Festive indulgence – a tradition to be preserved in this crazy year of new norms


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when catching up with family and friends, parties, and decadent food and drinks are usually enjoyed with a generous dollop of festive cheer.

In these uncertain times none of this can be taken for granted and 2020 has become a year many would prefer to forget.

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Day four will leave you wanting more; prepare for the meat sweats with this decadent four-bird roast

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 second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves And a partridge in a pear tree.

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

The 12 Days of Christmas; more than just a festive song

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

A not so Christmasy Christmas Chocolate Cake

Christmas is upon us again and it is the season to over-indulge and eat, drink, spend and be merry.

Sadly this Christmas I am unable to over-egg any puddings as an ‘unfortunate incident’ involving broken glass and my ring finger has rendered me unable to bake; on the plus side though I have been given a reprieve from the usual Christmas dinner ‘donkey work’ of peeling and chopping vegetables en masse. Continue reading