It is usually, and has been for some time, my job to cook Christmas dinner. I have always enjoyed it - the logistics, the timing, the feeling that I am doing something useful rather than hanging round. As I bring this one to a successful conclusion, I realize , though I can't be precise, that I must have myself been responsible for about 4o Christmas dinners. It has been goose, but it is usually turkey. Though I get the best of both world by roasting mine wrapped in muslin which has been thoroughly smeared with goose fat. What can you do with the remains of the bird? Soup, risotto, sandwiches( sharpened with a little lemon juice and mollified with chestnut stuffing), rissoles, and cold with a fresh and invigorating salad.
I see a squirrel it mouth full of leaves race up a tree to refurbish its drey. As it reaches its destination high in the tree, a single leaf flutters to the ground.
Do I imagine it, but are the pigeons, which waddle across the grass and the paths in the Grove fatter and more relaxed than usual, this spring-like, sunny Boxing Day?
Main shopping oversight this Christmas: forgetting to buy goosefat. Not to embalm the turkey (never thought of that...) but to roast the potatoes. Olive oil is good for the rest of the year but for Christmas it should be goosefat. Or at least duck.
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