CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE LIVING IS EASY - OR NOT, AS THE CASE MAY BE
I spent yesterday doing the prep for Christmas cooking, as today, Christmas Eve, I planned to get away from the kitchen and do a bit of culture. I planned to visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery and see the Whistler exhibition ....
Alas it is closed today, Tuesday 24th December, and so are all the other galleries and museums, as far as I can tell.
COOKING TO GOI am lucky to have some home grown veg for our lunch tomorrow. In order of importance:
Potatoes, Sarpo Miro - bought from Thompson and Morgan last spring, and very good
Parsnips, Gladiator - much better this year, or 100% better in fact, as I got none last winter
Brussel sprouts (can't remember the variety) - ditto, 2012 wet summer and autumn killed them off, this year was great, and so I have quite a few - straight off the plant they taste so sweet! My favourite green vegetable.
TURKEY - MASS PRODUCEDDo not grow these myself, so have to use Sainsbury's offering.
Last year the lovely butcher's shop was still with us for top quality turkeys, pork, beef, duck, but alas it closed down in the summer of 2013.
It was called Hartshorn, and is sadly missed by me and lots of other people. Its demise was mainly due to the arrival of Waitrose and a mini Sainsbury and the imposition of swingeing parking restrictions in the roads, imposed by the local council. I still feel sad about its absence. Oh, the lovely butchers, Ray, Trevor etc.
TURKEY PREPARATIONAs I did last year, I bought a whole turkey and have cut off the legs and thighs, and a small part of the turkey breast. These have gone into the freezer for later on. I will cook the rest of it, breast, wings, carcass in butter with a pretty trim of streaky bacon.
The turkey costs more this year, I notice. I have a cooking notebook and noted the price of last year's bird, it was £33.87 for 6 Kg, this year it was £35.36 for 4 Kg.
The giblets are already turned into giblet stock, in my pressure cooker, which has its main moment of glory every December - for the Christmas Pud. I wonder if the pressure cooker looks forward to Christmas?
STUFFINGI usually make a stuffing from a recipe for chestnut stuffing with prunes, in The Penguin Cookery Book, my old standby, by Bee Nilson first published 1952. But last year the quantity was to too much for us to eat, and ended up being thrown out. A bit of a waste.
This year I am trying a new receipt, from a Sunday Times Magazine, but so far, it has come up with just as much quantity! Once again I am a bit fooled by the amount. I just can't think in grammes - I am an ounce girl to my greasy fingertips.
STUFFING INGREDIENTSThey cost a small fortune! 200g best streaky, a pack of chestnuts (vacuum packed), breadcrumbs, 2 onions, garlic, sausagemeat, by the time it is finished I might as well have bought a bigger turkey and just gone with a packet of Paxo!
A SUMMARY OF WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING TODAYSo here I am, wasting time on the computer when I should be:
washing the mud off the potatoes and parsnips
peeling potatoes and par-boiling
scraping the parsnips
trimming the sprouts
chopping the onion and infusing the milk with it, ready for the bread sauce
adding the sausage meat to the stuffing mix, ready to cook it tomorrow
putting bacon round a few chipolata, for pigs in blankets
and ..... oh yes!
CHAMPAGNEI won a bottle of champagne about a year ago, and have been waiting for an occasion to open it
Tomorrow is going to be that day
Happy Christmas boozing!
And Happy Cooking, thanks for following me on this blog.