What are your special Christmas moments, the ones that get your anticipation building for the big day? For me it’s seeing boxes of cranberries and bulging nets of chestnuts and clementines in the shops; frosty mornings with a sense of promise rather than November greyness; the buttery, spicy aroma of mince pies baking; and mulled wine warming on the hob.
It’s favourite smells, tastes, sounds and personal traditions that make the celebrations special. With that in mind, we asked three food writers who celebrate in different ways to share a family recipe with memories attached, without which Hanukkah and Christmas would be lacking.
We also asked Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall what he cooks for the big feast. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be turkey and I was right – it’s goose. He’s also shared with us the rest of the menu he’s cooking this year. It has lots of special touches yet doesn’t require lots of faff.
Other highlights: Paul A Young’s brownie mince pies, Phil Vickery’s Christmas cake, plus roast turkey, treacly-sticky ham, pork belly and pheasant. There’s also sage advice from Xanthe Clay on staying sane in the kitchen: “If in doubt, delegate”.