Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas comes early in the photobrook house

When I was in my early twenties I made the decision to move over 300 miles away from the family home, to sunny Cornwall leaving my family in Essex. So when it comes around to Christmas I find it hard to see my family, getting time off work to make the journey back to Essex, for my family to get the time off to make the journey to Cornwall and then there's fitting in my partners family as well, it all becomes a challenge fitting everyone in.

This year my family from Essex decided to make an early Christmas visit to us and celebrate Christmas early. The first weekend in December my family made the journey down to Cornwall whilst we prepared the Christmas decorations, gifts and food to create Christmas just a few weeks early.
christmas table and decorations

With the table prepared and the family enjoying an afternoon glass of wine it was time for me and the boyfriend to rise to the challenge of creating a full roast Christmas dinner for eight people, 
The key to a good roast dinner is having a well timed schedule. Starting with the meat and working backwards from when we wanted to eat we worked out the the huge joint of pork would need three hours to cook. So at 4pm with the joint laced in huge amounts of sea salt it was into the oven whilst operation peeling veg commenced. With my boyfriend, my sister and my mum on hand we had spuds, carrots, parsnips and swede sitting happily in pans of water ready for their appearance in the schedule. 

With a christmas roast dinner it's all about the trimmings and even though we were having pork we had to have a giant sharing yorkshire pudding and cauliflower cheese thrown in for good measure, not to forget pigs in blankets, onion gravy and homemade apple and cinnamon sauce. Whilst the pork cooked for the first hour the veggies were prepared and the onion gravy and festive apple sauce made. This is the easiest recipe and so much nicer than apple sauce from a jar so I thought I would share the recipe below.

Christmas Apple Sauce Recipe

 2 cooking apples - peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks
 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar
 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
 2 tablespoons water

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the apples, sugar, cinnamon and water. On a medium heat dissolve sugar, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft and have turned into a thick sauce. It's really that simple and tastes amazing!!

With an hour to go the roast veggies went in, the pork came out to rest and the yorkshire goes in. 
Pork for Christmas
With tummies rumbling and the wine flowing we were all delighted when the sharing yorkshire pudding came out and we could start dishing up after our military operation of preparing the perfect pre Christmas dinner. 
Giant Yorkshire pudding

Family Christmas

The family have now gone back to Essex and the house feels rather quiet but we still have the comfort of lots of left over food and wine from the visit to keep us fed and watered.

Do you have a favourite festive recipe? Do you make something challenging only at Christmas? I'd love to hear about your favourite festive recipes and your perfect additions to any roast dinner in the comments below.