Brandy butter

The essential accompaniment to Christmas pudding, brandy butter is easy to make and keeps for ages in the fridge. I’ve learned from bitter experience not to go in too heavy with the brandy: it’s liable to split the mixture, which will still taste fine but will look, unappetisingly, like scrambled eggs. My version includes darkContinue reading “Brandy butter”

Christmas sauces

Here are foolproof instructions for two accompaniments to roast turkey: cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Both can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The cranberry sauce will in fact keep for much longer if kept in a sterilised jar. Cranberry sauce Serves 6 Ingredients Juice of 1Continue reading “Christmas sauces”

Mulled wine

An essential lubricant at this time of year, mulled wine always fills the house with evocative smells. After literally years of experimenting with different versions, I’ve concluded that Jamie Oliver’s recipe is the best. Follow this and you can dispense with those ghastly sachets of spice mix or – even worse – the pre-mixed bottlesContinue reading “Mulled wine”

Christmas Day Brunch

A slap-up brunch on Christmas morning evolved as a family ritual after the grandparents moved to Garde. The kitchen is always a hive of activity, with one person (wo)manning the egg-poaching station, others grilling bacon, laying the table, picking at beigli or sneaking off for last-minute present-wrapping. Liverpool tops, Bloody Marys, chocolate coins from stockingsContinue reading “Christmas Day Brunch”

Hollandaise Sauce

Rosa and Zita are already dab hands at hollandaise sauce but the recipe merits recording because it is a key component of Christmas Day brunch – and indeed gets wheeled out as often as our arteries can stand it when we gather en famille. There are quicker ways to make it than the method detailedContinue reading “Hollandaise Sauce”

Christmas pudding

You might question whether this meets the criteria for inclusion as an established family favourite: although it’s served every year at Christmas, some of you eat it only under sufferance and I’ve made it just twice myself. Nonetheless, it is traditional British fare, an important piece of culinary history, a cultural artefact, and pretty impressiveContinue reading “Christmas pudding”

Red Cabbage

In 1994, when we were living at Gale, I had a small party for my 25th birthday. Baby Sam (six weeks old) received more presents than I did, but one of the presents I got has stood the test of time. Matthew Faulkner gave me a copy of his friend Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s first cookery book,Continue reading “Red Cabbage”