The guys over at Waitrose asked me to blog about my Christmas Traditions. As Mr W and I don’t really have any, I thought I would share with you what I used to do every year on Christmas Eve with my parents (before I moved out).
Christmas Eve is actually the main event in the Pond Household, Daddy Pond is a very busy man and often only finishes for work Christmas Eve afternoon. But the moment he gets home we like to get the party started, we make some cocktails or open some fizz and have some nibbles before heading to Midnight Mass at Worcester Cathedral. After Midnight Mass we usually have tomato soup and then finish our nibbles (always sausage rolls) before heading to bed. To me Christmas Eve is important, it’s a time for us as a family to spend time together.
What you need- A 6 pack of sausages (I used Waitrose Toulouse), 1 pack of Jus Roll puff pastry and 1 large egg (beaten).
What to do- Take the casing off the sausages and work the sausage meet into a dough with a fork. Cut the pastry in half and put the sausage meet down the middle. Brush one side with egg then fold the pastry over and join together, flatten with your fingers. Slice the rolls up into mini bite sized rolls, score the tops and brush with egg. Cook for 25 minutes in the middle of an oven at 200C.
What you need– A pack of yellow and red cherry/plum tomatoes (~250g chopped), 2 tins of plum tomatoes, 1 clove garlic (crushed), 2 onions (finely sliced), 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 litre veg stock, salt and pepper.
What to do– Put the onion and garlic with a glug of oil in a heavy pan on a medium heat, soften. Add in the ketchup and the puree and stir until the onions become red. Add in the fresh tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add in the plum tomatoes and turn the heat up a bit, stir them and crush them a bit. Add in the hot veg stock and turn up to a boil. Cook at a boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 15. Allow to cool for 20 mins, then blend in a food processor, we used a Magimix in the end as we had an accident with our cheap liquidiser… (See below). Reheat in a pan and season! Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche if needed alongside the sausage rolls (wonderful dunked in soup!)
The soup incident… Not a Christmas tradition…
Well I suppose kitchen incidents do like to happen at Christmas, but it turns out our very old liquidiser (often used at cocktail parties…..) gave up the ghost whilst making our soup. All we could do was laugh really… A bit like the time I forgot to put the oven on when cooking Christmas dinner one year… Ooops!
To finish off our Christmas snacks we usually enjoy Mummy Pond’s fruit cake, not normally a fan of fruit cake but sultanas and pineapple make a wonderful combination!
Mummy Pond’s Cake
What you need- 100g sultanas, 125g pineapple (drained/cubed), 2 large eggs (beaten), 200g self raising flour, 125g light brown sugar and 125g unsalted butter.
What to do- Heat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter, cool then stir in the sugar. Add a little flower then gradually add in the eggs, stirring between each addition. Then add in the flour and the sultanas, a little at a time, folding as you go along. At this point pop in a pinch of mixed spices if you have them and stir. Pour the final mixture into a loaf tin and cook for 45 mins – 1 hour. Be quick to cover the top, otherwise it’ll end up like mine did, a little darker than planned (oh how Christmas never goes to plan!) At least it tastes amazing with a cup of tea or a glass of fizz! For what it should look like have a look here.
We also like to indulge with nice chocolates on Christmas Eve, the Prestat Jewel Box Chocolates is just phenomenal and I highly recommend. The Waitrose website also has loads of Christmas Tradition Ideas so check them out.
What are your Christmas traditions? What’s your favourite Christmas nibble? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. * I received the food needed to produce these recipes, as ever all opinions are my own.