Some things about cooking a Christmas Dinner are quite joyful.  At the moment though, about half way through and only one sip into my first glass of wine, only the terror of cooking the turkey is foremost in my mind.

This year it is ‘a la Mary Berry’, apparently simple and straight forward!

It is at this point, several hours in that I begin to think that the thermostat on the oven is faulty, or maybe it’s that special meat thermometer?

Uncle Robber has kindly assured me that he doesn’t mind his Turkey a bit dry as long as there is plenty of rich gravy!

Maybe I shouldn’t have put the potatoes in yet,  But then on the other hand, we usually stand around waiting for them whilst they sit sulking and pallidly spluttering in their tin. And I visualised them golden and crispy next to the delightfully glazed carrots and beautifully carved Turkey, maybe!

Rather confidently, but definitely stupidly I am also cooking the ham for tomorrow lunchtime when the hordes will descend for what used to be called a ‘cold collation’.  Now a days it is usually a feast of  ‘left overs’ or in my case the things that took so long to cook today and finally got to the table 24 hours late…………….

There – I bet you never even noticed that I had to dash off to finish off the million and one things that people like, for instance Mary Berry get small kitchen slaves to do.  Or maybe she is just incredibly organised.  And to be truthful I have never been a serene cook. more of a shriek and worrier.

Anyway Uncle Robber declared that he thought that it was the moistest Turkey that he had ever had.  Thank you Mary -Success!

It was rather a nice dinner, and full of memories.  The buttery mashed swede and parsnips.  My father grew all the vegetables and insisted that we had them all with our Turkey, which always led to the same giggling over ‘kind words butter no parsnips’ but ours taste of butter not words,  we always told him.

The fluffy bread sauce, a friend of long ago was a wow at making it and I only have to see an onion studded with cloves steeping in a pan of milk and I am back in her kitchen 40 odd years ago with the our families sharing Christmas.

And every year  when I was little we had a tin of clotted cream delivered from Devon.  We used to stand around Dad’s chair whilst he solemnly broke the seal and with a teaspoon tasted the contents and after much thought he would announce but with a twinkling eye that it was ‘off’ and not to be eaten by children!

And of course it wasn’t ‘off’ at all and we had big spoonsful on the Raspberries that we picked in the Summer and had helped Mum to bottle to last through the winter.

And that is what we had today, Raspberries and cream, proper clotted cream.

My Mum and Dad would never have believed that I could just pop down the road and buy it from the Supermarket, would they?

Just the Ham to glaze and then I can subside and get ready to watch Dr.Who.

 

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