This week on the blog author Colette Kebell is telling us all about her Christmas traditions, and as it’s already halfway through December it would be rude not too!
Hello all and many thanks Katie for hosting me on your blog this Christmas.
I was going to write about my books, or rather having won a contract in Italy for a new book, but that would have been perhaps a little distasteful due to the time of year (it being a raunchy, so instead, I’m letting you know a little about my second passion; cooking. More particularly our Christmas Day traditions. I’ll be asking you some questions along the way and would love to hear your answers.
So, the big day has arrived and, as has been the norm of late, I’m up before dawn even has a chance to break. I’m busy in the kitchen, not preparing breakfast as you might think, but all the vegetables that accompany the main event. Are you an early riser? Do you even eat vegetables? If so, which are your favourites? We traditionally have Goose each year and so that, other than pricking the skin, more of less looks after itself. Vegetables having been prepped, a vast selection I might add, I always go overboard with food, it’s time to turn to the Goose, or more importantly the stuffing. This is probably an acquired taste for some of you as I use a Michel Roux Junior recipe which involves duck livers, so you might want to stick to a more traditional bacon, onion and corn stuffing…
Goose is quite a fatty bird, so the skin needs pricking regular to release that. The good thing is though that the fat does not go to waste as it can be used to make the most delicious roast potatoes. Whatever you do, don’t be like my Mum though… she hasn’t made a decent roast potato in years as she just puts raw potatoes in the oven…what you need to do is par boil the potatoes first in slightly salted water, drain them, fluff them up in the colander and then add them to the fat, coating them well. You can’t go wrong with goose fat roasted potatoes. Then for the rest of the vegetables, you have choices, you can make things really simple and add them all to a tray and roast them, or my preference is steam some and roast others. I tend to go overboard with vegetables as I want leftovers for Boxing Day to make Bubble and Squeak, but there isn’t a need to if you aren’t a fan. So some of what I cook are:-
Spiced red cabbage
Sprouts (you either love them or hate them and I fall into the second camp, which one to do you fall into?)
Roasted carrots and parsnips
Potatoes for mashing (yes, I make both roast and mash)
Carrot and suede puree
I could add to this list with all manner of other things, but guess you now have the gist. Examples of the state of my kitchen are below:-
Yes, I have pots and pans all over the place and have to juggle my four-burner hob. I miss my range cooker, but that is a different story…
So now that I’ve done all the prepping for the main event, I turn to breakfast and usually, by that point daylight has arrived and it is time to wake up my sleepy husband. He’s not a fan of mornings so I have to do that with trepidation. More often than not though I chicken out and just shout upstairs to him… he’s either going to be grump or not, at least initially… does this ring any bells with you? Are you a morning person? Is your other half one?
Our traditional Christmas Day breakfast is Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs, so no great shakes, at least as far as preparation is concerned, but it is delicious and is accompanied by a glass of Bucks Fizz… you might think that somewhat boring, but why mess with a good thing.
As for dessert, that could be anything from a low-fat Carrot Cake, Pecan Pie or even a boozy Triffle, depending on what mood I was in on Christmas Eve. I haven’t planned for this Christmas Day’s dessert yet, as we are supposed to be going out to the Burlington Hotel for dinner this year with my parents, providing we don’t go into another lockdown… so I shall be planning one for Boxing Day instead. Don’t worry though, we shall still have our Goose, but on Boxing Day this year, unless the unexpected happens.
What are your Christmas traditions? Do you spend it with family/friends? Do you go the whole hog with the cooking like I do or do you prefer a simpler life?
This is a picture of what you could do if you decide a tray bake is the way to go this year. I’m tempted by it as it would make life so much simpler though there would still be all the prep work.
I’m going to leave the dessert photos alone… too many options and I don’t want to fill up Katie’s blog too much, but I’ve given you a few examples to mull over and have a go at if you are up for that.
I guess I better turn to my books now, at least briefly. I write mostly romcoms with the odd thriller and raunchy thrown in for good measure. I tend to get bored fairly easily, hence I switch genre when the mood takes me. I’m lucky that my books are well received, so I must be doing something right.
So if you are up for a romcom, then these are the links to my current ones:-
If you prefer a good thriller, then this might be right up your street:-
Or if you are daring and want to be titillated then this is the raunchy:-
I have other books under way, but none that are ready to be launched yet, other than the latest Italian raunchy. You might wonder why my books are all also in Italian. That is due to my husband being a fantastic person and translating them all for me. He is Italian and has a great command of the English Language as well, having lived in the UK now for almost 20 years. I’m lucky to have him, particularly as he translates my books in his spare time, which isn’t much due to him having a fulltime job.
So, that’s a bit about me and our traditions for Christmas, as well as a tiny bit about my books. I hope I’ve not bored you stiff and that you have found some inspiration in what I’ve written. I do wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Many thanks for taking the time to read this and stay safe and well.