I’m going to minimise my meat intake this week in anticipation of the string of Christmas dinners eaten out at various social dos culminating, of course, in the turkey-stuffing-bacon-sausage combo on the 25th. In my case it will be duck, de-boned and stuffed. It’s just the two of us this year – how weird, but nice.
I can’t minimise the sugar intake though as I do lots of dry runs during these weeks: panettone and Stollen dry runs, the yeasted and sourdough versions, different toppings, different sizes. I call it research. The Weather Man calls it his lucky month.
A good thing to make in advance, incidentally, is fruitcake; it will keep or can be frozen. Why not make my lighter version of the Christmas fruitcake this weekend? One to eat straight away, one for in two weeks’ time. More ideas in my Christmas Collection, with some seriously good tips.
But in the run-up I don’t want meat. I want rice – like the Persian baked rice which is so good it only needs green salad alongside. And if you think you should eat only salad but need just a bit of meat, the lettuce, bacon and blue cheese dish might hit the spot.
If you’d rather have pasta, and double quick and easy, go for potsticker tortellini, ravioli or a pack of – wait for this – supermarket filled pasta (but good stuff, not any rubbish) cooked potsticker style. Or bake a couple of quartered bulbs of fennel with plums and tomatoes and have it with crusty bread.
We can have fish, or those of us who do eat fish; lemon sole for instance. Roast it whole – it’s good value and tasty as long as it isn’t overcooked. Or get some sea bass fillets and smother them in spinach – it’s a fantastic way of cooking fish – I should know, I invented it.
And finally, how about some homemade Lebkuchen to fill the house with festive smells and Christmas cheer? Cutting the shapes, icing and sprinkling them with glitter sugar balls is just the thing to keep the kids happy this week.