Playing catch-up…

Things are finally calming down around here.  We’ve put up the Festive decorations.

Instead off using the saved Purple Sensation seed heads (sprayed silver) on the tree, this year I’ve hung them around the kitchen.

Teachers presents have been made and handed out and School’s out for Christmas,

just in time for more snow here in Kent, again bringing everything to a standstill.

As you can see, there’s not a lot of the vegetable garden visible and to be honest, it makes me feel a lot better about the lack of effort made during those late Summer weeks.  I’m almost glad the Winter salad crops never got going as pretty much everything has turned to a soggy mess with the weight of snow and cold temperatures.  I feel quite happy to play outside with the boys, guilt free that I shouldn’t be dashing about with fleece and cloches attempting to keep the remaining crops alive.  We will start afresh in the new year with a clean slate (well, after I’ve removed all the slimy debris that is).

There was a delay in my garlic order, so that didn’t arrive in time for an Autumn planting, luckily it can also be used in Spring so it’ll sit in a box in a cool spot until then.  I’m not entirely hopeful of ever digging up the parsnips from their frozen beds, but you never know.

For now, it’s all about food and family.  As per last year, I made the stuffing (18th Century Chestnut see the post link), Rum sauce and Bread Sauce for the freezer yesterday.  They all work well made in advance then popped in the freezer ready for the Christmas meal and it cuts out the amount of work on the day.  Hum, just checked out last years post and it has much better photos, must try harder.

Now, I had a big bread sauce discussion with the School Mums and most made gurning faces of disgust at even the idea of a bready, milky sauce with a hint of clove and bay.  Personally, I never make any form of roast game bird without it as we love it!  If you’ve only ever had nasty pre-made or worse, instant sauce, do please give it a go, you never know you may also become addicted.

Bread Sauce

1 Lrg onion

15-20 Cloves (depending how ‘clovey’ you like it, less if you’re not keen)

1 Bay Leaf

1 pint Whole Milk

2/3 Loaf of Fresh Breadcrumbs (white)

Knob of Butter

Seasoning

Grate of nutmeg if you fancy it

Peel and cut the onion in half then stud with the cloves add to the milk with the bay leaf, bring to the boil than take of the heat and leave for at least an hour to infuse.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the milk, remove onion and bay and add the breadcrumbs (Add more milk of needed, or more breadcrumbs, should be quite thick).

Let it heat through slowly for a while so the bread swells and goes mushy, then season (and grate nutmeg if using) and serve with a blob of butter on top.

We also have plenty of stock in the freezer for making gravy and some mince pies (although the boys ate half of every batch I made) so even though I am still playing catch-up, I’m getting there.  Just have my finger crossed that Ocado deliver my big Christmas shop, otherwise it’ll be a last minute icy dash to the local supermarket to see what’s left, again as per last year.  Finger crossed 🙂