It’s New Years day and I’m feeling remiss about not having made the time to write more. Its not so much about the cooking, as I’ve been doing plenty of that but from the beginning of November when I returned from short trip to Malaysia, there have not seemed to be enough hours in the day. Juggling a busy full time job as well as parenting teenage boys and embarking upon a small building project at home has pretty much taken up all my time. Why didn’t anyone tell me that teenagers are harder work than toddlers?! And the stress of finishing a building project on Christmas eve?! I look back and think why did I plan that… although it was better option than moving house!
In between the craziness I cobbled together meals to feed the hungry teens and made the most of batch cooking at the weekend so my weeknights were a little less stressful. One of my greatest successes was a soy/hoisin/ginger slow roast pork shoulder on a Sunday which reincarnated itself as a weeknight meal with steamed Hirata buns and shredded spring onions and beansprouts. Christmas lunch was planned meticulously… we were just four so I decided to be very indulgent and cook Beef Wellington with Truffle Mash. Thankfully i found truffle butter online from the Truffle Hunter which made it pretty easy and really delicious. My eldest also requested a Custard tart as an alternative to Christmas pudding… with 3 days notice! Having never made one before i was slightly sceptical, but thanks to a Delia Smith recipe, with the addition of some cinnamon to make it more christmassy, it was a success!
For me, the nicest thing about the Christmas staycation is catching up with friends and just hanging out at home. We have an annual tradition of a lunch with a couple of my besties from my university days… with a gaggle of teenagers in tow now, yet our ability to slot into each others lives and pick up where we left off is always there. Just a few hours of copious amounts of fabulous food, wine and a tonne of laughter is just what every girl needs! This recipe for success repeated itself on New Years Eve with a small gathering of friends and teens at my home… we ate, we drank, we danced, we sung… looking back on 2018, I definitely want to carry on the love and laughter as we head into 2019. Happy New Year!
A small selection of my Festive season cooking…..