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Making Christmas Perfect Ch.5
Making Christmas Perfect Ch.2

Making Christmas Perfect Ch.2

Making Christmas Perfect - First Courses!

Godfreys have been providing perfect Christmases since 1905 - the year in which we were founded by our Great Grandfather!
Back to the future 
Over the years fashions have changed in Christmas dishes and menus - but we find that a mixture of traditional and some of the more modern dishes - is usually the best recipe to help create a Perfect Christmas

Making Christmas - Perfect!
So this year’s Godfreys Celebration will continue to be a series of Chapters of recipes - old and new - for each of - Christmas Breakfast and Brunch, Christmas Side Dishes, Christmas Dinner Mains - and finally some Leftovers recipes for Boxing Day - to complete making your Christmas - Perfect!

Producing these special birds
So when people gasp in astonishment at the true taste and textures of your expertly hand raised, thoroughly fabulous tasting Turkey - you can point them to the Tab to show just how much hard work, sheer commitment, husbandry expertise and pure passion goes into producing such a special Bird - rather than its pale - and usually dry and insipid tasting, industrially manufactured - and very distantly related cousins 

Continue our mission
We continue our mission to champion real Free Range Turkeys by publishing the What makes a fabulous Christmas Turkey Story Chapter Two - in our Christmas Carol Tab

And so to Christmas Dinner First Course - or Starters - as some prefer to call them

Christmas Starters - the First Course
To have - or to have not - a Christmas Dinner First Course is often hotly debated
With all that explosion of festive foods to come - why do you need to add any more courses?
Here at Godfreys we get literally thousands of customers placing their Christmas orders with us - and so we get to see how some people do prefer a Starter First Course - and some definitely don’t!
Some prefer the light and simple piscine option - others prefer something a bit more voluptuous

Adding to your Perfect Christmas
So to help make your Christmas Perfect - we thought the best idea was to feature some ideas for those of you with a more carnivorous persuasion - so you can either be inspired to use these recipes - or explore further - and then choose - to have or have not - but at least we have offered you the choice of adding to your Perfect Christmas

Prepare well in advance
Many of our customers prepare their First Courses well in advance - so it frees them to concentrate on the final touches to the Christmas feast - or just gives them a little time to spend with their guests around the festive table - before the main event gets under way
By the time your guests assemble round the table for the Christmas dinner, the scene is set for the feast that is to come.

First impressions
Their initial impressions - apart from the tantalizing smells wafting in from the Kitchen - will be visual
This is the moment when the guests will appreciate the care taken in setting the table - the sparkling glass, the polished cutlery, the flickering candles - and the festive flowers.
The First Course should be a continuation of this visual feast. Dishes that look attractive, festive and appetising - but which are not too filling.

Delia Smith is an ardent supporter
Delia Smith is an ardent supporter of the First Course saying:
“The starter is all-important, as it whets your guests' appetite and sets the scene for the culinary highlights to come!”  

The kids
Of course you are about to serve the festive banquet, but if there's one thing that'll put the pressure on, it's knowing your guests are hungry (and the kids will no doubt make sure you're aware).

Before the main event
Presenting some stunning starters or appetisers before the main event will keep appetites at bay and keep the family's mouths watering for the next round. 

French Schools Christmas Dinner
Just as a comparison - we found this recent charming Menu from a French Schools Christmas Dinner - not one from a posh Lycée- but a normal provincial French High School - just to show how different food cultures perceive what a Christmas Menu should feature - including First Courses - even in these modern times

A school canteen
This is after all a school canteen, but just the names of each dish alone show an enormous respect for, and interest in, food.  

Nothing is too sophisticated
With menus like this, you can see how culturally important food is to the French. 
It's wonderful that young children are expected and encouraged to appreciate all sorts of foods from a young age; nothing is too sophisticated for them.

The Christmas First Course Starter recipes
So on to the First Course Starter recipes that we hope will provide you with some thought provoking suggestions of just how to make your Christmas that little bit more special
We've picked our best starter recipes, with many you can make ahead and serve when you're ready as well as some that you can make at the table and get everyone stuck in for a more informal day 
Tantalising ideas to get your family ready for the main event dishes. 

• Chicken Liver Parfait with Sultanas & Raisins  - by Sara Buenfeld
Making your own Paté is an extra-special touch - this version is flavoured with wine, cream, garlic and sage
Preparation time 20mins ; Cooking time 8mins - plus chilling.  Click here for 
Free Range Chicken Livers

Chicken Liver Pâté - by James Martin
James Martin's luxuriously rich dinner party starter can be made up to two days in advance for fuss-free entertaining - serve with toasted Brioche, Cornichons and Chutney

Preparation time 15mins ; Cooking time 10mins. Click here for Free Range Chicken Livers

•   Game Terrine - by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Use whatever Game you can get for this tasty recipe. It requires a little work, but the results are well worth the effort

Preparation time overnight  : Cooking time over 2 hours. Click here for Pheasant, Wild Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Wild Rabbit, Venison

 Country Terrine with Black Pepper & Thyme  - by Sara Buenfeld 
A rustic terrine with French toasts makes an excellent starter for a special meal and it costs very little to make

Preparation time 20mins ; Cooking time 1hr 30mins. Click here for  Pork Belly,
Smoked Streaky Bacon

•    Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken & Leek Terrine - by Gordon Ramsay 
Gordon's make-ahead Terrine is the perfect starter when you're entertaining a crowd

Preparation time 1hr 30mins plus overnight setting : Cooking time 30mins. Click here for Diced Chicken, Chicken Stock

•   Duck & Pork Terrine with Cranberries & Pistachios - by Mary Cadogan
Set aside a couple of hours and enjoy every minute of making this impressive Terrine

Preparation time 45mins ; Cooking time 2hrs 15mins - mature for at least 2 days before eating. Click here for Duck Breast, Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, Pork Shoulder,  Free Range Chicken Livers

•   Gordon's Rustic Pâté - by Gordon Ramsay
An impressive starter from Gordon Ramsay, that's surprisingly simple to put together. Make it a few days ahead to allow the flavours to develop
Preparation time 50 mins - plus Marinating time : Cooking time 1 hour. Click here for Pork Tenderloin, Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, Directors Sausagemeat

•  Velvety Chicken Liver Parfait - by Barney Desmazery
A little Parfait makes Christmas complete, try making your own with Barney's festive recipe
Preparation time 30mins : Cooking time 15 mins plus setting 

 Click here for Free Range Chicken Livers

We hope you enjoyed this Chapter on Christmas Dinner Starter recipes and ideas for Christmas - and hope you look forward to the next Chapter when we show more Recipes and Ideas for your Perfect Christmas- next up are Christmas Dinner Side dishes - traditional - and not so traditional!

Ps Please do have a look at Chapter Two of our Christmas Carol now Live on 
www.godfreys.co which explains in detail what ensures your Christmas Turkey is going to be fabulous.

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