Getting ready for Christmas!

Christmas came early to Hey Pesto! this year – with my first ever full day ‘lifestyle’ course on ‘Getting Ready for Christmas’

There was great fun organising everything – turning my living room into a ‘pop-up’ dining room and my garden into a temporary flower shop!

The ‘students’ arrived at 10.30 for coffee, scones and mince pies before we started on the cookery element of the day!
In hindsight I was a little ambitious with all I hoped to cover in the morning but we did manage to get through a lot! Thankfully I had made the ice cream in advance!
The menu for the day was:
  • Canapés – Crab & avocado tartlets, sticky cocktail sausages, brie & red onion marmalade tartlets and coronation turkey vol-au-vents
  • Starter – Chestnut soup with crispy bacon
  • Main – Risotto stuffed quail, celeriac & potato gratin, jazzed-up parsnip mash, caramelised potatoes & chestnuts, apricot & hazelnut stuffing balls
  • Dessert – Christmas pudding ice cream
By 1.30 everyone was tucking into canapés and prosecco  (well except for the staff obviously!)

Crab & Avocado Tartlets

Cooleeney Brie and Red Onion Marmalade Tartlets

Coronation Turkey Vol-au-vents

Cocktail Sausages alla Nigella!

After a few last minute vegetable cooking, the guests (yes they were upgraded for lunch!)adjourned  to my ‘new’ dining room where lunch was served to them.

Chestnut soup with crispy bacon topping

Main Course – Sauce to be added!

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

I have to apologise for the lack of colour on the main course plate – I concentrated more on different ways of cooking the vegetables rather than working on the colour! In ‘real life’ I would probably serve something like red cabbage with the quail to add colour! There was a debate over gravy – it’s not a tradition in our house so I never think of including it!

Thanks to Kate for taking the photos at lunch – we were busy turning the kitchen into a flower arranging room!

Once the guests were fed and ‘watered’ they reverted to students and Joanie from Flower Rangers took over – introducing us to the art of flower arranging and seasonal centrepieces.

Joanie shows us how it’s done!

Christmas Wreath

Centrepiece with Asparagus & Strawberries

We rounded off the afternoon with more tea with vanilla shortbread, gingerbread cookies and more mince pies.

Vanilla Shortbread

Gingerbread Cookies

After much hilarity everyone left happy with their goody bags and recipe booklets.

And once the tidying up was done Joanie and I celebrated a job well done

Cheers!

A big special thanks to my sous – chef James who played a blinder – I hope he remembers me when he’s famous!

Now the question is – do we do it all again?!

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16 thoughts on “Getting ready for Christmas!

  1. So sad I couldn’t come to this event, Yvonne. This looks absolutely wonderful. I will try to organise myself in the new year, and book in for one of your classes. We have similar fire-places too 🙂 Mine has white fairy-lights in it all year round. (Too mean to put it on for real, learned the hard way!)

  2. I’m sorry I had to cry off at the last minute, things to do in preparation for my upcoming life changing event.

    You fairly spoilt your students/guests – i hope they appreciated it !

    Siobhan

  3. It was wonderful Yvonne. As one of the aforementioned”guests” I can only reiterate what’s already been said and advise everyone to book in for the next one! Nice one, Yvonne!

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