Christmas – just how you want it.

IMG_1298 (1)Christmas is only five weeks away. With our recent bout of warm weather, I feel tricked into thinking that we still have some time to go.

I really look forward to this time in the year, from a feast perspective, because for me the excitement has always been in the planning, what kind of cuisine will it be, traditional, seafood or barbe
que?  Will it be a large crowd, our little family or a bit of both?

I was not raised in a traditional Christmas dinner household with turkey and all the trimmings. Our Christmas consisted of seafood or ‘steam boats’ (Steam boat being a heated pan of hot broth at the centre of the table surrounded by raw meats, raw fish, vegetables and glass vermicelli. Where the food was ‘cooked to serve’) The broth served at the end was a treat worth waiting for.


Later in life, as Christmas was celebrated more amongst friends rather than with family, different experiences added to the mix.

I genuinely believe Christmas is what one makes it. The people we choose to celebrate with, the setting, the decorations even the games we play, can all determine what kind of occasion it will be.

Different ways to celebrate.

Our family Christmas have the traditional Chinese celebration, seafood type. My Dad, being a chef, would cook a few fresh lobsters and crabs in ginger and spring onion, served up with a bed of crispy thin noodles. It was a serious seafood feast which would take over half the day. Ma’am’s Christmas speech and card games would follow strictly after.

On another occasion, whilst celebrating with some Argentine friends, although being in the middle of winter, the ultimatelamb choice had to be a proper Argentine Asado whole roast lamb, served with traditional Chimi Churri sauce (minced garlic, oregano, parsley, olive oil, chilli flakes and white vinegar) lemon and herb sweetbreads. Goodness, that was a delicious feast indeed! It was my first taste of sweetbreads, cooked to perfection and just the memory of it makes me want to put my Christmas order in now!

There’s something about a good fire in winter time. I vividly remember folk gathered round, sharing stories, (I love a good story!) laughing and joking. It was an amazing atmosphere, the evening finished with the whisky connoisseurs comparing notes and blends from different distilleries. That was the year I was introduced to the 18 year old Yamazaki. I’m not normally a whisky drinker but the 12 year old Yamazaki started me on a curious journey of discovery of how many layers of flavours a whisky can hold. This is a popular Japanese single malt whisky, smooth on the palate with a soft sweetness and a hint of winter spice. The 18 year old, was a far richer, fuller bodied, smooth spicy single malt with hints of dried fruits, vanilla and oak on the finish. It has been a real award winner and tasting is believing. Definitely another one that ticks my Christmas box.

Lastly, a simple occasion was when we decided to have a no fuss Christmas, with just our little family. Little baked cheesy muffins for brunch and a roast with a ritual house starter of smoked salmon wrapped asparagus and prawns or oysters. This was by far the laziest Christmas for us and with lots of catch up episodes of Downton Abbey, what’s not to like over this festive season?

So here’s a raised glass to a wonderful Christmas,

until next time…..

Yuki Solle,

Business development manager