Saturday, December 22, 2012

What We're Eating This Christmas

This post started off oh so very innocuously.  This morning, I did a phone interview with Fiona Dillon who has a morning show on Radio Kilkenny talking about what we (i.e. me and The Hubs) were eating for Christmas.  I had to tone it down a bit otherwise people would think I was a right lush...

Image courtesy of The Paperless Post

We do start with posh Bucks Fizz for breakfast - fizz and Clementine juice - we're too grand for plain old orange juice with Eggs Benedict.  To be honest, you can have a fry any weekend and to us, poached eggs, great ham, toasted muffins and gallons of hollandaise sauce are the height of decadence in our house, so we save it for very special occasions like Christmas morning.

Preparing the dinner involves a large, solitary gin and tonic with plenty of ice and a large wedge of lime squeezed into it.  It's a tradition that started in my parents house and something I have brought to our own home.  There's something very magical about the fragrance of gin, the sharpness of lime and the chink of the ice that really says "you're running late, peel those sprouts NOW".  I also make a huge batch of stuffing the day beforehand because to be honest you've enough to be doing on Christmas Day without being elbow deep in sausagemeat and breadcrumbs.  My tried and tested recipe is the one that brings together great pork sausagemeat, buttery fried onions and lots and lots of aromatic herbs from my windowsill and freezer.  I bake it the day before, steal half of it on Christmas Eve when I'm on my own and then patch up the rest for Christmas dinner.

Today, I offered to make extra for my Mum who is feeding my brother, my sister and her fiance.  She was quite happy to accept on condition that I didn't use sage, thyme or rosemary as she "can't stand the taste".  Reader, I was horrified.  Even more so when my little brother chimed in that he "hated those yokes too".  I sometimes wonder how I'm related to them!  Anyway, I will make them a special batch of stuffing with just flatleaf parsley and chives as the herby element.

For the rest, we'll be having Pat Whelan's Spiced Beef on Christmas Eve (another thing loathed by my family...), TJ Crowe's ham on Christmas day with turkey, stuffing, roasties, mash, sprouts and whatever else I can cram onto the plate.  My lovely Mammy in Law is bringing dessert so we can choose from trifle or apple tart.  After that, it will be food coma time in front of the telly watching Corrie and Downton with a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet from my precious stash of French wine.

I hope you have a lovely Christmas surrounded by your family and friends.  And in the lines of that immortal song, "if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with"!


  1. Happy Christmas Aoife to you and yours. Looking forward to meeting up again in 2013 x

  2. Yummy! Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas. Sending love, snuggles and gin xx

  3. Sounds really yummy, wish I was invited ;) !! Any chance of giving me some tips on how to deal with the Pat Whelan's Spiced Beef? I'll have my first taste (ever) this year, it came with their wonderful Xmas hamper...

    Happy Xmas!

    1. Magali, I'm just about to cook my spiced beef! This is Pat's guide featuring the lovely Alistair who I've had the pleasure of doing demos with. I'm using onion, carrot, celery, a can of The Hubs' Guinness and some stock to simmer my beef in for about 3 hours.

  4. Happy Christmas Aoife! We had our spiced beef yesterday. YUM! I'm really glad I read your post because I now realise I need to make my stuffing today as well as our planned mince pies and mincemeat muffins. I use a cranberry stuffing recipe that I found a million years ago on the BBC website. Not there anymore but I did find this recipe for leftovers that looks amazing