THE BIG DAY – presents, prosecco and too much food! | Beckie’s Christmas survival guide, part 4

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THE BIG DAY – presents, prosecco and too much food! | Beckie’s Christmas survival guide, part 4

Welcome to my Christmas blog! My name is Beckie, and I’m one of the brand managers here at KitchenCraft. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of my favourite bits of Christmas (mainly the food…).

 

We will inevitably be woken to the screams of “He’s been! He’s been!” and thanks to the timer on the oven the house will be smelling of Christmas Turkey, well on his way to being the star of the table.

If we can keep the boys away from the presents long enough, there will be time for some bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

There will be a pot of fresh ground coffee, fresh fruit juice and we will pop open a bottle of Prosecco to make passion fruit Bellinis and wish each other a Merry Christmas.

 

This gives us just enough time to baste the Turkey and remove the foil wrap ready for his final cook.

Sophie, our Brand Manager for MasterClass has introduced me to the wonders of a great roasting pan and the importance of a good baster.

This year we will be trying out a MasterClass Smart Ceramic Roasting Pan. It has a reinforced ceramic coating that makes it unbelievably non-stick (so you won’t lose the crispy bottom off your roast potatoes when you lift them out!) and a MasterClass Stainless Steel Professional Baster.

This fantastic piece of kitchen kit comes with a heat resistant silicone basting bulb, to draw up all of the flavours and meet juices.

As well as a nifty Stainless Steel metal tip that lets you inject the juices directly back into the meat, rather than just over it! The last, and most important piece of kit is your meat thermometer!

Every kitchen should have one - especially if you are cooking a Turkey! It is important that when you insert the probe into the deepest part of the meat and for the temperature to reach 75˚C.

As with most families around the UK our Christmas diner is full of vegetables, roast potatoes, honey mustard parsnips, carrots, peas and… wait for it… sprouts!

Just about the worst thing you can eat is a soggy sprout that has been boiled to within an inch of its life. So we are at least going to give them a fighting chance by roasting them with a Maple and Balsamic glaze with grapes and Walnuts.

 

I don’t know about you, but after our Christmas Diner we feel like we shouldn’t need to eat again for a week but there is still more food to come. It just wouldn’t be Christmas Diner without Christmas Pudding!

As a child every year my grandad would make a batch of Christmas puddings and give them to people as gifts.

Every year our new pudding would go straight to the back of the darkest, coolest kitchen cupboard where it would wait for a year, growing richer and deeper in flavour while my mom would pull out the pud from last year, ready for steaming to perfection.

We would always give the pud an extra “drink”, turn of the lights and strike a match, then let the fresh brandy glow and burn away before dishing it up and pouring over lashing of my dad’s homemade rum sauce.

To me, this was always the best bit! As it turns out my husband, for some unknown reason, doesn’t like Christmas Pudding! So now, as well as the pud we have to add a bowl of profiteroles to the table just for him.

Since my grandad passed away, no one in the family has come close to matching his pudding making prowess (even though we all try). However we all agree that a homemade pud is still far better than a store brought one and I implore all of your readers to try making one for yourself! 

By now we have probably been sitting around the table for three or four hours. Eating, drinking, pulling crackers, telling jokes and yes - cracker hats are mandatory! But this is always the point where no matter how much we protest, the table is cleared and as if by magic a variety of cheese appears!

Last year I was lucky enough to get some fantastic tips from Lucy, our Artésa Brand Manager. If it is a question over best flavour combinations, chutneys or accompaniments for cheese - she is your girl!

Lucy has created this brilliant image to show the best cheese and wine parings (coincidentally twelve parings for the twelve nights).

After all of this, it is time for a relax and maybe (if you are lucky) a little snooze.

For me I like to wrap up warm with the kids and take the dog for his Christmas evening stroll.

Then it is back home to tuck the little ones up with some Christmas stories and excited chatter about their favourite new toy before the settle down, happy and feeling full of love and Christmas cheer, and drift off to sleep.

Now it’s time to relax with a Christmas movie (Die Hard) or a board game and another glass of wine or a Christmas Cocktail (we have lots to choose from thanks to BarCraft) perhaps even a bit more cheese… and then it is done.

In the blink of an eye and the pulling of a cracker Christmas is over for another year. At least there are plenty of left overs to look forward too.

Come back next week for the final chapter – leftovers, more cheese and New Year’s Eve.