Sunday, 10 June 2007

the menu

Roxie asked in the comments what I'm serving with the turkey today so, since I'm having a quiet cup of tea before I get started, I thought I'd write it out here. This is going to be helpful for me anyway, since it's all only in my head (the plan, that is) and really, a list might be good way to help clear my thoughts.

It's 8am now. I have until 2pm. I'm trying to write it out in order of how I'll be making things.

Most of my recipes are coming from Nigella Lawson, who, being English, uses traditional English dishes, like Bread Sauce, which I think might be a bit foreign to the Americans reading this. She does say in her intro that Bread Sauce is as foreign to Americans as the sweet potato and marshmallow dish she also writes about is to the Brits. I must try that one day. I'm intrigued. I love both sweet potato and marshmallow - but together?? What sort of person invents a dish like that as a side dish for a main course? Mock me if you will. I think it sounds gross - doesn't mean I won't try it out of culinary curiosity at some point.

Ok, to the menu.

1. Cornbread, Cranberry and Orange Stuffing - I'm off to make the cornbread now. I bought tonnes of cranberries for the sauce I'm making, so the leftovers will be nicely slotted into this stuffing.

2. Bread sauce - I've only ever eaten this once in my life and I loved it. I grew up with an English mother but we never had this so it seems intriguing to me. Maybe ex-pats don't make it? It's day old bread cooked in milk that's steeped with onions, cloves etc. Do any Brits reading this want to tell me if it's considered a vital part of your Christmas meal?

3. Cranberry sauce - no need to explain that, I'm sure. The only modifcation I'm making is that Nigella cooks it with a little cherry brandy and I don't have any. I'm sure it'll be sweet enough as it is. She does say to add a little orange juice instead. How you go from Cherry Brandy to OJ is beyond me. And I almost bought the jarred stuff because it's easier but I thought, nah, what the hell. I'm making everything else, what's one more sauce?

4. Maple Syrup parsnips - somehow this doesn't sound as bad as the marshmallows and sweet potato dish, even though it's a similar concept. I just love parsnips roasted. I even have a tiny little bottle of genuine Canadian maple syrup my ex-boss brought back from Canada a few months ago. Exactly the amount required.

5. Roast potoates - enough said. We get that. Although I'm not, as Nigella suggests, cooking them in goose fat. I like my arteries running clear.

6. Greenbeans and lemon - blanch the green beans, refresh in cold water, re-heat in olive oil and lemon zest. Yum. This is a stand by favourite of mine.

7. Snow Topped Spice Cake - this is something I'm really excited about. I wasn't making a traditional pudding because my sister and my brother in law don't like fruit in their cakes. This cake, also from Nigella, seemed a worthwhile replacement. I had to buy a rather expensive Bundt cake tin for it and I made it yesterday. I'll be posting it in the next few days on the Mouthfuls of Heaven blog so you can see how it looks. I'm pretty bloody impressed with it.

OK, that's basically it. The whole meal. I'd better get cracking. I feel like my thoughts are a little more ordered. My sister (her name is Adele, I don't think she'll mind me saying because she leaves comments under own name sometimes) was supposed to be here helping me with this. Sigh. Sean will help, obviously, but he's got important jobs to do like cleaning the toilet and vacuuming. Hmm...who drew the short straw, huh?

Oh and I'm not sure who mentioned my slippers in the comments, but you might be interested to know they were my wedding slippers. I wore a long, red dress and had wanted a little pair of flats to wear since we married outdoors, on grass, and I could just see myself ending up with spiked heels sinking into the grass. So I found these little flats in a shop down the coast one day and they matched my dress exactly! I now just wear them around the house and they're looking a little worse for wear, three years down the track.

Right, enough dilly-dallying. There's a feast to prepare! Wish me luck!