A very merry Christmas

This Christmas was a year for new traditions chez Shared Table. Not in our home town, in a beautiful borrowed house, with some absent and some new family, this Christmas marked a transition in what we eat to celebrate the festive season.

Cooler weather made sausage rolls a very pleasant pre-dinner option with added bits and bobs.

Pre dinner spread: sausage rolls, Maggie Beer pate, chorizo and gin & tonic

Some things stayed the same though and a glazed ham is an absolute. “Steve” the Christmas ham was glazed old-school style in pineapple juice and brown sugar and dotted with cloves for Christmas Eve dinner with potato and green salads.

Steve, the Christmas ham

Enormous Christmas Eve wheel o'ham and salads

After three slabs of ham plus second helpings of potato salad,  sweets seemed a bit excessive but then, what’s Christmas for if not massive over eating? Shared Table’s little sister made seriously addictive white rocky road with amazing Turkish delight and also bought a log of Sean’s Panaroma nougat: mmmm soft, chewy mouthfuls spiked with dried peel and scented with leatherwood honey. Props to Mum for the shortbread and spice biscuits.

plate of death: almost lethal sugar high

Living on the edge of the desert, Christmas lunch in our hometown was almost always cooked ahead of time and served cold with salads, rather than the hot roast with gravy and all the trimmings. This year of new traditions (and lower temps) saw a return to the trad hot whole turkey, crispy roast potatoes, pumpkin and carrots and brussels sprouts.

We were all too busy making lunch and lying around on the couch to take pics of the meal. However, here’s an action shot of me making the brussels sprouts with almonds and pancetta.

Emily with brussels sprouts, new Christmas dress and pinny

And what’s a proper Christmas dinner without a proper pudding? Luckily my aunty has been making a Woman’s Weekly recipe for years and is now a dab hand – and a very free hand with the booze while it’s maturing.

Pudding is best drowned in custard. Although I got teaspoons and tablespoons muddled up making the first batch, in the end we had a beautiful real vanilla scented custard. Shame we only made half the recipe.

The pudding!

My aunty's pudding with Mum's proper custard

One of the best bits about Christmas is the leftovers. I can’t understand those people who hurrumph with exasperated sighs about ‘oh no not ham again’.  I would almost make the Christmas lunch just to get bubble and squeak at the end.

The mighty bubble and squeak, with ham and condiments, Boxing Day

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are lying on the couch recovering and snacking on leftover turkey, ham, chocolate, pudding, prawns, potato salad, roast beef, goose, bouche de Noel or whatever it is that your family does every year.

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