Having the fruit happily sloshing around in some rum on the worktop in the kitchen waiting for me to get some time to turn it into the Christmas cake has obviously triggered some kind of Christmas warning buzzer in my head, and I'm finding myself constantly thinking about it - and mainly the food.
This year we are going to be on our own for most of Christmas Day which means we can do as we wish and cater entirely to our own food fancies. As you'll see, these aren't particularly elaborate or quirky, but the opportunity to just have to cater for ourselves without taking into consideration the unknown foibles of others, is lovely. As I was walking the dog this morning, my head was full of this and that. I am also trying to make sure that I can get stuff done ahead so that on Christmas Day itself (and lets face it for the rest of the holiday), I can relax. Not that I don't find cooking relaxing - it's something that I enjoy doing, but at Christmas, and especially if it's just us at home, I feel like I want to make sure I don't have too much to do. That's also not to say that there won't be times when I just want to shut myself in the kitchen with Nigella and my Rangemaster and bang some pans around, but it would be nice to know that if necessary, it's mostly all already done and in the freezer.
So far, I have decided that I am going to bake a batch of Nigella's cinammon buns (Domestic Goddess) for us to eat on Christmas Day morning after the present frenzy, with some lovely coffee. These are totally fabulous and they freeze well so if I can make them ahead and get them in the freezer they will make a brilliant breakfast, warming in the oven whent he children open their stockings. We will have to walk the dog and I'm hoping for a lovely frosty morning (I'm such a romantic) in which we can stride over the fields, the kids laughing merrily, rosy cheeks aglow, before returning home to some smoked salmon and champagne (or schloer for the kids - their new favourite 'special drink') in front of a blazing fire... You just know it's not going to happen - I can but dream.
In fact, I have obviously been dreaming too much because that's where the planning has stopped, lost in a hazy glow of indulgent daydreams. The husband and I need to decide if we're going to return to Turkey (the last time we were at home for Christmas we had goose), and I am thinking of some kind of chocolate log for pudding - maybe a kind of chocolate swiss roll because I think they freeze quite well, and I'm on the case for something vegetarian to feed the mother in law who is coming to take us to the panto on Boxing Day. Other than that, beside from making sure there is some nice cheese and a decent tub of chocs in the house, that's as far as I've got.