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Newsletter 31 – I hear the bells …

Gingerbread stars

I hear the bells!

It is usually October when I am first asked what I plan to cook on Christmas day. My reaction is a mix of horror – that anyone could be planning this early – then panic knowing that I have to think of something festive and delicious and ensuring that I avoid crowds in markets the two days prior to Christmas. And then I calm down and rather enjoy the process of planning. Some variables I cannot control. Will it be hot and dry, hot and wet, cold and wet or just cold? I have experienced them all. So a decision as to inside or outside might have to be left for the day or maybe the day before.

This year we will be around eight adults and one new baby – the much adored Juliet, three months old and not interested in any food other than breast milk. So she does not have to be considered in the planning although she may well influence the timing of the lunch.

I am always seduced by the beauty and generosity of a laden table. I will plan to have several platters on the table at once, offering options to suit all my family and guests. Sometimes I do this in two sittings, or ‘removes’ as they used to say in Victorian and Edwardian times, first of all platters of finger food ideal to enjoy whilst opening presents and sipping something with bubbles.

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