Firstly I must apologise for my lack of posting recently. Christmas happened. In a blur and a flurry of preparation- it happened, days merging into one as canapés, peeling, chopping, whisking, baking were all ticked off the unconquerable list, until at last, it was indeed conquered.

What a mountain Christmas can be! This is my second year cooking Christmas Lunch and I think mum is rather revelling in handing over the reins, albeit tentatively, as I call her into the kitchen once again to check ‘is the turkey cooked mum?’, ‘how does this taste mum?’. I may be well on my way to becoming a Leiths trained chef, but goodness, she’s made more Christmas dinners in her lifetime than I have, so Mum Almighty still has the final say.

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I remember last years lunch, up a mountain in a relatively poorly equipped chalet, being much less stressful. We still served 2 canapés, Turkey and all the trimmings, christmas pudding plus 2 desserts, mince pies, and copious amounts of alcohol, AND managed to go skiing for a few hours on the day!

As I woke at 7 on Christmas morning, stepping outside to listen to the dawn chorus, I knew this was going to be a rather different affair. Chained to the kitchen for more hours than I slept, the run up week was laborious and thorough, and on the day I didn’t manage to sit down for present opening until nearly 12! (That was after cooking brunch for everyone too!)

In the end, it was brilliant. The canapés went down a storm and lunch itself was generously served and wolfed down by the whole table, and the array of desserts and little treats we prepared were equally popular.

Despite a mountain of checklists, of course I forgot something- Bread Sauce!

With the Turkey being carved and mountains of roast potatoes, glazed carrots and brussel sprouts being ceremoniously taken to the table, it was with a shock that I realised we had forgotten one of the best bits!

No matter- within 5 minutes, a bowl of creamy (slightly too thick, maybe) sauce was on the table- I am blessed to have Sue, my second Mother there on hand when disasters like this strike! (She also makes the best Risotto known to man kind, and is QUEEN of fabulous cheeseboards- Sue, I toast to you!)

After we were all stuffed to the brim and had a fair share of desserts, drank far too much wine, played a hilarious game of bingo, and opened gifts from our little one, away in Austria for yet another season (Kes, I’m so jealous!), it was time for Downton Abbey, snoozing on the sofa, and in my case, caring for my slightly-too-merry mother as we all wound down from what was a brilliant day.

Anyway, I thought I would give you our final Christmas Menu, perhaps some inspiration for next year, and my very best wishes for the New Year. I hope it brings wonderful things for all my lovely family and friends- I wouldn’t be without you, and love you with all my heart.

Happy Christmas Foodies, I hope you’re polishing off Turkey Sandwiches and Bubble and Squeak today- you deserve it!

xxx

Christmas Eve

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Nigel Slater’s Salmon Wellington, New Potatoes en Papillote, Green Beans, Roasted Vine Tomatoes

Canapes

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Beetroot crisp, horseradish creme fraiche, sloe gin and beetroot cured salmon, pomegranate seeds, dill
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Coronation chicken crostinis, flaked almonds, coriander
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Prawn louis cocktail salad, quails egg, smoked paprika

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Sundried tomato and rosemary palmiers

Main

Jamie’s Christmas Turkey

Best-ever Turkey gravy

Pimped up, easy-peasy Cranberry Sauce

Tom’s Christmas (heart attack) Carrots

Honey Mustard Pigs in Blankets

Sticky Spiced Red Cabbage

Crisp Honey Mustard Parsnips

Roast Potatoes with Bacon and Herb Salt (From this months Delicious Magazine)

Roasted Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

Chestnut, Bacon and Cranberry Stuffing

(My wonderful Auntie, Marni, actually made some delicious stuffing, but this would have been the recipe we used otherwise)

Dessert

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Leiths chocolate roulade (the best thing you have ever tasted), salted caramel sauce, chocolate holly leaf tuiles
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Panettone and vin santo trifle, zabaglione cream, amaretti biscuits

Little Treats 

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Mincemeat palmiers
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Tiny mince pies
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Salted caramel dark chocolate bark, with pistachios and cranberries
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