Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Ghosts of Christmas Lunches Past.

(Normal service will shortly be resumed after Alexander and I have recovered from the gross excesses of the festive season!)

Well I’m glad that is all over. Christmas Day was wonderful but utterly exhausting, we had twenty around for lunch/dinner, they arrived at 1330hrs and the last guests left at 2330hrs. It was a looooong day.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and we spent the whole day outside, sitting around the terrace and eating under the large parasol festooned with little lanterns that we have over our teak table.

We went completely mad on the food and will be eating turkey and ham for a long time to come. The turkey weighed 28lbs (13kg)!! It was the biggest thing I have ever seen and was a struggle to lift. Like last year I planned for the turkey to be ready three hours before we planned to eat and I took it out of the oven and placed it on the kitchen table and covered it with about five old towels. It kept absolutely piping hot all that time and it freed up the oven for all the other bits and bobs that I had going on.

Our Christmas Day menu was as follows:


Caviar (bought in Tehran by a friend) with blinis and sour cream
Scottish smoked salmon on brown bread with cream cheese and horseradish
Prawn vol-au-vents with a spicy marie-rose sauce
Roasted cherry tomato bruschetta with mozzarella and basil
Onion chutney brushetta with parmesan
Sausage rolls

These were washed down with a jug of bloody mary, some really good South African sparkling wine called Simonsig and frozen Polish bison grass vodka for the caviar.

Main Courses

Roast turkey with oatmeal and sausagemeat stuffings
Maple syrup glazed roast ham with Cumberland sauce
Pork chipolata sausages wrapped in streaky bacon

Potatoes roasted in goose fat
Roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes with parmesan
Steamed broccoli
Braised carrots and petit pois
Red cabbage with balsamic
Brussel sprouts with garlic breadcrumbs


Christmas pudding with brandy/grand marnier butter
Chocolate Brownies
Mince pies

Selection of cheeses (stilton, cambozola, gorgonzola, cheddar, white stilton with apricots, brie)

Last year I splurged out on the wine and bought some very expensive Margaux. It was great but I didn’t think that it was that much better than much cheaper new world wines. This year we stuck with a Wolf Blass Yellow Label Merlot which is a great wine, and a really super sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand called Framingham.

And if anyone wants recipes for any of the above just let me know!

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