Hope you all had a good one!
I had about 3 hours sleep on Christmas Eve because as usual I was stressing out about what I had to do and whether I had enough food (see below to find out if that fear had any substance!) so I felt pretty lousy when I finally gave up trying to sleep. As a result, once the pot roast was in the slow cooker and the cookies were baked, I went to the gym and spent 40 mins on a summit climb program on the elliptical walker. Its so weird the way that machine boosts my energy when I’m feeling tired and thick headed! Those feelings came back eventually of course, I just can’t get by on 3 hours sleep without consequences, but it helped me get through most of the day!
Breakfast: French toast made with home-made raisin bread, served with a drizzle of maple syrup and a stewed apple. A little too sweet for regular breakfasting, but very tasty for a change!
Lunch: The main event! I always make a 3 course Christmas lunch to mop up the gallons of booze that accompany it – but not all the courses are equal of course!
The starter is usually the same thing – a few dried figs each, each one topped with a mild, creamy soft goat’s cheese and wrapped in proscuitto ham. A lovely combination of salty, sweet, and creamy! I got this off a Nigella Lawson show several years ago, and as well as loving the flavours, I also love its no-cook simplicity!
Main course: Roast turkey, pot roast beef brisket, stuffing, and roast vegetables. I used to roast potatoes and parsnips and cook other veg separately on the stove top, but decided a few years ago that that was unnecessary last minute work. Now I roast cauliflower, carrots and brussels sprouts as well. I was going to make my own cranberry sauce but decided to use shop-bought instead. And I forgot to photograph this course – probably because I was in a hurry to get it onto the table before it went cold!
Dessert: M and his parents like Christmas pudding, I’ve never been a fan. So I don’t make my own, but again buy one – this year from Waitrose. They generally have it with brandy butter. I had a fruit salad with boozy cream myself – again, for ease of preparation, I bought a selection of chopped fruit salad to just dump in a bowl! I added a big dollop of rum & raisin cream of course!
Dinner: On Christmas Day I always make an absurdly huge buffet style dinner to cater for different sized appetites. Today’s included smoked salmon and ham finger sandwiches (that’s separate sandwiches, not a mixture ;-) ), pate on toast, cheese and crackers, hummus with vegetables, vegetable crisps and the many baked goods you’ve already heard about – cookies, sweet un-yeasted breads, fruit cake and mince-pies. I figure its better to eat lots and just feel stuffed the next morning then be horribly hung over because the stomach wasn’t lined with food. Of course if people go crazy that leads to a possible involuntary redecoration of the house, but it doesn’t usually go that far ;-)
Raisin bread and banana ginger teabread – which was a great success by the way! It was studded with wonderfully zesty nuggets of stem ginger – amazing!
Home made cookies…
Healthier fruit cake
Not at all healthy fruit cake!
The whole spread. Needless to say we didn’t eat anywhere near this amount of food – there’s loads of leftovers, and M’s parents will be taking home cookies, raisin bread, teabread, mince-pies and fruit cake, while I will be keeping half the teabread for when my father and his wife come over on the 29th.
Snacks: I’m sure I don’t need to mention that there are lots of nibbles of nuts, chocolate, rice crackers etc going on all day! No formal plated out snacks required!
M’s father is a keen walker, so he and I usually head out after lunch to blow the cobwebs away and let the food go down. Today I decided to take him through the lanes to see the ostriches that I’ve mentioned before – even knowing that they’re there, there’s something so appealingly disorienting about seeing such exotic wild life in the relatively domesticated Welsh countryside! It was a lovely walk, though a bit slippery underfoot – at one point I looked like a cartoon character, arms flailing wildly as I tried (and succeeded) in staying upright! And as we returned we were walking into a beautiful sunset…
Of course I did in fact weigh myself, and I was 10 st 3.5 lbs again. Perfectly acceptable given that Christmas Eve was a very nibbly day!