Working through the cottage freezer in preparation for the festive fill-up, and trying to persuade myself that it doesn't need defrosting, I discover in the depths a plastic box labelled 'roast goose in giblet gravy'. In another corner, there is a small tub labelled 'fresh goose liver.' The excitement of December 2011 comes flooding back. On Christmas morning, over traditional smoked salmon and Buck's Fizz, our youngest son and his lovely fiancee announced that they have decided on their wedding date (in three days' time) and place (Washington DC). We are invited. Fortunately we have passports (call it feminine intuition) and warm clothing, so air tickets are booked for 27 December.
We then have to address the practical consequences of a pop-up wedding in the middle of Christmas Present: what to do with the gastronomical delights and substantial left-overs. Spiced beef, salads and vegetables, cheese and fruit are distributed to family and friends. The rest is packaged for the freezer - and forgotten.
...and so did we.
Now Christmas Yet to Come is almost upon us, and as we are living in a building site with bare concrete floors, exposed wiring, rain filled excavation trenches etc, liberating the goose of Christmas Past is an enticing idea. The giblet gravy has done a fine job in keeping the rich gamey meat tasty and succulent. I create a sauce with shallots, dry sherry, damson jelly and the strained gravy, then put back some of the meat and gently simmer it until thoroughly heated through. It is served with roast butternut squash and puy lentils mixed with mushrooms, peas and diced red pepper.
The next evening, after a brisk walk through the sodden countryside, the goose liver is transformed into a luxurious appetiser. Sliced into small squares, it is seared in unsalted butter, popped on to thin pieces of crisp toast topped with scrambled Burford Brown egg and dribbled with the pan juices deglazed with a splash of brandy. Perfect with a glass of Tio Pepe.
Compulsive builder and advocate for construction and engineering, and in particular the role of women, Sandi Rhys Jones has nearly forty years experience in strategic marketing and management, communications and training for technical, professional and business to business organisations.
Since co-founding RhysJones Consultants in 1976, she has worked for a wide range of clients, including consultants, contractors, suppliers, representative organisations, local and national government.
As well as running her business she is a non executive director of EngineeringUK and leads the national mentoring programme for the Association of Women in Property. She is increasingly in demand as a coach and mentor, particularly for women in non-traditional occupations, and also as a chair and facilitator at conferences, workshops and seminars. The Constructive Women blog draws on her working life.
Parallel Universe reflects the other side - wife, mother, grandmother, cook, gardener, traveller, music lover.