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Making Christmas Perfect Ch.2

Making Christmas Perfect - Starters!

With Covid-19 cases starting to rise again - new social restrictions being applied nationally and locally- who knows what this Christmas may look like this year

May be there will be a vaccine - maybe not

Who knows?
Perhaps we will be having smaller gatherings, pared-back festivities, fewer places to visit, home cooking for delivery and sharing with neighbours, friends, relatives and loved ones - who knows?

Here at Godfreys we have been giving this some thought of what we should do to prepare if restrictions are still in place at Christmas 

The first decision 
The first decision was - that we offer our customers the opportunity to have the most perfect, magical Christmas that is possible - in whatever the circumstances we find ourselves

From that decision - the rest flowed

Support our friends and customers 
We managed to support our friends and customers throughout the first wave of Covid-19 with almost no disruptions to supplies and services

The experience and means 
The lessons we learnt came thick and fast - but they have provided us with the experience and means to build on 

There will be issues 
There will be issues - at our Farms, at our Meat Preparation Unit, at our Shop - and at our Couriers

However, we learnt a lot during the first wave - and are already planning to put those lessons to good use if needed again

There may have to be tweaks to how we operate - on product ranges and services - but we will strive our utmost to carry on as normally as is humanely possible

Smaller gatherings
If social restrictions are in place at Christmas we expect to see smaller gatherings 

That could cause a change in what customers want to buy for their celebratory meals - or if they are cooking meals for other households

Smaller Birds or Joints
That could lead to an increase in demand for smaller Birds or Joints which may lead to shortages in some of the lower weights 

As most of our birds are already in their third month - our Farmers can’t just rear more Premium Quality Birds at the drop of a hat - it takes a long time to rear perfection!
Making Christmas Perfect
So, there will be many changes for us to cope with - but after making Christmas Perfect for our customers and friends for the last 115 years - we have absolutely no intention of allowing that tradition to be broken

So even in adversity we are fully committed to continuing to help provide all of our friends and customers with as perfect and magical Christmas as possible - whatever that looks like this year

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!

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

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 

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

The opener to your Christmas dinner will set the tone for your celebratory feast.

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 are as follows: 

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 1 hr 30 mins : Cooking time 30 mins - plus overnight setting. Click here for 
Chicken Fillets, Fresh Chicken Stock
(Click here for recipe)

Velvety Chicken Liver Parfait - by Barney Desmazery
A little Parfait makes Christmas complete, try making your own with Barney's festive recipe
Preparation time 30 mins : Cooking time 15 mins - plus setting. Click here for 
Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

• 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 20 mins : Cooking time 8 mins - plus chilling. Click here for 
Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

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 15 mins : Cooking time 10 mins. Click here for
Free Range Chicken Livers
(Click here for recipe)

 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 20 mins : Cooking time 1 hr 30 mins - plus overnight chilling. Click here for 
Chicken Livers, Smoked Streaky BaconUnsmoked Streaky Bacon
(Click here for recipe)

 Deep-fried Brussels with Black Pudding & Apple - by Sara Buenfeld 
Deep-fried Brussels are a taste revelation, they're dangerously addictive with our mustardy Vinaigrette. Serve as a speedy yet elegant starter
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 10 mins. Click here for 
Black Pudding Slices
(Click here for recipe)

•   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 hrs. Click here for 
Pheasant, Wild Mallard Duck, Wood Pigeon, Wild Rabbit, Venison
(Click here for recipe)

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

(Click here for recipe)

•  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 : Cooking time 1 hr - plus marinating. Click here for 
Pork Tenderloin, Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, Directors Sausage Meat
(Click here for recipe)

Slow Belly of Pork, Apple Soup, Garlic Purée & Port Jus - Galton Blackiston
Salty Pork Belly is married with sweet Apple, creamy Garlic and tangy White Port in this impressive Pork Belly recipe; the Green Apple packing a punch on the plate and the palate.
Preparation/Cooking time 2 hours, 2 days for the Pork Belly. Click here for 
Pork Belly Slices - ask us for it in one piece
(Click here for recipe)

•   Venison Carpaccio - by Paul Ainsworth 
Paul Ainsworth's elegant Venison recipe transforms Venison Loin into a stunning Carpaccio with wonderful Parsnip Purée and Crisps. A bundle of Baby Beetroots completes the picture, resulting in a marvellous symphony of textures and tastes. 
Preparation/Cooking time 60 mins, plus overnight marinating. Click here for 
Venison Saddle Eye
(Click here for recipe)

•   Venison and Black Pudding Scotch Egg  - by Nigel Mendham
Nigel Mendham combines rich, gamey Venison with Black Pudding to make an intriguing Scotch Egg. 
Preparation/Cooking time 60 mins. Click here for
Ramsays Black Pudding Slices, Hand Diced Venison - ask us to mince it
(Click here for recipe)

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!

Merry Christmas!


Ps Please do have a look at Chapter One 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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