A Well Hung Turkey

This year we decided to opt for turkey on Christmas Day (not the country, the bird).  We usually go for a goose but as we’d a few more people for Christmas lunch, we decided a bigger roasted bird was needed. Now I’m not a huge fan of turkeys per se as in the past they’ve always come out rather dry regardless of Nigel, Delia, Nigella or whoever’s advice. Anyway the decision was made so I deiced to make the best of it.

I had read that if you invest in a bronze turkey the results are in a different league – so I went for it and ordered online an organic, free range, bronze direct from Devon. My old mate Tim Watson is doing some work with a company called The Well Hung meat Company so we opted for a mail order bird for the first time (no Tess, not mail order bride!). The turkey arrived on the 23rd niceley packed along with an organic gammon joint for Julie’s special Christmas ham.

At probably around double the price of a normal turkey at £70, I do have to say it took some convincing to go the organic extra mile but – wow – was it worth it. Obvliously there was sound advice from Jamie in his How to Cook book. And obviously there was a lot of skill and patience from yours truly on the day (!). But the end results really were remarkable – this was definitely the best turkey we’ve ever had…tasty and moist from start to finish. Even Dad thought it amazing, to quote him: ” There’s turkeys and turkeys, and this is definitely a turkey. The best I’ve ever had”. Wise words indeed.

and nothing has gone to waste, I’ve just simmered the carcass for 4 hours to get the best ever stock for some lucky soup or risotto in January.

We’ll be having a go with their meat boxes in the new year I think if this is anything to go by. Highly recommended – have a look at the website…http://www.wellhungmeat.com

 

Roast at The Midnight Bell

On the 21st December we decided to have a roast at the Midnight bell pub because we were going to the carol service and light supper! at Harvey Nics. We had also heard about it from out Beer festival and John H had seen the menu. Eight of us because we had an honoury Globetroffer with us (Jill H) and poor Julie was dying of cold so Phil had to look after her.. We started off with a drink of hand pulled beer from the Leeds brewery then the roast dinner.  I had roast beef with all the trimmings, the horseradish source had a great kick to it ,the beef was pink and the veg crisp. All was looking good.!

Unfortunately the coffee was dire, Dawns pudding didn’t arrive or the extra milk for the coffee so in the end we did without. There wasn’t much atmosphere in the place either although we did try to create our own. We were sat upstairs too many tables and it lacked a roaring fire in the lovely but empty fireplace.

A shame really because the food was really good and great value at £8.50. They need to do something with the upstairs dining facility. Off we went then for our light supper via Whitelocks but I’ll let Dawn tell you about that. We then walked back to the Cross Keys on Water Lane well, you couldn’t accuse it of not having any atmosphere although by this time we’d all had a few. We walked into the middle of a quiz so we had to be quiet…. No chance . The quiz mistress was certainly different she obviously hadn’t heard of the words “politically correct” she had the voice of a bingo caller but she made us laugh a bit.. We were crap at the quiz anyway so we ordered taxis ,unfortunately Pat was driving and we went home. 

It was a fantastic start to the Christmas Festivities and must be repeated next year.. we won’t need the full roast dinner though before hand. 

 

 

Harvey Nichols, Christmas carols 21st Dec 2008

We had a most splendid evening in the Victoria Quarter an excellent venue, incredibly atmospheric and perfect for a carol concert. St Peters choir provided entertainment and festive cheer….tickets were £17.50, the price included a glass of mulled wine on arrival, choice from 2 main dishes and 2 desserts..G and I had beef bourguignon, very nice..and to follow G had Christmas pud with me opting for mince pie with vanilla cream…yummy….a must be annual event for the Globetroffers.

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick, Dec 14th 2008

Busy week, so a walk with friends ended up at the above mentioned..I really love this place, very friendly and welcoming with the log fire roaring and they allow Chester(our dog) in the bar areas. Steak and Ale Pie with lovely crunchy veg was my choice and G had Venison with dumplings. The Hetton Pale Ale, winner of the Craven Beer Fest(see Oct review) went down a treat as did the Leeds Best….sorry G you did offer to drive..D.

Well worth a visit…

Diva Italiana, Pudsey, Leeds Dec 13th 2008

We decided to have our own Xmas night out as G and I have hardly seen each other in the last few weeks…Diva is our favourite. G had a fabulous Veal T bone steak and I opted for a superb fillet steak, we shared roasted med veg, complimented by a smooth bottle of Ripasso. Nearly full, but not quite …Tiramisu dessert followed(shared) along with coffee and the obligatory Vecchia Romagna brandy ….superb!!!

Rookery Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire Dec 2008

G an I had a fabulous weekend at this magnificent country house hotel. Set in 38 acres it was an ideal setting for a wedding and the weather was fantastic, frosty and very sunny…Friday eve was spent in the bar area which has a lovely open log fire and a decent wine and drinks list! We decided to eat in the old oak dining hall, a market menu is available at £34 for 3 courses with coffee or the a la carte approx £40-45.. I had seabass which was fantastic and G had perfectly cooked lamb (well, for him anyway! A bit too pink for me) washed down with Bruno Paillard Vintage 1999 Champagne and a very nice Brunello. Those who know me will be very surprised to learn that I did not have a dessert but I did have….. a dessert wine, figs, nuts and treacle toffee! pudding in a glass(Pedro Ximenes Viejo Napoleon, Jerez, Spain) wonderful..

We will return..D and G.