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There’s no getting away from the fact that Christmas is going to be a little different this year. There’ll be no crowds of people gathered around the bandstand performing hearty renditions of Oh Come All Ye Faithful, no jostling for position at the front of the mulled wine queue on a group trip to the Christmas market, none of those extra things that give you those warm, festive feelings.
However, Christmas is far from cancelled.
If anything, it’s been wonderful to see the number of people jumping on the festive bandwagon early, getting the tree up, tucking into mince pies and bejazzling the front of their homes like they’re auditioning for Deck The Halls. If any year needed us to raise the festive bar it’s 2020.
Another area that’s going to be a reliable source of good vibes is FOOD.
Food is extremely important to me at the best of times, let alone Christmas. I’m not saying I’m planning lunch in my head whilst eating breakfast or anything, but I totally AM doing that. I live from one snack to the next and get so much pleasure from enjoying food, especially when it’s shared with friends or family.
Although we don’t know for sure yet what Christmas is going to look like this year, I’m really lucky in that Belle and I have been able to form a support bubble with my mum and her partner Mitch*. What’s extra lucky about it is that Mitch is a bit of a dab hand with a casserole and seems to actually enjoy cooking for us! Honestly, it’s so lovely and I feel so lucky – not only do we get to visit them but I also get presented with roast dinners and venison stews and wonderful things from the slow cooker.
Last weekend we went over for Sunday lunch and I took along some treats from the Tesco festive food range to get everyone feeling excited about Christmas.
Normally we have a fairly low key Christmas at home, but this year I wanted to do something a bit different to balance out the lack of bandstand carols, and so I have booked a local AirBnB, an apartment in a big country house, for me, Belle, my mum and Mitch. I’ve started gathering the essentials – Christmas jigsaws, Bendicks mints etc – and all being well we’ll have a few nights away somewhere different, surrounded by frosty fields and clear blue skies. (That’s the plan – weather take note.)
What this does mean though is that we won’t have all of our usual kitchen paraphernalia for cooking, and so delicious festive food that’s easy to prepare (or even just unbox) is going to be invaluable.
That’s where the Tesco festive food range comes in, with amazing Christmassy treats like the Tesco Finest chocolate orange and maple bauble cake, available in-store from November 30th.
Yes, that’s an edible giant bauble on the top, because why the hell not? The Tesco Finest chocolate orange and maple bauble cake would make a glorious addition to any Christmas dining table, a really beautiful centrepiece for festivities that couldn’t fail to bring Christmas jolliness to everyone.
My mum is a bit of an aficionado when it comes to frosting – her preferred vehicle being a spoon or finger – and she declared the maple flavoured butter icing delicious. In fact I had to stage something of an intervention to make sure there was some left on the actual cake.
The Tesco Finest chocolate orange and maple bauble cake is the cake that keeps on giving though – it’s not just about the butter cream, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, everyone knows that. Beneath its sticky, deliciously sweet exterior, this cake holds a secret. Cut out a slice and you’ll reveal a centre full of teeny tiny chocolate Christmas baubles! Isn’t that fun?
And we all need a bit of fun this Christmas.
What are the Christmas foods that make Christmas special for you? Leave a comment and let me know.
*Although Belle is 18 now, she was only 17 on June 20th, which is the date you go off for the purposes of qualifying as a single adult household. It seems a bit arbitrary to me but I’m also extremely grateful.