I had the hilarious experience of bring interviewed by ABC Sydney’s Statewide Afternoons presenter Fiona Wyllie last year about tips on giving the perfect gift as a token of your love and appreciation. The interview was hilarious because Fiona had just been given the joint wedding anniversary gift of a toilet. In the context of Christmas giving I suggested thinking about the people you’re buying for, what they like doing, and giving something not necessarily expensive, but a gift they may not buy for themselves. And keeping your calm. Our loved ones don’t want us to be anxious and frenzied. Give a simple gift, your company and attention. And keeping your calm. Our loved ones don’t want us to be anxious and frenzied. Give a simple gift, your company and attention. If you need inspiration or even reassurance have a listen here. Our conservative Christmas postage deadlines are Friday December 11 for WA, NT, QLD, TAS and SA, and Friday December 18 for NSW, ACT and VIC.
We are hosting Christmas lunch at home this year and I am hoping for a carbon copy of last year’s turkey. I followed Stephanie Alexander’s 'brilliant tip' from The Cook’s Companion for a buttered muslin baste (page 1000). She credits Jane Grigson via daughter Sophie Grigson. Simply wet half a metre of muslin, then douse it in seasoned butter (page 1003, or 150g melted butter and grated lemon zest, blended with 2 tsp fresh thyme, torn bay leaf, tsp salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper) and wrap your seasoned bird in it. There is no need to baste and at the end of the cooking you have a beautifully basted, moist and browned bird.
For Pronto Catering’s Sally Clifton’s advice on cooking turkey or pork listen to ABC New England North West’s Food Journey Christmas in July. This includes the sound advice, “make sure your turkey fits in your oven or barbecue” and brine your turkey in a cup of salt and bucket of water for 24 hours to hydrate the bird. I'll be trying that this year. Along with the seasoned butter muslin.