Meaningful Christmas moments, picked by the Good Food team

1. Barney Desmazery, skills & shows editor

“Christmas really starts when I’m preparing this turkey recipe on the 23rd, this is when I start cooking for the big day, get the radio on and the Christmas tunes start to resonate. Preparing this turkey is extra work but we wouldn’t have it any other way now as it means the legs and the breast are cooked separately but both to perfection.”

Brined roast turkey crown and confit legs atop some greens

2. Samuel Goldsmith, food copy editor

“I like to watch a Christmas movie while I wrap the presents and drink a classic champagne cocktail, such as this festive recipe.”

Classic champagne cocktail in a tall flute glass

3. Anna Glover, senior food editor

“A family fondue on Christmas eve, and if you drop anything into the fondue pot you have to do a shot of schnapps!”

Large pot of cheese fondue next to a bowl of potatoes, bowl of gherkins, bowl of pickled onions, lettuce and chicory

4. Alice Johnston, audience development manager

“A ‘fun’ family tradition we have each year now is running the local Christmas edition of Parkrun. There’s nothing quite like lacing up and running several laps round a frosty field or trail with a crowd of people dressed as Santas, elves and other festive characters! The atmosphere is always so warm and buzzy, and if we’re lucky, we’ll also be rewarded with a mince pie at the end.”

Broken mince pie on a plate next to several others shaped into a Christmas tree.

5. Isabella Keeling, health writer

“For me, it has to be the moment my Grandpa would bring out the flaming Christmas pudding as a whole long table of us cooed ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’. He would slosh it with plenty of brandy in the kitchen, set it alight and try to get it to the table without the flame going out. Sometimes it did, and this added to the panto-esque vibe of things. We would always enjoy my Grandma’s homemade pudding which I believe is her own recipe, but we have an equally classic one on Good Food. Following this, we would have great discussions about whether to top it with homemade brandy butter, cream, custard or (shocking I know) all three. My Grandpa sadly passed away a few years ago but hilarious Christmas moments like these are his legacy.”

Christmas pudding on a plate next to a small bowl of brandy butter

6. Emily Marten, digital assistant

“Not much makes me feel more festive at Christmas than making homemade hot chocolate and watching one of the various Harry Potter movies with my brother. It’s one of those films we watch so much you don’t really have to pay attention anymore. I like to make my hot chocolate with oat milk, a generous pinch of cinnamon and plenty of good quality dark chocolate – and if I want to push the boat out some vegan whipped cream and marshmallows, too. Pure nostalgia and cosiness.”

Two mugs of vegan hot chocolate

7. Lara-Jane Johnston, digital marketing executive

“Growing up in a household with a Dutch dad and a Scottish mum meant that I got the joy of having two Christmases! Sinterklaas is celebrated across the Netherlands on the fifth of December, so we would always tuck into large chocolate letters of our initials, sing songs for Sinterklaas and leave our clogs out in hopes of sweet treats and presents. My favourite bit is the pepernoten (sometimes known as kruidnoten) – they are small hard cookies (or koekjes if you are Dutch) made of speculaas, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.”

Pepernoten, a typical Dutch Sinterklaas treat.

8. Emma Hartfield, health editor

“Our Christmas Day is all about trying to hold the kids back from opening their presents while we get lunch on the go and everybody dressed. Then the adults get to relax with some champagne and smoked salmon blinis while we watch the carnage of unwrapping.”

Plate of blinis topped with soft cheese, smoked salmon and cress strands

9. Emily Burg, digital content producer

“My favourite part of Christmas is that moment when you’ve feasted on dinner and all those amazing canapés, yet there’s still a craving for a bit of Christmas pudding. In my family, we patiently wait for that post-feast fullness to subside, all in anticipation of my mum’s famous sticky toffee pudding. While we’re on standby, we gather around the kitchen table to explore classic cocktails. Personally, I’m a fan of an old-fashioned and white russians. As we sip, laughter fills the room, and we dive into some card games. The night unfolds with a mix of competitive spirit and, let’s be honest, a gradual decline in our card-playing skills.”

White Russian

10. Helen Salter, digital writer

“On Christmas Day, my stepdad makes the family a prawn cocktail to tide us over before the big lunch. It’s the perfect fuel for unwrapping presents and complements a classic buck’s fizz. Although I’ll probably also be snacking on a chocolate orange or whatever Christmas chocolate I can lay my hands on!”

Two martini glasses filled with prawns in sauce and lettuce

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