Jamie's Ultimate Christmas - Jamie Oliver

What does your own Christmas dinner look like? Funnily enough, it looks exactly like the pictures you see in my Christmas book. It’s almost a diary of my family Christmases past and all the stuff we’ve evolved and loved over the years. You’ll even find candid family snaps peppered throughout – it’s a really nostalgic compendium in that sense. Everything we all love about Christmas, in one place – solid recipes no mucking about, the greatest hits. I had one chance to get this right and I’m really proud of it.

When do you start getting ready for Christmas? Basically about now, looking at present ideas, stocking up the store cupboard and checking all the boring stuff like bin bags, and the fun stuff like Christmas booze. Then about three weeks before it’s thinking about the menu, batch-making cocktails, stocking the freezer with homemade pies, tarts, pastry – all the things that can live in here happily until the festive period kicks in proper. Then there’s the serious planning stage – choosing your recipes and making a plan – check out jamieoliver.com for my master plan to help you get your big day in order on the recipe front. 

Who cooks Christmas dinner in your house? Me!

Are there any Oliver family Christmas traditions? I like to secretly take apart the Christmas crackers my wife has bought, remove the lovely gifts and infiltrate them with better and funnier presents, sometimes naughty ones. I also like to remove the jokes and replace them with a couple of innocent ones and a couple of deeply inappropriate ones. I try and do this without anyone knowing and place specific crackers on specific peoples places so it all comes together in a genius moment of inappropriate laughter at the appropriate time at the table.

Which dish sums up Christmas for you? Probably my mum’s retro trifle – it’s got Christmas written all over it and it wouldn’t be the same if she didn’t bring one out, year after year.

Do you like buying Christmas presents? Are you last minute or very prepared? Online or shops? I love it. I tend to think about it in advance, then go out about a week before the big day and get everything done in one big hit.

What’s your first Christmas memory? Well, when you read the dedication of the book, which is to my dear old Nan, you’ll find my earliest Christmas food memory. I’ll give you a little insight here, it includes stuffing, paper crowns, candles, and hairspray… I bet that’s got you intrigued!

What’s your favourite Christmas memory? I haven’t got a favourite as there are so many good ones. One routine I love is that I have always managed to end up having a little power nap after dinner in front of the fire with Only Fools and Horses on the TV, and I always get woken up when it’s time to open another pressie – good times.

Favourite Christmas tipple? Every single one of the cocktails that I put in the book. I’ve got everything from a Manhattan (for the traditionalists) to fruity party Prosecco, a hot toddy to warm your cockles, and even a pink pepper negroni!

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever bought and been bought? One of the best things I ever bought was a cool motorised go kart for my three nephews as a joint present – they went absolutely crazy for it.

Jamie’s Ultimate Christmas is on Channel 4 on Monday 19th December at 8pm.

December 1, 2016 6:37am ET by Newsdesk  

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