Tastes of Christmas

Christmas Cake, made by my mother from Granny’s recipe – rich, more-ish and, best of all, still around to enjoy with pots of tea.

My aunt’s fabulous Plum Pudding, eaten after Christmas dinner with lots of Brandy Butter and oodles of cream.

Black pudding from Hanley’s of Mitchelstown, nicely flecked with oatmeal and hot from the pan with some late homegrown apples cut into segments and caramelised.

Greatfood2buy‘s Wild Cranberry and Apple Chutney, with toasted cheese sandwiches (particularly anything involving blue cheese) and, especially, with the aforementioned black pudding.

An almost disastrous Stephen’s Day soup – Ham and Pea this year – which got left on too low a heat during the family’s traditional woodland walk so that the peas almost didn’t disintegrate in time for lunch. Some rapid simmering and cheeseboard distraction saved the day, however!

Slightly stale Stollen, toasted under the grill until brown and bubbling, buttered and served with mugs of cinnamon hot chocolate in front of the fire.

The traditional family post-Christmas dish: left-over ham and turkey stripped off the bones, heated in a simple Mushroom and White Wine Sauce and dolloped over sourdough toast or steaming heaps of garlicky mash.

Savoury tarts made for visiting family – a seasonal combination of broccoli, Cashel Blue, fresh cranberries, chorizo and caramelised onions snuggled together under a custard blanket.

Little wooden crates of brightly coloured clementines, heaped under the Christmas tree and eaten in great quantities as the antidote to Christmas excess…

Caroline

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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