Christmas lunch 2010

I am pleased to report that Christmas went off very well this year. I received several nice presents, including the graphic novel Watchmen and Stephen Fry’s autobiography The Fry Chronicles. Part of me would like to write a short graphic novel and so I shall be looking at Watchmen for possible ideas on technique, style and structure. I am currently working on my own autobiography and so the Stephen Fry book will, likewise, be of some considerable interest.

Vegetables and stuffing prepared on Xmas Eve

I spent most of Xmas eve preparing the vegetables and the stuffing (well, except for the egg which I added on Christmas morning – it is balanced on cling film in this picture). The parsnips went into a soup stock made with herbs and the neck of the turkey. I added cream and chopped chestnuts after whizzing the parsnips and this resulted in a very tasty soup.

Table set for Xmas lunch

After I got the soup under control, I laid the table. This was my own table, that I made about 10 years ago. It comes apart and gets stored in my garage. It takes around 20 minutes to assemble and in the summer I put it up on the patio if we have a BBQ. I like the sense of anticipation that goes with a table set out for a formal meal; I find it satisfying and strangely full of promise.

The turkey, I served with traditional accompaniments: caramelised carrots, roast potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry & orange relish, and gravy. The turkey breast carved well.

The remains of my home-made Christmas pudding

My Xmas pudding had been maturing for about a month. I put it in a large pan to steam for about three hours and then served it with the option of clotted cream, brandy butter or custard. I went for the custard and thoroughly enjoyed it. I  feel that it is definitely worth taking the time and effort to make your own Christmas pud, even though some of the ones you can buy in the supermarkets are not at all bad. When I had the pudding at table, I did the flambe thing and set it alight with brandy.

So now it is all over for another year. I had hoped to play a selection of seasonal songs on my Korg electric piano after the lunch was finished, but I did not manage to learn them in time. Maybe I’ll do that next year.

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