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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

In Delia Smith we trust…

So, I’ve just offered to cook Christmas dinner.

We had the family round last night. As is custom in our house, we ended up talking about food over the dinner table. What we’ll cook for dinner tomorrow night, what we ate last night, that really nice meal we had out the other weekend…

It was then that the conversation turned to Christmas.  Whose house were we going to and who would cook? After having just made my take on Barefoot Contessa’s mushroom and pancetta risotto for everyone, my inner chef was feeling rather confident - it was at this point that she offered up her culinary services.

Moments later, after the responsibility of having to serve up an entire Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings – and I mean all) had sunk  in, I began to have a slight panic. Cold sweat, clammy palms, the lot.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not part of the “how to boil an egg” generation and I can cook just as well as your average food buff. But, there’s one thing that I just can’t master when it comes to cooking – perfect timing.

Coupled with the pressure of having to follow in mum’s Christmas dinner footsteps and the fact I have a yiayia who is a stickler for detail (and a general fusspot in the kitchen – she will literally stand over you and watch you’re every culinary move), I’m essentially screwed. How am I going to manage it?

Since I bravely (some would say foolishly) decided to take on this challenge, I’ve been googling a billion and one recipes on how to make the best turkey/roast potatoes/brussel sprouts/gravy (the list goes on…). The amount of different ways is overwhelming. What is a cook who’s out of her depth supposed to do?

In such times of meltdown, my dad will always attempt to share his pearls of wisdom, and this occasion was no exception. As I’m sat frantically typing “how to survive Christmas day” into Google, he sits beside me and calmly remarks, “Don’t worry Sophi, it all goes down the same hole anyway”. Thanks Pops. Such reassuring words….

Anyhoo, I will attempt to do my Christmas best. If it all goes belly up, I’ll have my copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course on hand. That’s got to be fail proof, right?

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