I am not a man given to boasting, but if i must boast, let me boast in the Lord's bountiful provision of game, seafood, grass fed beef, and the many culinary blessings of the Orkney Islands. Especially around Christmas time. We have been working on our Christmas feast since summer and are really excited about bringing out our best for our guests - six of whom are flying in from USA.
Here are some of the highlights:
Goose with rowan jelly made from rowan tree in our back yard, ducks from Orkney's St Ola Island, Orkney crabs [which nearly bit me yesterday with their huge claws, Orkney herring in a sweet marinade, venison sausages with chocolate sauce, London Broil from a cow down the road that had a bad leg. I bought the back quarter of it from the farmer. Poor old cow. But I dont think we will be feeling sorry for it as we eat my delicious beef and rosemary sausages [i really did make my own sausages on the MIGHTY Kenwood food processor and sausage making attachment, but thats another story]
ITS A CRUELTY-FREE CHRISTMAS!
All the meat was killed humanely and we know most of the farmers who killed our birds and beef. And I popped the crabs in the freezer to put them to sleep before boiling them - although i was tempted to taunt that big horrible one and get him back for scaring me!
Breakfasts will include gingerbread waffles and crepes.We have German stollen and pepper gingerbread. Friday night pizza will feature a special Christmas pizza - complete with ham, pineapple and cherries. Tonight we will have my beef and mushroom pie cooked in homebrewed stout.
What's to drink at the Jones Christmas Feast?
To accompany our white and red wines, and the mandatory Orkney Highland Park 12 year, I will be offering something closer to home this year. Our homebrewed stout and dark ale and .. . most importantly, our CelticMonk-inspired Heather Ale with heather that we picked in Stenness. I have also made a Christmas mead and a gooseberry wine from our gooseberry tree. It has been aging in my wine cellar for about 5 months. Oh . . and we have some bottles of German gluhwein [mulled wine] for the cold evenings.
And my Christmas Ale? Ahhhh . . just when i was on a roll you would have to ask that. Well, the truth is my glorious Christmas Ale, inspired by Trappist monks in Belguim, and brewed in late summer to give plenty of time for maturation, actually turned out to be total CRAP . . ghastly stuff!! . . if evaporated to half its size and is practically undrinkable. I think the temperature on the first fermentation was unstable and too low so it messed up the whole process. Oh well.
Anyway, I hope your Christmas is also filled with good friends and good food.
Related: Righteous men and eating meat