Brussel sprouts MUST NOT BE OVERCOOKED. Ever.

Here are some food related shares of things we like in our house at Christmas:

Add orange rind to mincemeat before you pop the pastry lid on your mince pies, or in fact, anything that needs a little zing.

Ask your butcher to mince half pork shoulder and half pork belly, add a few crushed fennel seeds and some breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.  Makes delicious sausage roll filling.     Oh yes.  And delicious for the main event stuffing.

Put a clementine or two in anything you fancy, in the carrot water, liquidised in a cake, in particular inside the turkey cavity.

Make ice cream – whip lots of double cream, whip lots of egg whites and add x 2 of caster sugar.  Gently fold it all together.  Add flavouring if you like – pureed blackberries make a nice ripple,. cointreau, chocolate chips etc.    Put it in a loaf shaped tin, freeze it, and bingo – perfect ice cream, no churning required.

If you like me find mincemeat a bit claggy, there is a fab recipe here that uses pureed plums and orange as a beautiful base for the fruit and spicing.  No suet, and minimal sugar.  Gorgeous.  Got that one past the elders last year.  My interpretation; no nuts, ginger wine not cordial, cooked the fruit in the booze, probably put more in, used different apples etc. etc.

Brussel sprouts must not be overcooked.  Ever.    They must also be fresh; best taken off the stalk yourself and boiled or steamed for not very long.    They are really delicious thinly shredded and stir fried with red chilli and garlic.  *faints with anticipation*.   Or shredded, gently steamed, and (it is Christmas) and add a little double cream and grated nutmeg to serve.

For the reindeers, add a little magic to your porridge oats – edible multicoloured glitter with a special wish blown on to it – and spread it in the garden, ready for Rudolph and the gang.

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