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Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Apologies for the lack of post over the last couple of weeks. I was caught a little on the hop by Christmas and everything that goes with it.

However, normal service will resume on Friday with a nice recipe to take you into the weekend.

I hope you all had an enjoyable break and ate some delicious things. We celebrated a traditional Danish Christmas on the 24th starting off with Risengrød, a rice porridge dish that you serve with butter, sugar and cinnamon. This was followed by roasted pheasants with pancetta and pear, and side dishes of mashed potato, red cabbage and broccoli. After that we sang some carols and then opened some of our gifts.

On Christmas Day we had people over to our house after church for nibbly bits of cocktails sausages and M&S's Bacon and Cheese rolls. We roasted our turkey seperately from the stuffing for the first time this year, and were a little suprised at how much faster it cooked. A lot more of the stuffing was also eaten when it was outside of the bird. I think we'll probably do the same next year.

We had prepared the ham the day before so that all it needed was the glaze. Our side dishes were buttered carrots, roasted parsnips & potatoes roasted in goose fat. In all the kitchen chaos we completely forgot about the brussel sprouts, so we had them on Stephen's Day sauted with bacon.

We didn't have dessert either day as we were all just too stuffed from the main event. Though some (okay, maybe a lot) of chocolate was consumed later in the evening.

We got all our meat from our local craft butcher and it was totally worth it as the flavour was brilliant. The ham in particular was especially good this year and was the first of the leftovers to vanish.

My other big meal over the festive season was New Year's Eve dinner. I made a starter of a carrot and ginger soup following the same process as I did here and using the last of the turkey to make a really good stock for its base.

I also roasted my first goose and made some really good stuffing for it too. The stuffing was made with sausage meat, chestnut puree, dried apricots and breadcrumbs. It was based around this outside-in stuffing recipe from the BBC recipe website and tasted delicious. The goose came out really well and I served it with roasted potatoes (using the excess fat from the goose) and carrots.

I finished off with Delia's Lemon Curd Layer Cake, which was the perfect finish to the meal as it's sharpness really cleared your palette and it was sweet without being overly filling.

All in all my family and I ate far too much food but it was all so good, it was very hard not to.


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