Christmas and Christmas preparation, as I am sure it is for most, is a big occasion in my house.
I grew up in Canada so even though the weather here doesn’t feel as festive sometimes, since I am not drowning in a sea of white and more often than not still have the feeling in my fingers and toes, it still has to a have a winter feel which I try to achieve through food.
Seasonality rules the kitchen in bartlett mitchell as it also does at home, and it’s so easy to do when the Classic Christmas lunch is full of gorgeous seasonal produce, parsnips, swede, winter cabbage and the old classic sprouts, to name just a few.
I know that for some, the thought of cooking Christmas lunch can be very stressful but have no fear!
As the title suggests, success is all in the P’s
Proper preparation and planning prevents a poor performance!
It’s an old kitchen saying and I have removed one of the P’s to get this past the powers that be, but chefs know what I am talking about.
Get as much done as you can the day before! Not only peel and prepare, but sometimes dishes actually taste better the next day! The bartlett mitchell development team has put together a great series of recipes that are easy to prepare, cook and hold perfectly overnight in the fridge so all you need to do on Christmas morning is give them a blast of heat.
I tend to always go to my Mum for Christmas lunch and if the stars align then even a few of my brothers make an appearance, but since a couple of them jumped ship to live in other countries, it is a rare thing. My youngest brother is a top chef in Toronto so you would think that with two chefs in the house my Mum might be grateful for the help, but quite the opposite. My Mum can use some very choice language when the pressure is on!
Food wise I always try to force in a slight twist of the classic way of cooking the vegetables:
- I use soy to season and glaze parsnips along with real Canadian maple syrup!
- Gherkin juice to add a tang to the carrots,
- Char off the sprouts in a desperate attempt to get a different and more likeable flavour to them.
Always a Christmas Pudding although no one likes it really, so usually plenty of leftovers to use up over the next few days which is always a nice challenge and I think the development team has really outdone themselves this year with the left over recipes.
The only food related job my Dad is capable of is the cheese board and crackers, which always goes down a storm and I have to say that man puts some effort into it!
It’s a growing rarity that as a family we are in the same room without the use of FaceTime so it has to be special and coming from a family of food nuts, this time of year is a great excuse to flex some culinary muscle, indulge in beautiful British seasonal produce and watch my kids near the point of spontaneous self-combustion from pure excitement.
All before Dad gets smashed and falls asleep with his Christmas hat on, in his favourite chair.
For a stress free Christmas dinner follow my Christmas planner.