Now’s the time that the cook in the house starts to think about Christmas preparations. If you’re like me, Christmas cooking and cookware suddenly jump into your mind, and you think ‘Heavens, where on earth is my Turkey platter, where are the mince-pie tins? Help.’ After all, Stir-Up Sunday is just around the corner, and I’ve heard a lot of people on the radio announcing that they have already started soaking the fruit for their Christmas Cake – oh, just imagine that spicy and brandy aroma in the kitchen when they lift off the cling-film and take a deep sniff!
So I thought ‘Christmas Cooking & Cookware’ …… I’d better look through the different Merchants and see what new and exciting kitchenware, cookware and fun products they have come up with to help us to cope with the cooking so that we can create a relaxed and very special Christmas for our family and friends.
Christmas Cooking & Cookware: Starting off with real fun:
I think this is just enchanting, and as a proud grandmother to five children, I know they would just love this Santa’s Sleigh Mould from Lakeland. Apparently all you have to do is to fill the silicone moulds with chocolate, stick the pieces together with icing, and ‘hey presto’ – you have a sleigh and reindeers. Then, using your own imagination, have fun decorating it. What a great centrepiece for the table, and can you imagine the smiles from children and adults alike. This mould is for sale at only £11.99 from Lakeland.
How about adding a Fairy Tale Village for Santa and his Reindeer’s to Visit:
This is another set of silicone moulds to help you create a Fairy Tale Village. You can let your imagination go wild as you decorate these Fairy Tale Village houses with your children or grandchildren. If you’re one of those lucky people who are incredibly imaginative, you could put together Santa, His Sleigh and Reindeers together with this Fairy Tale Village and have a centrepiece for your Christmas table that is second to none. Again, this Fairy Tale Village Mould is only £11.99 from Lakeland.
I am amazed how many moulds there are in the vast Lakeland catalogue, many of them especially to help with Christmas celebrations, even a Christmas Cake Pop Mould at only £9.99.
To help us make these fantastic culinary works of art Lakeland have masses of edible decorative baubles, coloured balls, cutters, icing and tools, and the little sweets and lollipops that help to decorate and adorn your finished masterpiece. I must say, that this year’s online Lakeland Christmas catalogue is a pleasure to look at, especially for us folk who love gadgets, cookware and all the fun side of cooking.
But now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty part of Christmas – Cooking the Christmas Dinner.
Something that occurred to me is that often we don’t have enough space on the hob on Christmas Day for all the pans, so a great idea for Christmas (and year-round cooking as well) is a 3-piece Stainless Steel Steamer.
When Erik and myself ran our bookshop in Beverley some years ago, this piece of cookware flew out of the door. For young people starting out in life it is such a useful piece of equipment. This steamer from Lakeland has a good-sized bottom compartment with an encapsulated base that copes with all normal heat sources, including induction. There are two more deep baskets, plus the strong glass lid. When steaming food, there is no transference of flavours. For instance, you could cook a cauliflower in the base, carrots in the middle and potatoes or sprouts at the top. Or start off a casserole, then towards the end, steam your vegetables in the baskets above. What about steaming your Christmas Pudding whilst cooking your vegetables. And because the diameter of the steamer is only 22 cm (8 1/2 inches), it just uses one ring, or hob. The base compartment is extra large, and can be used as a stockpot, or to cook rice or pasta. Brilliant to use in a caravan or when camping. And the price of this is not exorbitant – it is only £34.99 from Lakeland – real value for money.
Next – a roasting pan for your Turkey … or Beef … or Salmon … or Mushroom Strudel
This would be my first choice of roasting dish for my Turkey. This dish is Hard Anodised Aluminum – which gives it exceptional quality and durability. This Mermaid roasting dish won’t warp, twist or buckle. It does not have a non-stick coating, it doesn’t need one, as it doesn’t have hot spots, and after using mine for the last 4 years, I can say from experience that after using it in the oven, I let mine cool, put in warm water and such as Fairy Liquid, let it sit for a while, then I dunk it in the sink in warm, soapy water and, using a washing up brush, I brush it clean. This dish has a removable trivet, and is 37 x 26 x 7 cm (14 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches) and is £47.99 from Lakeland. There are a huge selection of other roasting dishes from Lakeland, of different qualities and different prices, but if you can afford this Mermaid dish, it will certainly last you for years, as long as you treasure it like I do.
For this ‘Christmas Cooking & Cookware’ post, I must show you some more moulds for Canapes (or Nibbles as they are known in my house!)
I can’t really describe this any better than Lakeland do. Here’s what they say about these Canape Moulds –
“Bake beautifully shaped miniature tartlets, canapes or pies with this trio of moulds. Use each pusher tool to cut and shape the pastry before adding your chosen filling, sweet or savoury. The silicone releases your creations with ease, ensuring perfect results and admiring comments every time! Each mould makes 15. Dishwasher, oven and freezer safe.” Sounds fantastic to me. £16.99 will buy you a set of these to make perfect Canapes from Lakeland.
So that’s the end of ‘Christmas Cooking & Cookware: Part One’
Hope you’ve found it useful. Part Two will be in a day or two.