Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A Nearly White Christmas

What a difference a day makes, one day earlier and we would have had a white Christmas. It was still pretty nice to wake up to some snow on boxing day though, the grandchildren had a great time building a snowman and having a snowball fight with their parents.

We had already seen a bit of snow because we had gone to the Pyrenees for a little bit of skiing on Christmas eve and had a really nice day out at Bonascres above Ax les Thermes, despite the fact that all the websites I could find said it was closed when in fact all the slopes and lifts were open and they were enjoying a brilliant start to the season.

Christmas day saw the commencement of a typical English Christmas with the intention to cook a goose according to Jamie's instructions and a turkey cooked to Nigella's instructions, except all that soaking in the water with all sorts of herbs and things, couldn't be doing with all that.

Oh and we made up our own stuffing as well and it was all delicious, so who needs celebrity chefs anyway.

Fraser (son in law) and I did our own thing with the birds and the ladies sorted out all the veg. But the potatoes cooked in goose fat were out of this world, so that was a good tip and there was plenty available in no time at all once the goose hit the oven.

The stuffing was made with a pork mince base which was added to fried onions which were cooked until golden in olive oil. Once the mince was nicely fried and cooked through a sweet apple was diced and added for good measure, then a generous dash of Chardonnay and lashings of sage, thyme and rosemary were thrown in. It was all mixed with white bread broken into fine powdery crumbs, a few walnuts broken up into quite small pieces and a raw egg to hold it all together. We left it to cool then overnight for the next days cooking marathon.

Some of the stuffing was pushed into the bottom of the turkey (but not to fill it completely) and the rest was cooked in it's own dish so that the top was brown and crispy. Both versions were really good and this could well become our traditional family stuffing for the future (all because we forgot the celery we usually use for stuffing) and especially now that I have recorded it here for reference.

Talking of family stuffing, by the time we had finished eating we were well and truly stuffed and all that was left to do was sit in front of the TV having loaded the fire with logs and try and stay awake through the film I got for Christmas appropriately named 'Run Fat Boy Run' which I have to say was very funny, well the bits I saw of it, you know what I mean, a few ports a roaring fire and a full belly, not the best combo for alertness.

So having consumed about a weeks worth of food in one day we made plans for a skiing trip to Mont D'Olme and a day of fitness, but that's another story which, with luck, I can share with you soon.

Here is our family Christmas dinner, for anyone who is interested:
  • One goose cooked a la Fraser
  • One turkey cooked a la Brian
  • Roast potatoes cooked in goose fat
  • Parsnips cooked in goose fat and drizzled with honey
  • Carrots sweated in a pan with butter and garlic
  • Pigs in their jackets courtesy of the Naafi with English pork sausages and streaky bacon
  • Pork and apple stuffing
  • Sprouts steamed to soften (love em or hate em, I love em)

  • Christmas pudding and cream

The album from boxing day can be found at Boxing Day Photos

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