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"!