Am completely flabbergasted! All my carefully orchestrated efforts to get ready for Christmas early don’t seem to have made a blind bit of difference now that there are only three short days left. Am still rushing round chasing my tail as the Big Day looms large – posting and delivering gifts, writing shopping lists, looking up “how to make brussel sprouts interesting” recipes, sorting out guest bedlinen, chasing stuff ordered on internet that hasn’t quite made it to our door. And my food shopping list is still seemingly endless and am sure I will stick loads more stuff in the trolley once I’m battling my way around Tesco, M&S, Waitrose, the local butcher and the new Hungry Guest deli with it’s very smart chilled fromagerie and freshly baked bread.
I’ve decided to give up on the head/brick wall combo and chill.For goodness sake, I keep telling myself, IT’S JUST A ROAST, not some sort of unscaleable gastronomic mountain. It is just like every other winter weekend’s Sunday lunch, we’ve all done it hundreds of times. But in fairness there is a subtle difference… quaffing copious glasses of champagne at breakfast time on Christmas Day doesn’t exactly sharpen the mind (at least we’re all way too tiddly to care by the time a slightly burnt/raw bird graces the lunch table);furthermore my marvellous mother-in-law who we’ve invited this Sunday is an excellent cook which means I can’t help but feel pressure to come up with the goods on the culinary front. So, to make life a little easier, I have taken the fiendishly clever precaution of roping her in to help and she has magnanimously agreed to do lots of stuff for the big day – crumbly mince pies dredged in snowy white icing sugar, creamy leeks au gratin, perfectly textured stuffing balls, slightly sharp homemade apple sauce and a cointreau-infused cream. How hard can it be for me to stick a goose in the Aga? Bring it on!!