Countdown to Christmas with the queen of the kitchen - Delia
has a ruck of recipes that'll make your mouth water.
The BBC is not responsible for the content
of external websites.
out about Christmas events in your area
Joke machine Try our Christmas cracker joke generator!
Hold onto your sides in case they split... it can make a terrible
mess on the floor!
little helpers name generator
At this magical time of year, the elves are busy wrapping
up the toys and packing them on the sleigh. If you were one
of Santa's little helpers, what would your name be? Type in
your name and find out...
grotto is packed with games
with loads of prizes to be won.
the perfect Christmas tree
Before you dash out to find that perfect Christmas tree there
are a few things you ought to remember. Here's our handy guide
to finding the right tree this Christmas.
If you don’t like the smell of Brussels sprouts
cooking, toss a couple of thick chunks of bread into the cooking
water (bread slices sometimes dissolve and are hard to remove).
Alternatively toss a couple of red bell pepper pieces or a
stick of celery into the pot. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve
the pot sweeteners before serving the sprouts.
Brussels sprouts contain important phytochemicals that may
help prevent age-related blindness caused by macular degeneration
They're also packed with vitamins A and C, fibre, folate and
class-Tues 20th Dec
Second class-Sat 17th Dec
South & Central America, Caribbean,
Africa, Middle East, New Zealand and Australia - Fri 9th
Japan, USA, Canada and Eastern Europe -
Mon 12th Dec
Wed 14th Dec
To ensure your letter gets to Santa and give him a chance to
reply before Christmas,
don't forget to include your own address...
Put a stamp on the envelope...
Write before Tues 13th December.
wash or trim sprouts before storing them but you can remove any outer
leaves that are yellow or wilted. If the outer leaves are green and
healthy don't remove them as they contain the most nutrients. If you've
bought sprouts in a cellophane-covered container, take off the wrapping
and examine the sprouts, then return them to the container, re-cover
with the cellophane, and store them in the fridge. Fresh Brussels
sprouts will keep for three to five days. You
can get tinned sprouts but nothing beats properly cooked fresh ones.
cooking, rinse the sprouts in fresh water. Trim the stem ends, but
not quite flush with the bottoms of the sprouts, or the outer leaves
will fall off during cooking.
tradition of cutting an X in the base of each sprout is now considered
passe. This nick helped the heat penetrate the solid core so that
the inside cooked as quickly as the leaves but this detracts from
crunchiness of texture.
have an unfortunate reputation for causing flatulence.
This is because of their high content of carbohydrates, which are
difficult for the body to digest. Microbes in our large intestine
take advantage of the undigested carbohydrate and ferment it, producing
large quantities of methane that escapes in the natural manner.
But you can make them easier on the system by blanching them first.
Before cooking, plunge them into boiling water for sixty seconds,
then plunge them into freezing cold water (seriously - put ice cubes
in it!) for sixty seconds. This will stop the cooking process immediately.
You can leave them in the cold water until you're ready to cook them.
Then cook as usual.
by Dave Joynson, Audlem,
Nr Market Drayton
trick is to put them on to boil (or steam) at the last possible
minute and to cook them briefly, so that their crispness is preserved.
To enliven plain boiled sprouts, melt a knob of butter among them
and sprinkle over two teaspoons of soft brown sugar together with
a generous grating of nutmeg. You might also like to try soured
cream, lemon juice, flaked almonds or ground cloves. Who knows?
With these additions, you might even get the kids to eat them.
Bring the water to a rapid boil in a large pot, add the sprouts,
and quickly return the water to a boil. Cook the sprouts uncovered
just until tender.
Drain them, return them to the warm pot, and shake for a few seconds
until dry. A little parsley added to the cooking water can reduce
the cabbage flavour.
Cooking time: seven to 10 minutes.
If you cook sprouts slowly in stock, you can reduce the liquid after
the sprouts are done and use it to make the gravy. You can braise
the sprouts on the stovetop in a heavy covered skillet, or put the
sprouts in a casserole dish and cover with vegetable stock.
Cooking time: 25 to 35 minutes.
Place 1/2 pound of Brussels sprouts in a microwavable dish add 1/4
cup of water or stock, cover, and cook.
Cooking times: for medium sprouts, four minutes; for large ones,
Sprouts can be steamed in a vegetable steamer or steam-boiled in a
small amount of water. These methods have the advantage of keeping
the sprouts intact, minimising the chemical interactions that cause
the sprouts to develop a strong favour, and maximising the retention
To steam-boil, add the sprouts to a small amount of boiling water
and cover. Steam or steam-boil for one to two minutes, uncover the
pot for a few seconds to disperse the strong-tasting sulphurous compounds
that form when sprouts (and other members of the cabbage family) are
cooking. Cover and finish cooking.
Cooking times: steam-boiling, five to 10 minutes; in a steamer, six
to 12 minutes, depending on size.
Brussels sprouts with walnuts
Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, walnuts, olive oil.
Instructions: Heat oil in a small pan, break the walnuts into small
pieces and add them to the oil Pour over steamed brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts with chestnuts
Brussels sprouts and chestnuts are an excellent combination. This
dish is a favourite served at Christmas along with the turkey.
Fresh chestnuts - 350g (12 oz)
sprouts - 700g (1½ lb)
Butter - 25g (1 oz)
Pre-heat oven to 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas 6.
With the point of a sharp knife make a small cut on the flat side
of each chestnut. Bake the nuts in their skins for 20 minutes, then
peel off the outer shall and the inner skin. They are easier to peel
Cook the Brussels sprouts in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until
just tender. Drain. Over a high heat, toss the chestnuts and Brussels
sprouts with the butter, until the butter is melted. Serve immediately.
sent by David Kay, Whitchurch
check whether the sprouts are perfectly cooked, insert a knife tip
into the stem end. If they're cooked to perfection the base should
be barely tender.