Oh God, I hate Christmas.
Not in a personal capacity, you understand. I can’t see any down sides to a festival that requires you to open presents, watch TV and eat and drink far too much.
No, it’s the professional side of things that gets me down. Having to pretend to reinvent Christmas every year and fill the pages with something new, when all anyone really wants is the same-old, same-old.
I mean, what sane person really wants to experiment with recipes for sprout biryanis or turkey with a cranberry and champagne glaze on the big day? All you really want to know is what time to put the bird in the oven and if it’s OK to start drinking at breakfast time. (Neither of which I can helpfully answer because a) I don’t know how big your turkey is; and b) I don’t know what time you have breakfast.)
Still, those Christmas features won’t fill themselves, so we continue with the charade, fattening the pages with endless “essential tips to make the day go with a swing”.
Which is where you come in.
Without wanting to come over all Harvey Weinstein, I could kiss each and every one of you who sends in, without prompting, lists of chef’s tips: their simple canapés, their favourite Christmas cocktails, the secret to their perfect roast potatoes, etc, etc…
It saves us so much time, not having to ring round individual chefs, persuading them to supply a recipe for the perfect gravy, only to get something that starts with: “First reduce 4 litres of veal stock to form a demi-glace…”
So thank you, thank you. It’s just what I always wanted.