Last Night’s TV – Jamie’s Family Christmas

by Lynn Connolly

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There are certain triggers for the Christmassy mood for me; snow, festive lights, the smell of pine and Jamie Oliver appearing with his hand up a turkey. So when Jamie’s Family Christmas came on last night, I had a ‘that’s it – it’s most definitely Christmas now’ moment.

And as ever, he made prepping and cooking the all important turkey look childishly easy. He lies…

To add a butter, cranberry and other stuff basting kit to his turkey, he showed us how to separate the top layer of skin from the rest of the bird using a spoon. It looked very simple and easy to do, and for someone who isn’t innately clumsy, it probably is, but I am, so it won’t be…

I tried this separating the skin thing last year, but then, Jamie showed us how to do it using his fingers to do the separating and when I tried it, I just made big holes in the thing. Maybe the spoon method will work, because loathe though I am to trash another turkey, I’m sure to give it a go.

I am to cooking what Herod was to childminding – in other words, abysmally poor, so I try hard every December 25th to follow experts’ recipes to the letter. In about five years of doing so, nothing’s gone right, but I duly noted Jamie’s gravy making technique – and will be trying it – and his recipe for stuffing – and will be trying it – as well as throwing a tub of Oil of Olay in Jamie’s face – and will be trying it.

Oh wait, that Olay thing wasn’t Jamie’s idea, it was his sister’s. Still, worth a go if the spoon method doesn’t work…

One of the highlights for me of last night’s latest Jamie offering though was seeing his new baby, Petal. What a gorgeous little thing she is, complete with dad-like quiff and happy little face. And when Jamie handed her back to Jools, she cried for her daddy, which was a big awwwwww moment in our living room.

However, back to the turkey and when he took his out of the oven, it was of course perfect, but I was rather surprised when he said it needed “resting” for a couple of hours. Won’t it go cold? Was my question, but he didn’t answer…

Apparently, the way to keep it warm while it’s having a rest is to clothe it in foil and tea towels. And again, I’ll give it a whirl but what’s the betting mine ends up freezing cold? It’s sure to.

He made carving the thing looks dead easy too. He expertly removed a whole side of it for cutting up into pretty looking slices. By now, you won’t be surprised to hear that I tried that last year. I ended up with a small cut on my thumb and after a lot of effort, I got what can only be described as chunks of turkey. Yes it got eaten but it didn’t look elegant; it looked a bit like I’d just run it over.

However, it’s with a sigh of resignation that I will, come Christmas Day, yet again boldly approach my turkey, fearless of heart and shaky of hand in order to attempt to make it look and taste like Jamie’s.

Why must the bar be set so high??

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.