It will not, I am sure, have escaped your notice that it is just 19 more sleeps until Christmas. By this time last year I had made our cake and a whole batch of my usual Christmas chutney, fitting both in before we moved house and I lost the will to do anything remotely festive. I’ve yet to do either of those things yet, though I have written one Christmas card (though I’m not sure where I put it).
This year, for the first time in ages, we are having Christmas at home. I am so happy about this – as nice as it is to be welcomed by others, Christmas at home is best of all – but I do wish I could work out what to eat. Last year there was no menu-planning to worry about as we spent it with my in-laws, though it was slightly nervewracking cooking them their first-ever turkey and I did have to hide how much cream went into the custard for the trifle.
|The Christmas menu from Anna del Conte’s Entertaining all’Italiana. Who’s for some ham mousse?
I’ve come to the conclusion that people who celebrate Christmas in the northern hemisphere – or even somewhere where the weather is guaranteed to be hot – have it easier. In the northern hemisphere you can use your back doorstep as a makeshift fridge; in hot places you can be confident about eating something cold. Here, anything could happen. So far our Christmas menu is being devised by a process of elimination. No turkey (so 2011); no salmon (the Boy Wonder isn’t keen on it); no vegetarian nut roast (are you mad?); no chicken (too ordinary). Nothing on the barbecue (it might rain); nothing too hearty (it might be hot).
Can you help? I have been searching my cookbooks but to no avail. So far we’re going to have a lateish brunch – hopefully champagne and tiny whitebait fritters – then have the big deal Christmas feast about 4.30pm. There will be four adults and one child, unless we pick up any more strays. I’m thinking summer pudding for pudding but unless I get a move on that’s all we will be having.
What are you having for your Christmas feast? Come on, inspire me…