Saturday, 19 December 2009

On the countdown

Last weekend before Xmas!

I was just looking back on my blog to see what I did before, and I realised that I have not done a proper Xmas dinner at home since I started writing here. My basic reference is Delia Smith's Christmas book, which I use for things like turkey timing and assorted inspiration. It's not ideal: being British, Delia assumes we'll have winter seasonal fruit and veg. Now I have bought Margaret Fulton's Xmas book, after nobody gave it to me last year despite copious hints, but I haven't had a lot of chance to read it yet.

And now there's less than a week to go, and we'll have eleven people to lunch on Friday. Two of us, seven relatives, and two friends - B1 and M. With my new job, I'll be working up to the 24th, so I'll be buying more than I usually do. I've been to the market this morning, where I bought a huge macadamia and brandy Christmas pudding from Pudding Lane - expensive, but I had a sample and it's awesome. I also got a few mince pies from the "bush breads" people. If I like them, I'll get more at the twilight market on Wednesday. I've tried several supermarket brands, and most of them are easily beaten by a spicy fruit roll biscuit.

I usually make Delia's cinnamon icecream, and sometimes I make a frozen yule log with that as the filling in a chocolate sponge roll, but this year I'm just buying premium cream and icecream, and B1 is bringing a non-pudding dessert. I may even buy pre-made custard. The ham and turkey are on order at Eco Meats, and I'm planning to dispatch some of the relatives to collect them while I'm at work. Luckily B1 is bringing veggies, so there's another thing not to worry about.

This morning I bought a kilo slab of salmon to cure, which I've just now got started. I also have blueberries, which I'm using for a trifle. So far I've stewed them up with vanilla sugar and water. Expect more on that later. For now, here's the salmon, ready to go in the fridge for a few days cure. And now it's time to get on with the next jobs: decorating the cake, cleaning out the fridge, tidying the house, wrapping the presents... weekends are too short!


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