Saturday 10 December 2011

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas . . .

Remember those targets from this morning?  Well, I did clean the kitchen windows - it's nice to be able to see out again!  The living room is still looking - er - unfortunate.  The books are still on the shelves.  But there's a goodly aroma filling the house.

I went shopping this afternoon.  As well as all the other stuff, I wanted to get a turkey drumstick to boil up to make the gravy for the Christmas dinner.  I haven't got time to faff around with the stock that comes off the bird on Christmas Day - that makes Boxing Day gravy and also turkey dripping to have on hot, buttered toast (mmmmmmmmmm - that takes me right back to childhood). 
Unfortunately, there were no turkey drumsticks in Morrison's but there were some packs of likely looking chicken wings on special.  Now, I don't usually buy chicken wings, there's far too little meat on them and too much bone, but for a good tasty stock they work extremely well.  So in the stock pot they went with some onion, carrot, herbs from the garden (good old garden) and garlic cloves and at the moment they are all gently simmering away.  The meat will not be wasted, but it's a side product.  I will also boil up all the innards that come with the Kellybronze turkey and mix the two to make THE most scrumptious gravy for The Day.  There's rarely any left over.
Beside the stock pot, some onion, bacon and garlic is gently frying, to be mixed with sausage meat (acquired by purchasing good quality sausages and taking off the skins), chestnuts, dried cranberries steeped in port and a few other good things (including fresh breadcrumbs made from a loaf I baked this morning) to make stuffing balls.
There's a slight difference of opinion regarding stuffing in our family.  Mum's traditional stuffing is really very nice made as it is with sage, onion, fresh breadcrumbs and ham, plus a few other ingredients, it goes inside the bird and is soft and gooey.  Mine is firmer, I don't stuff my bird, I put onion, herbs and lemon in the cavity and cook the stuffing (which always has chestnuts and cranberries) separately.  To satisfy all tastes, I make mine, Mum makes hers (which does have to be cooked separately from the bird) and there's a choice on the table.  Most of us have both!  It's a win-win situation, isn't it?  I also take delight in making some good old fashioned sage and onion stuffing for DD, who is vegetarian.  Might add some cranberries to that too.  :0)  Ooooh, I do love Christmas cooking.

DD has just texted me.  She will be pulling the Christmas parsnips tomorrow and will be coming over to prepare and freeze them.  She's getting a bit worried about the forecast of cold weather and the possibility of them being frosted in.  Quite right too, that would never do.  On the other hand, the frost is just what's needed for the sprouts so one can hardly complain.  So this home is destined to smell very Christmassy for the whole weekend.  No complaints from me whatsoever!

 so . . . it's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas . . . (contented sigh)

It's beginning to look a lot .like winter too!

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