Its that time again, the Christmas degustation*. The first year we did it we went for 12 courses, the next year this was bumped to 14, and we all know whats better than 14? You guessed it, for Christmas we made a 15 course degustation lunch from scratch. I thought that this time around I would write about the planning stage because the first question that I am always asked is ‘are you insane?’. I choose to believe that this is a question about all the work that goes into cooking that many courses, and not about my general state of mind. Based on that, read on for the work that goes into that level of Christmas cooking insanity.
The first important step when planning a Christmas degustation is to get your family on board. After an excited “hey Mum I’ve got a GREAT idea” email I got the equivalent of a pat on the head back as a reply. Taking this as full acceptance of the Christmas plan I did the only sensible thing and started a Pinterest board. Lets be clear at this stage, I was just pinning things that looked yummy…no great thought went into it.
A bit closer to December I had a Skype with Mum who started asking if we were really going to go through with it. Now just a bit of an FYI – this happens every year and will happen to your loved ones if you attempt the same. Mum was concerned about the time it would take to plan, when we would do all the shopping, and who would cook. Being the good daughter that I am I just changed the subject and said I wanted to get a tattoo. Trust me, the tattoo distraction thing works every time.
On to December and I walked off the plane and into the welcoming arms of my family. I think the plan was to actually, oh I don’t know, think about this massive Christmas lunch at some point? Distracted by wine, brunch and sunshine it just didn’t happen. So a week before Christmas we had to get our As into G. Putting a bottle of gin just out of reach we vowed not to open it till we had decided about the degustation…motivator in place we set to work. Part Pinterest, part whats in season and part just really wanting that gin we quickly wrote a list of courses and a shopping list.
In terms of actual food prep we again hit a bit of a snag. Originally we planned on a full two days of kitchen cooking before the Christmas day, but then Dad suggested a trip to Waiheke to visit the vineyards. Turns out you can do all the required prep in one day!
One day in the kitchen, with Mum and I enjoying hanging out way too much was all the prep we needed. Next post…the 15 course degustation.
*The eagle eyed among you may have twigged that I am posting about Christmas in February, my justification for this is that New Zealand normally dosent get the Doctor Who/Downton Abbey/Call the Midwife Christmas specials until about now so I’m giving the UK a taste of its own medicine. Thats my story and I’m sticking to it.
This post was in no way sponsored by anyone at all except for my Dad who made me gin and all opinions are my own because its my damn blog and I can write whatever the hell I want. #honestbloggers