An early and easy Christmas dinner

I love Christmas and every naff thing about it. I don't mind sentimental Christmassy songs, tinsel, coffee flavoured Roses chocolates, socks as presents, bath sets from Marks and Spencer that smell of Magnolia or even Babysham. In fact, I love Babysham, especially with a morello cherry sunk in it. It's a good job I love the festive season really with a name like mine. 

I hate people who moan about Christmas starting too early. As far as I'm concerned it can start in January. It's a wonderful celebration. Whether religious or not, what's not to like about a festival that facilitates time off work, presents, copious consumption of booze and rich food and of course singing? Just a few of my favourite things. I also met my husband over the Christmas period. We met, we drank, we kissed and he proposed. All in a matter of 9 days. (Never mind the 12 days of Christmas.) It's a wonderful time of year. 

Last year we hosted Christmas day for the first time and cooked for eight. I know that's not a lot by most people's standards, but for me it was a triumph. I loved every minute of it. This year we're on for it again, but will have an 8 week old baby too. So I've been experimenting with ways to make it less stressful on the food front. The turkey does seem to cause the most issues, even with the brilliant Nigella brining method. Here's a little idea for those who might not fancy wrestling with a big bird on the big day. It's also rather a tasty midweek supper. 

- turkey escalopes (I bought a pack of 4 from Asda.)
- 4 rashers of bacon (Any will do. You could use parma ham too.)
- the sausage meat released from 3 gorgeous sausages (I used Lincolnshire.)
- 7 chestnut mushrooms chopped finely

I love how easy this is. It's so easy I could become one of those mad types who eat Christmas dinner every day and wears a Santa suit even in July. I'd be on East Midlands news if I did that I'm sure. 

Preheat the oven to Gas 5. Take the escalopes and bash with a meat hammer or other blunt instrument until about 4mm thick. Take the sausage meat and mix with the chopped mushrooms using your hands. Divide the mixture into quarters and then re-fashion into a sausage shape. Lay the escalope in a portrait way, pop the sausage shaped mixture at one end and roll the escalope up. Then roll the bacon around the parcel too. Continue until all four are done and pop on a baking tray and into the top of the oven for about 25 mins. 

When they're cooked they feel firm to the touch and the bacon will have crisped up. The pig related meat will have done a great job of keeping the turkey moist. Serve with whatever your Christmas vegetable repertoire consists of. The Bells enjoyed our October Christmas dinner with some lazy roast potatoes, green beans, parsnips, peas and gravy. We didn't bother with cranberry sauce but only 'cause we didn't have any. In fact I might add cranberries to the sausagey filling the next time I make this. 

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