Christmas 2012: All of the food. All of it.

December 312_s
Cranberry-orange sauce, Christmas spiced fruit punch, spiced mini muffin loaves with chocolate chips

It’s been really very busy for me to the point that I have no idea what to do with my free time now–except to turn some photos and thoughts into a blog post, perhaps.

I hope the holidays are treating you all well, or at least, not any worse than usual. This year I have found the holiday spirit to be especially pervasive–one day I found myself tunelessly humming a Christmas carol as I pounded some curry paste. It hasn’t been so bad, though. In fact, it’s been quite a lovely Christmas for me.┬áThere was a lot of cooking and it was only mildly stressful. This was the unremarkable but delicious menu:

  • Roast turkey + turkey gravy (recipe here – the secret is butter-soaked muslin)
  • Cranberry-orange sauce (recipe)
  • Roast potatoes and garlic with butter (my favourite thing to eat ever ever ever)
  • Roast parsnips with maple syrup (recipe)
  • Chestnut stuffing (which Mr Pear’s mother made–you’ll have to ask her for the recipe!)
  • Brussels sprouts with pancetta (adapted from here)
  • Other edibles made by me: spiced fruit punch, Nigella’s Christmas morning muffins (consumed on Christmas Eve afternoon with added chocolate chips – it is much better with the cranberries!), roast chestnut cookies.

This was just for 5 people. I couldn’t have done it alone: my partner’s mother let me use her lovely kitchen, made the stuffing, and took care of everything else. Also I had Mr. Pear help me at several points, most notably heaving the turkey out of the oven onto the serving platter and adding potatoes to bubbling hot fat. Well, who am I going to put first–my family or my Christmas dinner?

I am kidding. Mostly.

I got the turkey into the oven by about 9.30am and we had lunch at about 2.30pm. I used to go for the whole brining fandango but I departed from it this year in favour of just lots of salt, pepper, and fine butter-soaked muslin. The drapery got progressively uglier as 4 hours 25 minutes passed and there was a slightly alarming moment when the fabric stuck to the turkey, but it was all very good–crisp skin and moist, flavourful flesh. But for me the high point of the meal was roast potatoes and garlic – par-boiled, roughed up potatoes and 2 heads of garlic roasted in olive oil and butter until everything is crisp without and creamy within. I love them far too much.

Best leftovers.
Best leftovers.

We had quite a bit left over but that will be summarily dispatched. Mr. Pear enjoys cold turkey and stuffing sandwiches; I like everything plated up and reheated again, and also this:

December 335_s
sorry, I can’t hear the sound of you judging me over my eating noises, which probably makes everything worse but that’s fine.

Spaghetti tossed with a handful of turkey and leftover pan juices and gravy topped with plenty of powdered bird’s eye chilli. There’s no accounting for taste sometimes.

We’ve about a plateful of remaining leftovers which will shortly be turned into bubble and squeak cakes. I look forward to this greatly.

Have a bonus picture of a finger sloth I made for Mr Pear:

December 327_s
~ Live Slowly, Die Whenever~

It’s needle-felted from carded sheep’s wool wound over a pipe cleaner armature.
You can see more things I’ve needle-felted here, I am taking it back up again. It is my goal to be more creative next year!

5 thoughts to “Christmas 2012: All of the food. All of it.”

    1. Ah, nice to hear that people with fine tastebuds approve of things I enjoy! It makes me feel slightly less nervous; I am otherwise wont to think the things I like are perverse….

  1. Roast potatoes are just the best food in the world. End of. I’m vegetarian so we did ours without turkey, and with a cranberry nut roast, but otherwise quite traditional. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the excuse to spend a day just faffing in the kitchen, and it be perfectly normal ;)

    Belated Christmas wishes and all the best for 2013!

    1. Yes! Now I feel less odd for just having only roast potatoes for dinner sometimes–I don’t think I need anything else if I’ve already got a plateful of the best food in the world.

      I saw your cranberry nut roast and it is surely the prettiest nut roast I’ve ever seen. I eyed the mushrumps in the middle with unseemly covetousness.

      Isn’t it the best? People were assuming that I was very stressed out and tired so I didn’t much get to do anything else apart from the cooking! This is not a complaint, just a wish for it to be like that for the rest of the year (ha!)

      Christmas wishes and happy new year to you, too! :-{D

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