Stick to a plan and yule be fine
So far, there have been no culinary catastrophes, if you don’t count that flaming turkey
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