Another year, another Christmas. The second in my new place and the second time I hosted Christmas Eve for the family before the more traditional turkey and pudding on the day at Mum and Dads place.
So for this feast I created a spread of canapes around my penguin inspired advent calendar (the orange, blue and black thing at the back). Food included cherry tomatoes stuffed with goats cheese and cranberries, oven roasted oregano sea salt pita crisps (oh so simple but very nice, just store bought pita bread cut into triangles brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper and oregano and laid on a baking tray in the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp up very nicely). There was little tartlets filled with tuna, cucumber and lime and another with roasted eggplant, sundried tomatoes and serrano ham. I had a cheese platter with a lovely French goats cheese rolled in herbs and an Italian pecorino matured in honey and hay. I made a cauliflower, cheddar and tuna dip (just those three ingredients whizzed round to creamy purree and seasoned). There was cucumber rounds filled with hummus (very tasty leftovers from a friend who made it themselves) and salami. Then there was a decadent salad in Christmas flavours, the base is chicken poached in galangal, kaffir lime leaves, ras el hanout and a touch of chilli, that was then shredded and combined with snowpeas, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, coriander, fennel, roasted potato and sweet potato and caramelised red onions.
Dessert was a special, I had made my gingerbread cake the week before for a barbeque and had some left over which I crumbled up into the base of trifle glasses and then added a splash of rum, grand marnier, morello cherries and a chocolate hazlenut cream poured over the top to make little Christmas flavoured trifles. I even toasted my own hazlenuts for the cream component.
Finally here is a glimpse of my Christmas Tree. This is for me the most special part about Christmas. No lights or tinsel here either, each decoration has been collected throughout my life and travels. Every baubel hanging on there is different and interesting and is attached to a memory from my past. Food might shift and change around from year to year but this tree will always be with me (albeit a different pine tree to hang it all from of course)