Christmas time to a homecook is what I could imagine tournament season being to a rugby team.
I say ‘imagine’ and ‘tournament season’ because I am not a sports fan and have no idea what it feels like or what to call it, but the battle-ready adrenaline must be mimicked across both passions, surely?
As someone with a passion for cooking, I do always feel somewhat revived at Christmas . My Kitchen is somewhere I escape too throughout the year, but during the Winter months there seems to be a new serenity.
Of course, I am not naturally festive. I worked as a Marketing Manager for a shopping centre for years so Christmas for me always started in March so by the time the Christmas started for everybody else I was already gearing up to punch the nearest thing that resembled the festive season.
So when the weather is acting like a stroppy teenager and my mandatory twinkly tree is up, I often feel like all of the usual Christmas elements feel like forced fun. I don’t get into the Christmas spirit easily. But then as soon as I start cooking food geared around the Winter season, my mood changes.
Now I see cooking as an optimal time for me to dive into my passion for cooking and food with a seasonal switch that feels like a celestial welcome as opposed to forced fun, that is so often connected to the Christmas season.
And luckily, my seasonal spirit comes aligned with numerous recipes that I offer to you and hope they usher you into your own personal winter wonderland as they have to me. These recipes are not “Christmas dinner” recipes, but recipes you can introduce into your rhythm that allow you to fully embrace the festive spirit with minimal stress and maximum enjoyment.
Ginger Carrot Soup with Garlic Butter & Crispy Serrano
Rosemary Butter Chicken & Roast Grapes with Cider & Stilton Gravy
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Pudding
Cardamom Pear Upside Down Cake
Double Chocolate & Cherry Rye Cookies
Burnt Butter Brownies with Sour Cream Ganache
And of course, to wash away the sins of the night before… a Bloody Mikey