I can’t quite believe how fast this year has gone, and all at once it seems that Christmas is upon us. Do not panic! While a certain amount of stress is unavoidable at this time of year, my aim is to alleviate that with recipes that are as simple as they are seasonal. I have - I am glad to say - far too many festive recipes on the site for me to able to list each and every one of them here, but I’d like to pinpoint a few. I’m starting with edible gifts because for me they are a fabulous stress-buster: I’ll take pottering about in my kitchen over braving the crowds in the shops any day! Chutneys are the easiest edible present, as all they involve is stirring ingredient together in a pan, and letting them bubble away. So click here for my Fig and Olive Chutney and of course Christmas Chutney, studded with cranberries, dates and rich aromatic spices. Lovely though it is to give these away, don’t forget to keep a jar or two for yourself, too.
If you’re having friends drop in then a jugful of something festive comes in very handy. Prettily pink Poinsettia is my festive drink of choice, fruity and bright, and very drinkable - though my Christmas Cup with its seasonal spice is also a crowd-pleaser. For handing round alongside, I’d suggest Panettone Stuffing Squares - think savoury brownies - or Parmesan Shortbreads, which have the very great virtue of being happy to be made a day or three ahead - just keep in the fridge and slice and bake for a moreish nibble on demand. And for the sweet-of-tooth, a plate of Christmas Rocky Road, Star-Topped Mince Pies or Christmas Cupcakes makes for very happy pickings.
I could happily go on and on about my favourite seasonal food - and, indeed, have done so! This year, I’ve recorded my Seasonal Sound Bites - a three-episode podcast available to download for free. Episode one is available now, to get you in the festive spirit.
Speaking of getting in the festive spirit - for me, Christmas always has to start with Edible Christmas Tree Decorations, so it seemed only right to choose them as this month’s festive Cookalong. Do join in - your house will be filled with gingerbready scent, and your tree will thank you!
And last, but by no means least, I’m very proud to announce nigella.com’s first ever Christmas Pudding Hunt! Sign in (or register, if you haven’t already - it’s a painless process, and free), get your detective hats on, and start collecting your puds today for a chance to win a fabulous hamper from Fortnum & Mason.
I wish you very happy Season’s Eatings.