When my parents agreed to spend Christmas in Chorlton with us this year, we were ecstatic! With 3 sets of parents dotted across Europe, we usually spend our Christmas holidays travelling constantly and visiting everyone. And although this is of course lovely and we’re very lucky to have lots of family we can visit, we were relieved having only moved into our new house 10 days before Christmas.
We’ve never had a Christmas of our own and I’ve got to admit, there was a huge part of me that was looking forward to seeing if I could accomplish my first Christmas Dinner (on the road to becoming a domestic goddess…of sorts!). But there was lots to sort out: a turkey to order, a dining table to find, a crockery set to acquire…and that’s just the beginning of it. All of this whilst unpacking the mammoth amount of boxes we still had from the move (but more on that later).
So my folks arrived on Christmas Eve to see us settled into the new house. We had nibbles, party food and Prosecco to celebrate their arrival. If you know my blog (or me), you’ll know I lurrrrve Prosecco, so the fridge has been fully stocked across the festive season. I showed-off our new dining table (bought on eBay, from an antiques warehouse in Stockport) and we settled-in in front of the fire for the start of our festivities.
We awoke on Christmas morning to crisp blue skies and lots of sunshine…perfect. First things first, heat the oven! I’d taken the turkey out of the fridge the night before and left it in the kitchen to remain cool overnight and slowly come to room temperature (which means, according to Gino D’acampo, that the meat will be more tender when cooked). According to our estimations, it’d take 3.5hrs of cooking, so we cracked open the bucks fizz and tucked into our toasted bagels with cream cheese and whiskey-cured smoked salmon. Breakfast of champions!
After we devoured this, mum and I went to prep the turkey and get it in the oven. We decided to keep it simple and pushed butter under the skin above the turkey breasts, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. We chose pork, sage and chestnut stuffing which we stuffed into the neck of the bird for extra flavour…ready!
Then it was onto present opening. We were all very lucky this year…
You can tell by the excitement on my face that I love my iPad mini…and my Cath Kidston oven gloves!
And hubby loved his booze…
The morning flew by quickly and it was time to check on the Christmas Dinner. And boy did it smell good! We basted the turkey once, halfway through cooking, in its own juices and we took the foil off just for the last half an hour of cooking. Even Bobbi was licking her lips.
Then it was time! Time to serve my first Christmas Dinner. I served mine with all the trimmings as follows:
Roast potatoes cooked in goose fat, Honey-roast parsnips, Glazed peas & carrots, Cauliflower cheese, Brussel sprouts cooked with bacon and chestnuts, Pigs in blanket, Sausagemeat, Yorkshire puds, Bread sauce, Turkey gravy and of course Cranberry jelly
And it tasted soooo good, even if I do say so myself! I slathered mine in bread-sauce as it’s my absolute favourite and ate atleast 10 roast potatoes. The turkey was moist, flavourful with crispy skin – just how we like it. Just a note on the cooking here: I used Jamie Oliver’s technique of slightly squashing the roast potatoes halfway through cooking, with a masher. You just press lightly on them whilst in their tray, to increase the surface area. This gives more surface to get crispy…and it definitely worked. Mine were super soft on the inside and crispy with crackling on the outside (I’m salivating just thinking of them).
Even Bobbi was in the festive mood and loved the contents of her cracker…
Then it was time for my piece de resistance…my trio of desserts:
Christmas Pudding served with cognac cream, Profiteroles with a milk chocolate topping and white chocolate stars and Sherry Trifle (my personal fave!).
And needless to say, we were totally and utterly full-up! My first Christmas dinner was a success.
For those of you shoppers out there, here’s a bit on what I bought to make our perfect first Christmas in Chorlton:
As we’d just moved into the house, we were lacking a proper dinner service. Whilst last-minute grocery shopping, I spotted this awesome set from Tesco which is white crockery with a platinum band. It’s simple and chic and a steal at £40! We added matching cereal bowls and gravy jug to complete the set for Christmas Day.
I was lucky enough to receive a personally engraved iPad mini as my present from hubby (in silver).
What did everyone else get for Christmas? And more importantly…what did you eat