For the small, family Christmas dinner this year we banished the books and returned the room to itself. Flowers from the garden and lots of candles, the old Waterford crystal hauled out for its annual airing, the silver unwrapped and placed on clean white damask.
Absurd, perhaps in the light of photographs in the newspaper, bombings and burnings, cholera and Gaza...
Green asparagus veloute in Woodstock custard glasses
Prawn and mushroom gratin
Nigel Slater's roast leg of lamb with potatoes
Nigella's lamb shoulder with pomegranate
Peas and asparagus
Passion fruit mousse
Champagne to start - Piper Heidsieck, NV
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon, 1999
Below, earlier in the day, my mom preparing retro scallop shells with mushrooms and prawns to be placed under the broiler and gratinated with a vermouth sauce...
Nigel Slater's lamb roasted over a bed of potatoes.
The best, crispiest potatoes.
Me, making choux pastry for the profiteroles per the Brothers Roux.
Said profiteroles. Notice ancient radio.