On the menu – Christmas food


On the Sunday before Christmas I made lebkuchen from a recipe from Great British Bake Off’s Christmas book. I had remembered making lebkuchen last Christmas and absolutely loving them and I thought that I’d used this recipe, I only checked afterwards (🤦‍♀️) but the recipe I used last year was from a Lorraine Pascale book. These lebkuchen were nice but massively overshadowed by the memory of the lebkuchen I made last year, which were much nicer. Pascale’s lebkuchen had a bit of a nice chew to them, these were a little dry.

Tuesday (Christmas Day)

Not the greatest food shot, I was too busy getting food on the table but in the foreground you can see the remains of Minimalist Baker’s Easy pan roasted vegetables, which were relatively nice and in the background you can see Chargrilled vegetable strudel from Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection. The strudel was the veggie option and it was quite nice, although perhaps suffered a little from having to wait around a little whilst everything else was taking its turn in the oven.

I love good warm bread rolls, cheese, proscuitto, pickles and beer for Christmas Day tea. I normally (most years) just buy my pickles from the supermarket but it always turns out to be a bit of a waste, as I don’t really eat pickles the rest of the year. So I thought this year that I would make fridge pickles, I got the recipe from Scandikitchen Christmas by Bronte Aurell, it’s the Pickled Cucumber recipe but it also suggested that you could do it with red onion, so I did both and they were delicious, particularly the onion. Much fresher tasting than pickles from the supermarket, I think I will be making these much more often than once a year!


I’ve been wanting to make this for ages; Bolognese Pie from Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, it’s quite a lot of effort to make but so very worth it, as it’s absolutely delicious. It’s basically a bolognese with a border of spaghetti with a cheese sauce but the bolognese has the genius ingredient of paprika (which may sneak into more of my bologneses now) and the pasta bit is really yummy.

Whilst writing this, I did a quick google to see if I could find the recipe online, considering this book accompanied a TV show. I couldn’t find it but what I did find was a whole load of newspaper articles having a go at Nadiya for this recipe, saying that the recipe was ‘controversial’ because it’s got paprika and cheddar in, ffs, I can think of a few things that are controversial and none of them are anywhere near what you put in your pasta, who’s it controversial too? The newspapers who obviously got a press release saying that the book was coming out (they do at least mention that in the articles) and instead of a nice ‘oh look, that lovely Nadiya from GBBO has a new book out’, decided to have a go at her over a pie instead. The other criticism was that this dish had ‘too many calories’, sigh, yes it’s not diet food but if they’re going to go and have a go at her for that, where’s the criticism of every single (proper) macaroni cheese recipe published ever? There are Nigella recipes that use at least four different types of cheese in her macaroni, this is just a simple white sauce with some cheddar. No we can all guess why the articles are specifically having a go at Nadiya’s recipe and it’s got nothing to do with paprika.

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