There are two approaches to Christmas: some buy it all from John Lewis and Waitrose but I like it to be a little more homespun.W
hen we were little we would decorate the tree on Christmas Eve with decorations we had largely made ourselves and we would then deck the rest of the house with greenery Mum gathered from the garden.
If we were really good she would let us loose with a gold and silver can of spray paint. Each year I have a stab at making my own wreath for the front door. It forms a perfect ring around our giraffe door knocker (…) The holly, ivy and yew are homegrown but I don’t have enough berries in the garden at the moment. The birds have stripped the hawthorn and my other hedge plants are too small to fruit.
On the vegetable front the sprouts have been very disappointing this year – which is a problem since we are a family that loves sprouts. They are rather small and frilly. The tight little balls of leaves have started to grow on and would eventually produce flowers. I don’t think they had enough water when it was very hot in July.
The parsnips will definitely feature prominently on our plates as will the red cabbage which has been one of the stars of the vegetable garden this year.
My lovely beetroot (just so versatile!) totally transformed one dish: I found an amazing Scandinavian recipe for beetroot and horseradish cured salmon and it is utterly divine. And of course my Nana’s mince pies and Delia’s sausage rolls are the finishing touches to the festive season.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!