Year after year, preparations for Christmas begin weeks in advance with raisins and dried fruit being soaked in rum for Christmas cakes and puddings. Red wine and spices are bottled for warm cocktails. People go carolling from door to door or in the absence of a community setting, set their iPods or DVD players to sing out some festive music. The Christmas tree goes up and with it twinkling lights on verandahs, terraces and even windows, as the kitchen is scented with the aroma of brewing and baking Christmas delights.
While welcoming people home is a Christmas tradition, cooking is not everyone’s forte. But fret not, flying to the rescue are luxury hotels, such asFour Seasons, which open up their patisseries to serve take-away traditional treats such as yule logs and stollen. Similarly, JW Marriott’s Executive Chef, Himanshu Taneja ensures that you won’t have to work up a sweat on traditional recipes with his take-home-ready Glazed Ham with Red Wine Jus or a stuffed Butterball Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, his signatures at the Bombay Baking Co. They also have serving portions, for two to three people, that would work well for smaller families.
Country of Origin, the luxury store for all things ‘dessert’ offers a few more quick fixes to spread the holiday cheer. Famous for the dessert-in-a-jar concept; a new introduction to their line up is the traditional Christmas pudding, baked in the jar itself. The best part is the delectable brandy sauce it comes with. Other hot sellers include Brandy Snaps, which are filled to the brim with heart-melting mascarpone cheese infused with brandy, a perfect holiday indulgence.
Add an international touch to your table, with offerings from RRO Cheese Bars. RRO goes the extra mile and furnishes advice on creating the perfect cheese platter. It also suggests appropriate food pairings.
Last, but not least, our favourite treat, chocolates. If you want to seduce your palate with luxury, Royce chocolates from Japan are the preferred choice. Royce offers special festive gift packaging of their chocolates. You could also place a bowl of their decadent chocolate-dipped wafers as
Now that your table’s all set, go ahead and make those calls to invite your nearest and dearest to partake of your cheery Christmas spread.
Nikhil Merchant is a gourmet consultant, food writer and blogger (Nonchalant Gourmand) and strives to wed the flavours of food to the myriad moods of life.