"No love sincerer than the love of food"

Easy Like Christmas Morning


turkeyThere is a Christmas advert currently running  for ASDA which tells the story of a busy mum’s preparations for Christmas day.  Mum, who is the hero of the piece, runs around like a blue arsed fly  looking more  worn out and knackered as the ad progresses.  In the end scene we are treated to a rather wan smile from mum.  The message – it may be mayhem and madness but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I beg to differ!

My parents came to us for Christmas last year and as I sat happily with my new cookbook and a glass of fizz  mum commented on how relaxed I was on Christmas Day.  My secret weapon – M&S.  Shock horror, food obsessed blogger buys pre prepared food on Christmas day.  Thing is I wouldn’t dream of doing it on any other day of the year,  but on Christmas day I actually want to just sit and chill and eat the odd chocolate.  I don’t  want to be red-faced and sweating in the kitchen, wringing my hands about the state of the turkey.  To be honest I learned the hard way.

After 30 odd years of being catered on Christmas day by my parents I moved in with BC and we invited the elders to ours.  I spent a silly amount on books, magazines and even a DVD, offering advice on wowing my guests with the perfect Christmas feast.  The Jamie Oliver Christmas DVD was particularly influential as I recall and on Christmas eve I was to be found feverishly making an array of different flavoured butters (as suggested by Jamie) to compliment my many vegetables and fretting over a ridiculously complicated starter.

My favourite sort of cooking is one pot – stews, chillis, curry’s, tagines – you get the message.  Christmas dinner is a multitude of pots and on this memorable Christmas the pots were boiling over.  I got so stressed about the whole affair that I completely forgot to enjoy the day and most of my other guests were concerned about my rising stress levels.  Of course it was not the perfect feast – the sprouts were cooked to oblivion, the turkey too dry. I moaned about my failed efforts all through dinner whilst gulping down wine like there was no tomorrow.   Never again!pud

The following Christmas I was still mentally scarred and decided to cheat.  I went to M&S and bought lovely little chipolatas wrapped in pancetta with rosemary tucked inside, two beautiful varieties of stuffing some succulent rolled turkey breast and a pot of cranberry sauce.  I bribed my Dad to make a good old trifle and made a stupidly simple warm salad to start.  I did prepare my own veg,  but aside from adding a bit of honey and thyme to the parsnips and making sure the tatties were in goose fat – they were very simply presented.

The result of my ‘shove in an oven and cook as long as the packet tells you to’ method worked a treat and I actually enjoyed Christmas.  Many of you may be tutting and advising me  to do it myself but to prepare in advance, but you are wasting your time.  I am now a convert to the cheats Christmas.

This year my dad is in hospital so we will take a three-hour break in the festivities to drive to and from the hospital for a visit.  So this year yet again it is thank goodness for M&S.  The starter will be my homemade wild mushroom soup which I could make in my sleep and a easy peasy pavlova to finish.  Job done.  Therefore the time I do have at home will be spent playing with my daughters new toys, enjoying the food and watching a bit of festive telly.

So here’s to another simple Christmas at Grumbling Tummy HQ!

Merry Christmas one and all xx

2 thoughts on “Easy Like Christmas Morning

  1. Really enjoyed reading this one Hazel. Well done!

  2. Totally agree with your approach … I booked a week in the sun and went out for Christmas dinner!

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