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Christmas Dinner

28 Dec

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This year we decided on a duck from Abel and Cole (much to the disappointment of my son, a traditionalist who believes turkey is the only meat for Christmas..). We also ordered our Christmas veg from A&C. It was delivered on the Sunday before Christmas, all in perfect condition, along with a very useful booklet full of advice and recipes.

We decided to prepare as much as we could on Christmas Eve (and I’m very happy that we did – it was a very relaxed affair on Christmas Day) – the potatoes (Rudolph reds – very festive!) were parboiled, parsnips and carrots were chopped and left in water with a squeezing of lime juice (I couldn’t find a lemon, but it did the job), and the duck was de-gibbleted as soon as we could work out how to do it. I then browned the giblets and prepared a stock for the gravy by boiling them up with some water, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns and carrots.

On the big day, we basically just threw everything into the oven (honey and olive oil glaze was added to the carrots and parsnips along with a sprinkling of cranberries). Food was enjoyed by all (even the aforementioned traditionalist), and the leftovers have kept us going for the last few days. I did in fact cook a second dinner of roast beef on Boxing Day and lazily decided to just repeat all of the side dishes for simplicity and to use up leftovers.

The desserts were made by my children.


Victoria Sponge Cake

26 Apr

Victoria Sponge Cake

Potato and Fennel Bake

25 Apr

Potato and Fennel Bake

We’d never had fennel before, but it arrived in our Abel & Cole box and I put it to use in this dish..

I cooked it without the nutmeg, and admittedly had to pour a lot of the milk out because there was just so much of it left! It was lovely, although the leftovers the next day were distinctly more aniseed-y than it was straight from the oven. I think we’ll try something different next time we receive fennel.. maybe a soup?

Chicken and avocado salad with croutons

25 Apr

Chicken and avocado salad with croutons

The salad is simple – a few mixed baby leaves with some sliced avocado and some BBQ chicken (from drumsticks). A little balsamic dressing.

The croutons are just cubes of bread tossed in a little olive oil and grilled in the oven on 180c for about 10 minutes (you could add some garlic and herbs to the oil if you wanted to).