As I just realise its December the 1st, how about a generic thread for the upcoming. Saw the tree topic as well but thought about this time of year overall. Menus, drinks, music, relaxing times with friends and family, terrible TV (which we won’t be watching) Whats in store for people out there?
Just for a start we are thinking beef wellington, both our kids are working, finding the lure of extra pay for christmas lol, we don’t eat much meat, but we love Gordon Ramseys recipe for this.
Some bubbles and a bottle of red to be planned.
Or maybe you do nothing, are alone 8-( (a big issue this time of year too) or just Bah Humbug!
Happy time to all
Being a chef, the run up to Christmas is usually a complete nightmare.
Tomorrow I have a table of 25 on the Christmas menu and next week a table of 50 on the Christmas menu. Lord knows how it’s all going to go out, but they usually do and it’s nice to see others enjoying themeselves.
Christmas Day will have an early night for me.
All round to yours for Christmas
I will be home alone and probably have beans on toast. Why? Wife is a doctor and will be on call at the hospital all day. She’ll Womble in at 7am and get home about 10pm if all goes well. Family all live many miles away.
I’m no great fan of Christmas but I don’t hate it either. So i’ll be in the garage tinkering on a few little projects, and the cold smoker will be going full tilt in the garden with a large batch of salmon and cheeses.
Wife and I will enjoy a quiet Boxing Day together. Smoked salmon for dinner.
New Years Eve on the other hand…
I like a quiet Christmas, my other half thinks differently.
We will have a bird, chicken rather than turkey, although we have done goose and duck in the past.
This year will be different with ageing parents on my lady’s side, but we will visit the local for Christmas Day drinks. The bird will be brined and roasted slowly, as recommended by Mathew Fort. A decent bottle will be brought out, but prime place will go to the pud, with desert wine.
There will also be some ham, if I remember to order - I forgot yesterday. Smoked salmon would be good too, and perhaps smoked eel.
The main thing is to hope for decent weather so that we can walk the dog more than usual.
My wife is Jewish and we have no kids so our domestic Xmas tradition is basically to ignore it. For many years one or both of us worked it. I used to volunteer so those with families could have it off. We don’t cook a trad meal, decorate the house or give each other presents. We make gifts and cards for some, and in lieu of any family gifts we donate to charities that they pick and ask them to do the same for us (which they hate).
For the last 5 or more years I have spent Xmas driving up and down the A1 and then staying in a Travellodge in order to visit my very elderly parents at the other end of the country. It remains a big deal for them to see either my brother or me on Xmas day however frail they are.
So this year it will be a reheated frozen turkey meal with them and not much cheer. It may be their last at home together though so should do my best.
Not terribly jolly I know but I you asked!
We’re going to Paris for a few days!
An ideal present for animal lovers…
We still have kids at home and although they’re getting older it’s still pretty Christmassy.
These days though I think it’s great that we’re all together to chill out for a week or so, as the kids are off school, my company closes down between Xmas and New Year and my wife takes a few days off too.
My wife being a chef also finds this time of year exhausting. My sons and I do the main cooking for Christmas if we have it at home.
Food-wise, for Christmas dinner never have turkey. What we do have depends on the number of people - we have had pheasant, goose, venison, beef Wellington, and with larger groups sometimes two or three meats, e.g. roast beef (ribeye) + roast chicken.
We also celebrate Christmas the Polish way on Christmas eve, with a meat-free meal including golumpki (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and, for example, mushrooms (using dried mushrooms), seasoned with paprika) and perogi (ravioli-like pasta filled with, for example, potato and home-made cheese, with parmesan to intensify flavour).
Polish tradition is giving of presents after the supper, but whether we do that depends on where we are - we do it at home, but at others’ houses whilst they enjoy us doing the Polish style supper, they want to keep the English tradition for gift giving.
Tree-wise, if at home we often get a real tree for the sunroom and use the big artificial one in the music room. If away from home for much of the time we just use artificial trees, big one in the sunroom and a smaller one in the music room. At the earliest they go up the weekend before Christmas itself, and they come down on 6th Jan.
At least you are not having carp, which was my introduction to Czech / Slovak festivities.
I worked one Christmas in Belgrade and took my colleagues out for a Chinese… we still got some work done.
What’s wrong with carp? i have had once, and it was nice - though in general freshwater fish often taste ‘earthy’, that one didn’t (but maybe I was lucky!)
Well they had kept it alive in the bath for a week before Christmas Eve, but the taste was unimpressive and the bones worse.
If I have to eat freshwater fish then eel, trout and crayfish are on my list; zander and pike are off. But each to their own.
Christmas is not the same these days, when young all the family and relatives were within walking distance and it was not unusual to have 30 in the house at a time.
My favourite memory was sorting provisions. Dad was a controller with PO Telephones so lots of engineers out and about in vans. Uncle worked in the Customs House. They used to take orders, cash and organise bulk buys at a discount (no supermarkets in those days). Everything was delivered, the office floor cleared and I used to help sort, box or bag up meat, veg, fruit, chocolate and drinks. Having Fry’s, Carsons, Harvey’s and Sandemans locally was a real bonus.
We bought our tree today, as we have done on Advent Sunday for many years. For the first time since we had children, neither of them came with us (one was trogging through an English essay, the other on a school trip) which gave me an unexpected melancholy moment - kids growing up etc. However, we then waited until they were both ready to actually put it up and decorate it which they both loved (very strong opinions about where every decoration should go, what music should be on etc.) and made me feel much better.
All four of us sing in a church choir so we sing an amount of carols that I daresay would send some of you round the twist, but we like it. We’ve established a really solid Christmas routine starting on the 24th at lunchtime and running through the next 30 hours or so, working around three church services and the in-laws. Usually works like a dream, except when my father-in-law decides to pass out in the sitting room at noon on Christmas Day. Long story. He was fine.
The other thing I did today was start my Christmas cake by putting the dried fruit in a very generous amount of alcohol to soak. I normally try to get it done on Stir-up Sunday, in the traditional manner, but last weekend got a bit out of hand on the logistical front. Not sure when I’ll get the pudding made, but I’ve tried making it a few days in advance or over a year in advance, as my grandmother used to insist on doing, and I couldn’t tell the difference so I may leave it at least a week.
I hugely enjoy Advent and Christmas generally, but then I am a nostalgic old thing at heart and I do appreciate it can be a sad time of year for some people.
with a nice red and some “dinner jazz” nnniicccee
Our Christmas starts on Christmas Eve with the crib service at 2:00pm (which we are running) . Then relax a bit before midnight mass then up for Christmas Day service at 10:00a.m. Christmas dinner with the children round and then relax🙂 Love it!!