Dear Santa, this Christmas, I only want a fat bank account and a skinny body and please don't mix them up this year, Love the butchers wife xx

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas


Is everyone up to ninety yet?? No?? Well why ever not?? If you are not a headless Turkey at this stage well you're just not in the Christmas Spirit. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I always have and I can't see a time when I won't love it.

Christmas Eve

My mam and dad headed out every Christmas Eve evening for drinks with friends. My last Christmas at home with my parents, before I married the butcher, my long suffering mother attempted to put gifts under the tree on Christmas eve before I'd gone to bed. I was horrified. It wasn't Christmas morning. What was she thinking?? I was so appalled that Mam hid the presents again. Later that evening, I was in bed when they returned home. Then I heard Santa putting the presents under the tree. I waited a respectable length of time to be certain Santa had left before I crept down the stairs for a rummage at the gifts. Just your average 25 year old behaviour on Christmas Eve I think.

Christmas Eve

We still have young children so the magic really still exists in our house. Like everyone else, as the years go by and we get a little older, the losses that we have gathered along the way seem to scratch at the wound a little bit more especially at this time of year. It’s because of this we need to surround ourselves with the people we love all the more. And as you may have noticed the centre piece of all occasions/gathering is the grub - not least at Christmas!! So bring on the joy!

Christmas Traditions

I love the repetition of Christmas – the traditions – as a person adverse to change this is not surprising. The kids love it too though. They are already getting excited about the regular staples at Christmas dinner. It’s more the dessert than the Brussels sprouts it has to be said. The one thing they do love is Christmas Stuffing. Below is the one that has proven a hit year after year.

Traditional Pork Sage and Onion Stuffing

This recipe is for a lot of stuffing but I use it for a day or two after Christmas. I fry up the cold stuffing on St Stephens’ day for breakfast with a rasher and a poached egg. Yum!! Delicious after a bracing walk on the back strand or if you just roll out of bed with a sore head – works well on both occasions!! Use good quality sausage meat – it really makes all the difference. I do this on Christmas Eve and store it in a cold room but not the fridge or it’ll be too cold going into the Turkey. You can roll this in balls beside the turkey if you wish too – This is how we normally do it because we don’t cook a large bird. They take about 30-40 minutes like this depending on the size of the balls you make. I cannot recommend a thermometer enough for checking the cooking temperature of food especially if it’s something you don’t cook often (Turkey) I have the most basic one and I reckon it’s saved many a taster from severe poisoning.

2lb of good quality pork sausage meat (we have this in the shop).
4 heaped tablespoons of white breadcrumbs
1 large onion finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon of dried sage
A little boiling water.
1 egg beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
You could just throw the stale bread into the blender to make breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and throw in the onion into the blender to finely chop and transfer to a bowl. Mix that together with herbs. Add a splash of boiling water and then mash in the sausage meat – with your hands. It’s the only way. Season with salt and pepper.
This is worth the try and I think perfect for our Irish palates.
Hope you enjoy,
The butchers wife.

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