Ok, first things first, whoever found this site searching for ‘stollen no marzipan’ – are you mental?! As for the person looking for when the giraffes got burned at Paignton Zoo…..
Prototype Christmas dinner went very well over the weekend I’m pleased to say. After a big food shop after work on Friday we had everything necessary and just faced the slightly daunting task of making sure it got cooked in time. Dog Agility was canceled on Saturday morning due to the monsoon weather, and I was unable to train BJJ in the afternoon after cranking my neck doing some groundwork at TSD the evening before. When I woke up on Saturday morning I was in agony (and can still barely move my neck as I write this, 4 days later) and couldn’t think why, but now I remember a particular triangle attempt I postured up through, and I’m sure that’s what did it.
Anyway, I digress, the point of all of that was that I had loads of spare time to get busy in the kitchen. We each took control of certain stuff, and being the man obviously I insisted on preparing the meat! The meat in question was two large turkey crowns (noone really likes the leg meat, there’s not much point in cooking it) and a load of nice cumberland chipolatas wrapped in smoked streaky bacon. I’ll confess that I was nervous about cooking turkey. There are so many stories about over- and under-done birds I was apprehensive and did a lot of reading beforehand to make sure I avoided common mistakes. It turns out only cooking the crowns is actually one of the best decisions I made, as it’s the legs and the bones in them that take the time normally. Using my own amalgamation of the various formulae and instructions out there I decided on my cooking time and got to work.
Brushed with molten butter, cracked black pepper on top and a good knob of butter under the skin and my birds were ready for roasting. Covering them loosely with greased foil was a very good idea, it makes sure the outside doesn’t get done ages before the meat underneath. After two and a half hours at 180°C (fan assisted) the foil came off to crisp up the skin, and after another twenty minutes took them out to rest. They turned out perfectly. I couldn’t have been more pleased, and I’m filled with renewed confidence for hosting in a months time.
The evening itself went brilliantly. All of the veg and other bits and pieces were done at the right time, everyone had piles of food, and the home-made creme brulee worked a treat. We spent the rest of the night with paper hats on (yeah, we even went as far as crackers!), chatting and drinking with everyone and even cracking out the cheese and port later. Due to varying family commitments for people, I’ve never spent a Christmas day and dinner with my friends, this was the next-best thing and really nice.
It’s less than a week until my jaunt to Germany to experience Cologne and the Christmas markets and I’m getting really excited. I realised over the weekend that I don’t own a decent warm coat (not one that fits me anyway) and nothing waterproof at all, so I treated myself to a winter coat in a sale at the outdoors place in town yesterday. Now all I need is an outrageous hat and I’m ready to go. It’s apparently very cold there at the moment; I will be ready. It’s not a very good view of the city, but this webcam on the WDR building shows the Dom and weather. It’s worth checking at night time when it’s lit up.