Christmas is one of the busiest times in the kitchen, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pop out to the garden too… especially to harvest things.
Christmas cooking can be like the climax of the harvested year. You can give your jams away as presents, eat redcurrant and cranberry jelly and sauce with your Christmas meal. Harvested chestnuts or other nuts can be used in desserts. Dried cranberries or raisins are great for puds. And of course, anything that is still green at this time of year can be added to your wreath or house for festive cheer.
But you don’t have to stop there… what about the main Christmas meal?
For future thinking, here are some traditional Christmas dinner things you could plan to grow for next Christmas:
- Potatoes – we always plant so many we still have plenty in the ground come Christmas day. As long as they are well buried and not planted in too damp a place, potato tubers will be fine against the frosts.
- Brussel Sprouts or Brukale (Brussel sprout crossed with kale).
- Carrots – yes, you can still be harvesting carrots from the ground at Christmas, if you cover them with fleece.
- Beetroot – why not add some to your roasted roots?
- Celeriac – ditto, or a celeriac mash? Or just boiled?
- Celery – homemade stuffing anyone? And in that case how about freezing some pears or storing some apple too?
- Runner- beans or peas – store them in your freezers all year round from the first harvest onwards.
- Pumpkin or squash – usually USA’s Thanksgiving, I know, but how about roasting some and creating a vegetarian/vegan replacement for the usual meat?
Christmas is a holiday, a time of celebration and of having fun with loved ones. To me, it is also a time to be creative and original, to do what I love by going back and cooking from scratch, a way of tying up my year of cooking and growing. This year we will be having our own cabbage, beans, pumpkin, celeriac, beetroot, carrots, potatoes and Brussel Sprouts, not to forget homegrown redcurrant jelly and homemade cranberry sauce… What a way to celebrate an end to 2018!
What do you grow/dream of growing for Christmas time? Let us know.
For Christmas baking recipes, check out Beagle Baking (https://bellasbakingsite.wordpress.com/home/)
Just type ‘Christmas’ into the search bar and it will show you some festive treats.
And then, after all that food, just follow Rainbow’s advice: