Did you know it’s Christmas time again?

“Do you remember the year that Nigella told us all to brine our turkeys?”

“No Erin. Normal people don’t remember that”

Because I’m me, I do remember. I vividly remember the year that Nigella told the nation to dunk our turkeys in vats of salt water to let them become succulent and moist. That year, sales of plastic tubs soared in November as people used them to test run their turkey soaking, only to realise turkeys are massive and don’t fit in tubs. Then the public looked balefully at their baths wondering if that was the best way to make sure their turkeys were completed submerged in their salty, salty soak.

Every year we all feel a slight impending sense of doom around Christmas food, how are we going to impress this year? Are canapes still in? Have we catered for all the allergens around the table? What if people don’t actually like apricot and pistachio stuffing!?

So what should we expect this year when diving into December, what madness has Heston created for Waitrose this year?

Once more unto the breach  

“Austerity is over”

Philip Hammond said the words and apparently Christmas food has heard him, and whilst I am undeniably dubious about the reality of his words out in the real world it would appear that we’re not in for a very healthy Christmas. Luxury is back baby. We want rich, decadent stuffed joints of meat, giant sausages wrapped in bacon because bite sized is done and desserts with molten, glittery saucy centres and we want it now.

Desserts

The focus this year is on all things sweet, sticky, caramelly (yes people, salted caramel is officially here to stay) and decadent. M & S is doing some ridiculous chocolate pine cone covered in glitter spray, Good Food magazine is giving our recipes for show stopping Christmas cakes and Waitrose have decided hiding oranges in the middle of their puddings is “festive”

Wreaths are everywhere

And I mean everywhere, puddings are shaped into wreaths, stuffing is shaped into wreaths, turkey is being reconstituted into wreath shapes and it’s all very odd. I get that wreaths are lovely and festive but wreaths are for hanging on my front door not for eating.
In terms of plant wreaths, they are also everywhere, but only half naked wreaths, we’ve taken the traditional and, of course, made it hipster by exposing half of the twisted wood or wire.

Extra fancy stuffing

Stick fruit, nuts and the kitchen sink in it. Heston has apparently been inspired by wassailing this year so wassail we will, especially in stuffing. So think apples people, apples are everywhere. It will also be shaped weirdly, be it in wreath or bundt the lowly stuffing ball is no more.

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Panic stations are go

It landed with a thud on my floor. A weighty thud that with it held a warning, I could almost smell it coming but each year it gets earlier and earlier and I am always slightly shocked. How is it here already!? How are we already talking about it? With these questions the sweats, shakes and nerves start, why haven’t I started planning? Why haven’t I already bought anything and WHY OH WHY haven’t I got my sprouts on yet? I’m talking about Christmas.
The thud was my Christmas editions of ‘Good Food’ and ‘Delicious’ magazines. It’s here. Ground control to Major Tom. Panic stations are go. Oy with the poodles already.  


Christmas. We all love it, well no, that’s a lie, I love it. I love the glittery, the sparkly, the huggy warmth that is Christmas but Christmas as a foodie comes with a certain level of expectation, a level of decadence and class that normal people could never understand. So this year I’m getting ahead of the game and doing my research, what can I do this year that will set me apart and let me tell you it’s hard diving into the murky world of food trends. Once you’ve waded through the piles of chia seeds no-one wants and batted away the fanatics who tell you that you should be used cold pressed avocado oil for everything you start to actually get somewhere, so here’s a list of the things you can expect to see on supermarket shelves and in restaurants this Christmas, buckle up it’s not all smooth sailing

  • The 70’s are back Oh yes, i’m talking prawn cocktails, things that aren’t pineapple un-necessarily shaped into being a pineapple and everything stuffed. However, the main 70’s thing we’ve decided to bring back (for reasons best to know to no-one) is the Black Forest Gateau. Who knows why but this chocolatey, cherry, creamy mess is back with a vengeance, expect to see it murdered by chefs everywhere, lining the shelves in Tesco’s in January and turned into a panettone by Heston for Waitrose.

  • The forgotten meal returns I’m not being funny but literally no-one cares about breakfast on Christmas day. It’s the thing that gets in the way of opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning right? Apparently this year that’s wrong. Brunch is big this year (as if you didn’t know, have you been sleeping under a rock) and Christmas appears to be no exception. Supermarkets have jumped on the trend by creating brunch to go staples for us all to take home so we don’t have to stress about perfectly poaching an egg whilst balancing keeping Granny’s sherry topped up and starting to peel the carrots

  • There’s a new root in town A couple of years ago it was Kale, last year it was Beetroot, this year Celeriac is having it’s day in the sun. It’s in soups, rostis, roasts and just about everything else on restaurant menus everywhere this year. Long live the celeriac unless it’s cooked badly because then it’s bloody awful

     

  • The rise of the vegan We’ve gone meat free mad this year, 2017 has definitely been a turning point for the non carnivores amongst us. Vegan options are cropping up just about everywhere. Including Christmas, Seitan (or wheat meat as it’s sometimes called. Yes you read that right, wheat meat) turkey galore this year, restaurants and supermarkets alike have noticed this though so don’t worry when a surprise vegan knocks on the door then you should be covered

 

Things that are on the outs this year include:

  •  ‘Hygge’ which has been replaced by it’s equally ridiculous cousins ‘Lagom‘ and ‘Ikigai’

  • Upside down Christmas trees but who isn’t glad that they’re gone right? They were terrible
  • Completely brining our Turkeys Another one I’m not sad to see the back of