I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it was Christmas recently. Technically it’s been Christmas since August in the shops, but these days if it’s not Christmas it’s Easter or Hallowe’en, so there’s nearly always a novelty food item doing the rounds. I was lucky enough to enjoy 4 belt-busting Christmas lunches this year, packing on around 4 and a half stone in the process and thoroughly enjoying every cheese covered moment. James and I are now going through the stage called “Eat EVERYTHING in the house so that we are prepared for a new, healthy lifestyle in 2 days time otherwise we’ll fall at the first hurdle”. We have a lot of chocolate and cheese to eat tonight before crudités and quark kick in. Yum.
There’s still a layer of Milk Tray for me to scoff my way through, and a particularly promising looking brie stuffed with pesto and spring onion. This is, of course, entirely dependent on whether it’s all still there when I get home, otherwise I’ll just have to nibble on some kale with the guinea pig. Oh, did I not tell you we adopted a guinea pig? His name’s Patch. We tried to change it, but it sort of stuck. I wanted to call him Loki. He’s aloof and VERY middle class.
Anyway, Christmas. James and I stayed home on Christmas Day, which was delightful because it meant I got to cook. There are so many wonderful alternatives to turkey out there that it seemed a shame to buy a bird for just the two of us. Too much would have gone to waste – there are only so many days that you can put turkey in things before you’re completely sick of it.
That’s not to say that we didn’t have turkey at all over Christmas. In fact, exactly half of our Christmaseseseses this year contained a festive fowl, the weekend before with J’s parents and then on Boxing Day with my Dad. Christmas Day lunch itself saw J’s mum making us delicious fajitas, which may or may not have contained turkey, and a visit to my Mum saw us enjoying a festive slow cooker curry with chicken. That was so good I’d give up all future Christmas meals to have it again.
Christmas Day evening though, that was my time to shine, and shine (I hope) I did. I made a jus and everything – the first time I have ever made a jus and it was glossy and sticky and wonderful. It was red wine and rosemary, and I could have eaten it with a hunk of bread. Now, I’m not one to normally praise my own cooking skills, in fact you may have noticed that I am often rather derogatory about my cooking, but this was an exception. I cooked fillet steak in a sage, thyme and garlic butter, and it was so tender it didn’t need a steak knife. This was especially excellent, as we don’t have any steak knives in the house, and that could have presented a problem. I roasted some potatoes with a little rosemary (because it wouldn’t be Christmas with roastie ‘tatoes) and some green and purple mange tout. I didn’t even know that you could get purple mange tout. They didn’t really taste very different, but it looked pretty arty and matched my jus. Sort of. I would give you a recipe, but I sort of made it up as I went along… Sorry.
I’m not going to lie to you, dear reader. It was heaven. Scrummy, yummy, heaven. I could have eaten it 3 times over. Maybe even four.
I love Christmas Dinner, I really do – but it’s always the same every year, and you can always count on someone not to like sprouts, or carrots, or to want extra crunchy potatoes, or something. So why not try something different? I couldn’t have been happier with my choice of Christmas Dinner, it was cost effective and delicious and most of all, I cooked the entire meal in under an hour – meaning I had more time to spend on the sofa with James ‘enjoying’ Christmas TV. I maintain that Doctor Who was the only decent thing on TV on Christmas Day. We watched that with champagne and chocolate, and I cried my eyes out. Typical Christmas.
This brings me to New Year’s Resolutions, in a hugely roundabout kind of a way. I have already given up something that was bad for me, and it’s going pretty well. For Christmas, James and I got Gold Passes to the London Film and Comic Convention and we’re going to meet STAN LEE, who’s only, like, our total idol and junk. Now, we’re the kind of people who enjoy dressing up in silly costumes and pretending we’re Superheroes, and we want to look good for Stan Lee – so we’re battling the bulge, taking up exercise (which I’m still not totally convinced is good for you) and eating healthy things. These are the things we’re doing together. My mum still doesn’t believe I have it in me to exercise – but I don’t think she understands just what a powerful incentive ComicCon is.
On a personal note, I want to improve my writing style and skills, and I will write my novel this year. I feel that the ideas and scraps of paper that I keep my ideas on are finally coming together and I can see where I want to go, so I’m going to be focusing heavily on that (as well as starting my new job) and I promise you the blog posts will be more frequent – probably because I will have more exciting news and recipes to share.
I wish you all nothing but health, happiness and fabulous dining experiences in the coming year.