Christmas lunch, along with any Sunday lunch, is doddle of a meal to prepare. We/You/anyone can do all of it the day before. I had made the desserts. Christmas apple pie – like apple pie but make the pastry with butter, eggs and sugar to make it really rich and add mince meat to the apples to make the pie spicy. I’ve also made the family favourite, Lemon Meringue pie. Both of these can be served cold and left on the side board so folks can help themselves.
Sloe gin and blackberry gin, made months ago. Kept in readiness. Poured into tiny liqueur glasses and sipped; a fiery winter warmer.
Mince pies, also made well in advance. Frozen if you want, but mine were made two days ago and stored in an air tight tin.
The turkey has been stuffed with forcemeat, smothered in butter and covered in streaky bacon. The pigs are already in their blankets. The potatoes and parsnips are peeled and cut to size and are covered in water with a good slosh of lemon juice so they don’t go brown. The carrots are peeled, sliced and also in lemoned water. Everything is ready to be cooked. The table is laid, the house is clean and the beds are turned down for guests. I’m prepared for a very relaxing family day.