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Jimmy's Grow Your Own Christmas Dinner
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Some regard doing the big Christmas food shop, with all that trolley-barging and fighting over the last jar of goose fat, as a tough job. Their opinion may alter when they see what Jimmy Doherty has been up to in recent months. Rather than buying the lot, the farmer has challenged himself to grow and make a Christmas dinner in old-school smallholder style.
He has raised his own turkey, made Christmas pudding to an 1845 recipe featuring offal and real silver trinkets, and nurtured unusual potatoes, sprouts and carrots. He’s also investigated the part played by mass production in the changing nature of the Christmas feast.
Jimmy’s little-boy-scientist approach is more engaging than not, and when he pits his hand-raised Christmas dinner against the supermarket version in a taste test, it’d be nice to see him triumph.
Jimmy Doherty goes behind the large operation to put food on every family's table at Christmas, as workers in UK pudding factories, sprout fields and turkey farms go into overdrive to meet supermarkets' demand. He compares this mass production to the days when everything was home-grown, making his own fizzy booze and cheese, growing purple carrots and heritage potatoes and rearing rare-breed birds. Finally, he tests which offers the best quality by asking his friend Jamie Oliver to cook two identical Christmas menus, one using purchased ingredients, the other utilising home-grown food.
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