Posts Tagged ‘Christmas trees’

Monday Moaning

Just because it’s the first Monday of the New Year, don’t think you are getting away with it.

BTW, hope you all had a Happy New Year.

Christmas came and went, now New Year has done the same.

This week and next most people are taking down the Christmas decorations and dismantling the tree, albeit real or fake.

I posted about Christmas trees back in November Simple Green Ideas, giving an alternative to real or fake trees.

But many people need a real tree to complete the Christmas spirit. So, what are you going to do with it now?

Throw it away?  Recycle it? Cook it?

Yes, I said cook it!

No, I haven’t slipped a cog, I haven’t lost it.

Try this.

How to cook chump of lamb roasted with Christmas tree – recipe

Don’t just throw out your Christmas tree – eat it. The chef at Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham shows us how to keep the festive cheer alive by roasting lamb with a few aromatic branches

David Everitt-Matthias’s Christmas tree lamb. Photograph: David Everitt-Matthias

This is one of the dishes we put on after Christmas in the restaurant. It uses the Christmas tree both as aromatic and as a bed to cook the lamb on, giving a wonderful scent to the meat and keeping Christmas cheer alive in our minds. We serve this with potato mousseline and either red cabbage braised with cranberries, or buttered sprout tops with toasted brown breadcrumbs, grated chestnuts and lots of black pepper.

Chump of lamb roasted with Christmas tree

(serves four)

Four 250g lamb chumps, trimmed
Salt and pepper
50ml olive oil
60g unsalted butter, cubed
Four 4in/10cm branches of Christmas tree, plus a few extra Christmas tree needles, for flavour
200ml lamb jus (or good quality stock)

For the potato mousseline:
1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled [waxy pink-red skin]
125g double cream
100g unsalted butter
Salt and white pepper

For the lamb

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Season the lamb chumps. In an oven-proof pan, heat the oil and half the butter and, when hot, sear the lamb on all sides. Remove from the pan, add the Christmas tree branches to release their scent, turn over and lay the lamb on top, fat side up. Roast for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

Pour the lamb stock and a few Christmas tree needles into a saucepan, bring to a boil, to reduce, then whisk in the remaining butter little by little. Season to taste, pass through a fine sieve and set aside.

For the mousseline

Cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces of about 6cm square. Rinse them, then place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt.

Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until tender.

Drain, and place on a baking tray and pop them into the hot oven for two to three minutes, to dry out. Meanwhile, put the cream and butter in a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until reduced by half. Push the potatoes through a sieve (this is how restaurants get that super-smooth mash) into a bowl, then beat in the cream-and-butter mix, and season.

To serve, place a generous spoonful of mousseline on each plate, carve each lamb chump into five pieces and lay on top of the potato. Dress with your chosen vegetable (red cabbage or sprout tops) and spoon over the lamb jus.


So, you can have your  Christmas tree… and cook it too!

Okay, this doesn’t recycle the whole tree, but the novelty of Christmas lingering on counts.

Simple Green Ideas

The Yuletide season will soon be upon us.

People will start the hunt for a Christmas tree.

There are those who will opt for a fake tree, maybe they are going to recycle the one from last year; if it survived. Maybe they are going to buy a new one to replace the one that didn’t survive.


These fake trees cost; they cost money and they cost resources.

Maybe you are from a family that has a real tree, a dying tree, a tree that would have grown to be a magnificent example of nature, if it hadn’t been cut down in its prime to stand dying in a corner of your living room festooned with baubles.

You do this every year, you sacrifice a tree to celebrate Christmas.



That becomes this before the end of January…


After New Year, you pat yourself on the back, “We’ve had a great Christmas and slaughtered another tree!”

It wasn’t such a great Christmas for the dying tree…

Millions of trees around the world suffer this indignity; put to death by Christians as if they were witches during the inquisition.

Think about this.

Think about the alternatives.

Do you have some old wood, timber, lumber around the yard?

Most people do, I do.

Use your imagination…


Upcycle, repurpose your old wood.

Eeew! That looks a bit grotty!

So paint it with that paint that has been sitting on the shelf in the garage for years, it doesn’t have to be green, nice if it is, but who says green represents Christmas. The spirit of Christmas doesn’t have a colour.

Make your Christmas present to the world this year, save a tree from the agonies of  death, the indignity of garish baubles, the opprobrium of a trash can burial.

Do this and you can be proud after Christmas.

There’s a Lesson Here

Saturday Satire

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