Stick to a plan and yule be fine

So far, there have been no culi­nary catas­tro­phes, if you don’t count that flam­ing turkey

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - The Global Gourmet Issue - MICHELLE ROWE

DECEMBER25is al­ways a day of cel­e­bra­tion and won­der at my­house. Largely be­cause it’s the only time of year I ven­ture into the kitchen with the in­ten­tion of do­ing any­thing more than top­ping up myglass of pinot noir. I’m nor­mally a hope­less home cook, but for some rea­son Christ­mas ca­ter­ing is the one culi­nary re­spon­si­bil­ity I amhappy to take on. It’s all in the plan­ning, you see. Each Novem­ber, I whip up my home­made Christ­mas pud, which is steamed for hours be­fore be­ing wrapped in cloth and stored un­til the big day. Comeearly De­cem­ber, the turkey and ha­mare or­dered and menus de­lib­er­ated over (though there is never really any de­vi­a­tion from the fresh prawns fol­lowed by a tra­di­tional hot Christ­mas lunch with all the trim­mings — brus­sels sprouts, bread sauce, braised red cab­bage with ap­ples, roast spuds and more peas than you could poke a stick at — that our fam­ily has eaten since my­sis­ters and I were kids). The turkey is brined the day be­fore Christ­mas, and the brandy but­ter whipped up. So far, there have been no culi­nary catas­tro­phes (if you don’t count that flam­ing turkey the time I got all smar­ty­pants and de­cided to put the poul­try on the bar­bie).

Manyof our favourite foodies have their own­fam­ily tra­di­tions — Swedish su­per-chef Mag­nus Nils­son is look­ing for­ward to a 60-dish Scan­di­na­vian buf­fet, Rick Stein will be eat­ing goose in Cornwall and Aussie Brett Gra­ham of Miche­lin-starred The Led­bury in Lon­don will be tuck­ing into roast teal and game tea be­fore go­ing for a stroll in the Berk­shire coun­try­side.

Th­ese chefs and more re­veal their world of fes­tive flavours and handy kitchen tips on Page 6. I’ll def­i­nitely be tak­ing Stein’s ad­vice and pop­ping the pud in the mi­crowave this year, rather than wait­ing an eternity for it to re­heat on the stove.

Su­san Kurosawa is on leave

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