginning of December but then it will suddenly be the 21st of December and do you want to go and queue in all the shops? Do you? DO YOU?! I don’t think you do, not really. So do yourself a favour and get it done now.
First off, what are you doing for Christmas? Have you any friends for supper? Are you having a drinks and canapé party? Are you hosting Christmas Day? Boxing Day? Get your meat sorted first.
I have ordered from the butcher: turkey, beef roasting joint, gammon joint, thin pork sausages, cocktail sausages, bacon, streaky bacon, large pork pie and a stuffing bomb (I love that my butchers has noted that this is not a real bomb – ha). So all I have to do is pick it up three days before Christmas. I am doing Nigella’s turkey again this year, having had great success with it before when I have cooked Christmas lunch. You need to brine it for a couple of days beforehand, so factor that into when you’e buying/collecting your turkey lurkey. I find it always good to have a stash of bacon and sausages in for breakfasts, there’s something about all that eating over Christmas that seems to make everybody even hungrier, for vegetarians, keep hummus and avocados in? Although i’d happily eat that myself for breakfast.
Then there’s the vegetables; potatoes, parsnips, sprouts etc. Do you need me to tell you? I think not. Make bread sauce now and freeze it, then pour the cream in on the day.
Are you having Yorkshire Puddings? I know it’s not traditional for Christmas lunch but sod it, Brexit is happening, Trump is still President, the world is on bloody fire, do what you want. We like them for Christmas lunch and they’re compulsory with roast beef so I have this to say on them; it’s just another thing to do, in the whole timing hell that is a roast lunch, SO, buy them. I mean, Aunt Bessie’s if you wish, nobody will care by this point or lots of places are selling really fab YP’s now, I will be getting them from my butcher, freezing them and then bunging them in the oven for a few minutes. Look nobody is expecting a gourmet meal (if they are, disinvite them IMMEDIATELY), so don’t be a hero here, it’s your Christmas too and I just don’t want you to have a meltdown cooking the lunch where you end up weeping in a heap on the kitchen floor over failed yorkshire puds.
Then there’s Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. My Mother -in-law makes me a Christmas cake every year from her family recipe, it is soooo goooood – I look forward to it all year, along with the lobster Mac and cheese canapés from M&S and the decorated windows in the undertakers (seriously, they get somebody to come and paint Christmas scenes on the windows, it’s weirdly wonderful). If you haven’t made a cake or a pudding by now, then you’re going to have to buy one. I will probably buy my pudding from M&S or I do like that Heston one with the orange in the middle from Waitrose. Don’t forget cream/ice-cream/brandy cream/brandy butter. Right, here is something I forgot to do last year: Pudding for the kids. My kids do not like Christmas pudding, so if yours don’t either, get them something they would like; buche de Noel?. It is Christmas after all, I know they’ve probably had shit loads of sugar all day but with any luck, they’ll crash out early in a sugar/overexcitement/just generally knackered from it all slump.
Ok, so here’s a list of stuff that you probably just won’t think about in the “Main Planning”. But first, go through those jars in your fridge, it’s quite likely that the cranberry sauce needs replacing, are there dregs of mustard lurking in the bottom of a jar? Is there fur on anything? Go through it, chuck it, MAKE ROOM. Ok, to the list:
Red onion jam
Whole nutmeg (you can grate them)
Cranberry sauce if you’re not making it? You can make it NOW and chuck it in the freezer, it is really easy
GOOSE FAT – I always forget this and it pretty much one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
Those bags of nuts – they look really nice dotted around in little bowls as a sort of edible Christmas decoration. Don’t forget the nutcrackers. I REALLY want a nutcracker like the soldier one from THE NUTCRACKER. Have you seen one anywhere?
Puff pastry for the freezer, are you making a pie from the leftovers? Don’t be arsing around making pastry.
Pancetta and one of those vacuum packs of chestnuts for the sprouts!* I forgot about these because I hate sprouts, I will not even do the traditional “having one because it’s Christmas” but David loves them.
Don’t forget the cheese board. I leave this to David, this is his thing, he talks about it from about October so I just leave him to get on with it. He goes to The Cheeseboard in Harrogate or The Artisan Cheese Shop in Wetherby, though our friends have also discovered a cheese shop, nay an emporium no less, in York which he is now hankering to visit. Cheese is very personal, like Art, so I won’t presume to tell you what to get but the basics should be a hard cheese, such as a good cheddar, a soft cheese; brie or camembert and a blue; David LOVES stilton, i’m not as keen, I prefer something a little milder so we generally end up with a couple of blues. Don’t forget one of those big tubs of Carrs or Jacobs crackers, grapes and quince jelly.
Herbal tea i.e. peppermint or ginger lemon – both of these also good for unsettled stomachs if you’ve eaten too much though NB peppermint makes you fart so you might want to think about that, especially with all those sprouts around
Prosecco/white wine/red wine
Port – if it’s your thing
Tonic water – HOW do I always forget this?!<<<<<<<<<
Coke or some other fizzy drink
Lemons and limes for ice and a slice
These are just suggestions, you might not like half this stuff but other people might or they might be pregnant or teetotal (why?). I am really bad about thinking about other people, I am just basically, very selfish but i’m getting better about thinking of others and their beverage needs.
CLING FILM AND TIN FOIL
A couple of pizzas for the freezer?
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE? Please let me know and I will add it to the list!
Into the fray we go mes amies! Bonne chance!
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