On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 pipers piping, 10 Lords a leaping… and a bountiful of other fine gifts.
Fish pie with leaping Salmon and Maris Piper piped potatoes
We are nearing the conclusion of our mammoth 12 day food journey and as my waistline cannot handle much more of these rich pickings, today I am combining days ten and eleven and present to you – fish pie. Continue reading
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine ladies dancing.
I do enjoy watching a good Viennese waltz on Strictly Come Dancing; this classic ballroom dance is elegant and graceful and it takes a delicate touch to perfect.
On day nine of our song the ladies are dancing and for me Viennese whirls – little bites of sweet buttery biscuit and jam – have waltzed away as the obvious choice for today’s recipe. Continue reading
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a milking.
Hot Chocolate with Bailey’s cream
I have taken a break from food today and instead will shine the spotlight on that old winter favourite – hot chocolate.
The inspiration for this one came from Harlem, a cafe close to my work where the menu board had advertised Bailey’s hot chocolate in the run up to Christmas and had me salivating every time I walked past it. Continue reading
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.
Meringues with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce
I decided floating meringues would best represent a swan swimming on the seventh day of Christmas and have worked very hard to create an elongated neck line the Strictly Come Dancing judges would be proud of.
Getting this recipe right has been a technical challenge; baking meringue and making custard from scratch has proven to be a difficult task for a cook who doesn’t like to follow strict processes. Continue reading
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…
Boxing Day has arrived, Christmas is technically over and we are left wondering what all that fuss and gluttony was really about.
I ate so much yesterday, my elasticated jogging bottoms feel tight and there is still a small mountain of turkey to get through today. Continue reading
Festive whiskey marmalade
Let me start by wishing you all a Happy Christmas, I hope Santa delivered lots of lovely gifts.
So as the song goes today’s gift is five gold rings, the best line in the entire song; I save my limited higher register of my singing voice for this one every year. Continue reading
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…
Today folks I present you with what is possibly my most literal interpretation of the song lyrics; a four-bird-roast using chicken, turkey, duck and pheasant.
I conducted much research in preparation for this one and there are many variations – some recipes use partridge and goose – but I decided to use the birds I like most and as the pheasant is the smallest and most delicate of the meats kept it to the centre. Continue reading
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…
Petit quiche Lorraine x3
For today’s recipe we are going all continental with my mini quiches. Eggs are the principal ingredient in quiche, and while the hens might be of Irish descent, this recipe is named after Lorraine – a region in France – thus ticking the boxes for day three of this Christmas food journey. Continue reading
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…
Orange and cinnamon shortbread biscuits
Today I present to you dove-shaped shortbread biscuits – while I am taking this mission seriously, doves will not be harmed during its course.
This is my take on a shortbread recipe from an old cookbook I found at my parents house; I have added orange and cinnamon for a festive touch and adapted the originals timings.
Cinnamon gives my ‘shortbread’ a darker colour and a crunchier texture, they are more ‘biscuity’ than the original recipe intends, but this is what makes them a tasty little sweet treat. Continue reading
In this old English carol, it seems the singer revels in reciting the list of elaborate presents their true love gives to them on each of the 12 days of Christmas, yet dig deeper and it is more than a tale of festive overspending.
It is said each line of this Christmas Carol has a hidden religious meaning and was written in the nineteenth century to help Christians understand their faith; for example two turtle doves represent the Old and New Bible testaments and four calling birds symbolise the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
This might not be breaking news for some of you, but it was news to me as I had previously hoped someone did receive five gold rings and 10 leaping Lords as Christmas gifts. Continue reading