With the cake and pudding now done I know that dessert doesn’t have to be even thought about now and there will now be cake galore to be eaten along with pots of tea. All I need to do is put the pudding on to steam when we’re sitting down to our main course. This gives plenty time to eat, savour, digest and then eat again. I will not make brandy butter to accompany it as there is enough alcohol in it as it stands.
This weekend I’ll be roping my brother into various festive activities ( he doesn’t know this yet right enough) so mincemeat pies (traditional or puff pastry pinwheels?) and gingerbread will be made. I love squishy chocolate gingerbread ( which bakes nicely in jars for gifts) but no doubt I’ll make gingerbread biscuits and because it seems we can no longer call them gingerbread ‘men’ I’ll probably use tree or snowflake pastry cutters because I refuse to make gingerbread persons.
This just leaves the savouries to deal with and the dilemma of what to have as our centrepiece. I know it’s still a way off but I like to know now what we’re having as it’s one less thing to think about. Do we have a simple but tasty nut loaf (cashew and parsnip being our preferred loaf, omit the egg) or something in puff pastry such as red wine pate en croute or my festive loaf (scroll down and i think its called ‘now that’s what I call a christmas dinner) which I’ve made for countless christmases? I’m half tempted to make more of a mock meat type roast complete with stuffing (I’m not a massive fan but my man is) but this would require a run through and I’m not sure I want two Christmas dinners. Perhaps I’ll compromise and make sausages* to accompany our nut loaf (but I’ll make them sage and onion).
We’ll have all the usual trimmings: gravy (mushroom or shallot), cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, brussel sprouts (stir fried with yellow peppers, chestnuts, sesame seeds and a touch of sesame oil) and kale. Have I missed anything out?
Other non food related things:
Scant would best describe our selection of decorations. Being a previously unfestive pair we own a piece of tinsel, a set of chilli lights and some baubles. We need to try harder. Therefore in the spirit of all things festive I have been planning some ways of cheaply decorating while exhibiting high levels of christmassyness (also great minds think alike and as I was planning what I was going to make earlier this week Lucy updated her site here with free decorating ideas):
- I’ve been out gathering hawthorn branches, ivy and holly for putting in vases and decorating anywhere high up and out of reach of little hands. Just sort of throwing bits and pieces around until it looks decorative. Holly berries are poisonous and while hawthorn berries aren’t they can certainly give little ones sore tummies when eaten raw. Plus they have crazy spikes all over them.
- I’m going to attempt some simple wreaths either using florists wire (to add some structure) or just interweave a lot of ivy to form the circle.
- I’ll also be trying out Lucy’s ice lanterns and have visions of making really tall ones although I can’t work out what I could use to do that.
- I’m going to dig out my paper stash to try and make these and get out the crepe paper to make streamers. If I feel I still have a spare moment or two then it’s tissue paper pom pom time!
- Finally, slices of orange will get dried out and thrown in a bowl with some huge chunks of cassia bark.
*in the UK wheat gluten for making seitan and sausages can be bought from The Flour Bin.