The weekend before the weekend before Christmas

Last week on Sunday The Observer Food Magazine had in it an article on Elizabeth David and a selection of favourite recipes chosen by famous chefs. My eye was caught by a recipe for Pot Roasted Chicken stuffed with olives from French Provincial Cooking. The Farmer’s Market was on the following weekend so I would be able to pick up a good bird.

Back at home I pulled from the shelf in the kitchen my rather battered copy of French Provincial Cooking and looked up the recipe. It was there but on the following page there was a recipe for chicken with tarragon and butter. There is a bunch of tired tarragon in the fridge and it would be shame not to use it up so we will have that instead with roast potatoes and cumin and honey flavoured carrots.

At The Farmer’s Market I was tempted by some great looking ribs of beef. They may be a bit extravagant when there will be only two people eating it but we will eat the leftovers as well. I will leave them until next month. Something to look forward to in the dog days of early January. In the meantime I made do with some Buffalo Rump Steak for Saturday’s lunch. Fried briefly in a smear of olive oil and and then stuffed into a crunchy baguette with a couple of slices of tomato. I bought some Tasty Lancashire cheese for my sandwiches during the week. People have been nibbling at it already and it will be lucky to last until Monday

I have also been attending to some of the preparation for Christmas. This included buying a tree. Not as big as last year but big enough and now up and decorated. I even hung a couple of baubles before being told by the youngest I was doing it wrong.

And then there was christmas shopping on Sunday. As we are going to be away for Christmas week there would appear to be less pressure to stock the house up on gifts. Walking round Liverpool there was time to admire some graffiti and wonder at why it was necessary to have the life size nativity scene in the middle of Church Street hemmed in by a fence. That probably tells us all that we need to know about Christmas.

Having completed my shopping I was able to sneak 20 minutes in Lunya for a pint of Estralla and a plate of Trevelez Serrano Ham in anticipation of the week that we will be spending in Spain over Christmas. And very good it was too.

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