In my previous post I wrote about how I would be cooking this year’s family Christmas lunch. This was an ambitious task. Not only for the reasons I had outlined earlier, but also because this was the first time I had attempted these particular recipes (except for the roasties, these I’ve made often!). This situation possessed an inherent danger – a slippery banana skin – if there were any nuances to a dish that weren’t obvious until one had actually made it. Unfortunately, this time I did end up head-over-feet and banana-skin-in-the-air over a couple of dishes.
It was decided that this year we’d have a four-course meal, plus some nibbles that could be consumed over the Christmas period. Not large quantities of each dish, just enough to ensure a celebration of Christmassy food – and so that no one had to cook for the next few days. In the end this was the menu that was settled on:
Chestnut Soup with Thyme Croutons
Roast Turkey with Ham & Walnut Stuffing
Wild Mushroom Filo Parcels
Glazed Carrots & Parsnips
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
Puree of Potato & Celeriac with Garlic
Chestnut Truffle Terrine
Old English Port Wine Jelly
Sweet & Salty Nuts
Cranberry Studded Mince Pies
But was it a success? After close to eight hours of cooking I have concluded that yes, it was. Except for maybe the desert, which didn’t look as sexy as it could have (although it was mighty mighty yummy). Oh, and the jelly, which was drinkable (d’oh). But by that time of the evening I didn’t care – and neither did anyone else, possibly an effect of the amount of booze in it. Both these dishes had fallen victim to the aforementioned banana-skin-of-doom, which had been compounded by cooking at the same time as Santa was doing his annual rounds (both dishes had to be made the night before). While I had hoped to get home about 2130, in the end I arrived home at 2230. By 2330 the jelly had been started and I was peeling a kilo of roasted chestnuts in front of the telly. By 0100 the terrine had been started and by 0200 I had crashed, leaving the rest of it for the next day later that morning.
However, I am pleased to say that the rest of the menu went extremely well. The final result was a happy table of Christmas delights and everyone with a satisfyingly full puku. Despite the experience with the terrine and jelly, I’m rather glad that I took the plunge and tried these new dishes. I can see a couple of them being made again in the future. Some photographic evidence of our meal (well, mostly the preparation of it) can be found here on my flickr account.