Christmas Dinner: Budget Supermarket vs. Farmers’ Market

Christmas Dinner: Budget Supermarket vs. Farmers' Market
This is my cousin having been defeated by Christmas Dinner.

This year I had two Christmas dinners, the first with my friends at Uni and the second at home with ALL the family. So, I’m just going to provide my thoughts on each… of course taste is the main factor but also price and ease of cooking is considered.

Aldi (served 5):
Four bird roast (turkey, chicken, duck and goose, 1.58kg)
Potatoes
Carrots
Parsnips
Cauliflower cheese
Broccoli
Pigs in blankets
Yorkshire puddings
Sage and onion stuffing (readymade)
Chicken gravy (readymade)
Total cost: £25
Total cooking time: 3 hours

Farmers’ Market (served 17):
Turkey (54.5kg)
Potatoes
Parsnips
Fennel carrots
Red cabbage with apple
Brussel sprouts
Petit pois
Pigs in blankets (made from scratch)
Chilli stuffing (made from scratch)
Sage & onion stuffing
Turkey gravy (made from scratch)
Total cost: £125
Total cooking time: 6 hours

With most things, the more expensive option is better than the cheaper alternative. This was no exception.

Round one: meat
The four bird roast had nothing on the turkey. It was tasty but each of the four birds tasted the same. There was a severe lacking of crispy skin and moisture for the Aldi meal although the glaze provided did add a nice sweetness to the meat. Also, there was stuffing running through it and you can never have enough stuffing.

Round two: veg
I hate to be predictable but again, the farmers’ market Christmas dinner won hands down. All the veg for the Aldi meal was bought and cooked from frozen so it seemed a bit mushy (I like a bit of a crunch). I suppose it was a bit of an unfair test as well because my Mum does the best roast potatoes going!

Round three: gravy
Well, I’m not a fan of chicken gravy, especially the readymade stuff. It’s got to be made from the juices of the meat unless it’s bisto! The readymade stuff was a bit watery, but it was needed due to the lack of moisture from the other elements of the meal.

Although the farmers’ market meal was the clear winner, I would happily have the Aldi one again. It was cheaper and much less hassle… simply a job of whacking everything in the oven. For the farmers’ market meal, the whole family was roped in. Elements of the dinner were divided up to cook at various members of the families house and then there was a race to the final destination so we could eat it all together. The turkey was born and bred in the same village as my house, transported to the next village, cooked and then returned to my house.

So should I be needing a quick fix Christmas dinner anytime soon, Aldi will be my saviour. But should I have the time, money and resources (family and oven space) then Farmers’ Market produce every time!

Here’s a few pics of each meal:

Aldi:

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Farmers’ Market:

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German Christmas Market

German Christmas Market

I had to take out a small mortgage to buy my supper at the German Christmas Market. Looking back on it now, I’m not sure if it was entirely worth it. HOWEVER, I did make a wonderful discovery… Winter Pimms. I’ve never been a fan of mulled wine or mulled cider, but Winter Pimms (mixed with warm apple juice) is so heartwarming and still has a little hint of HELLO IT’S CHRISTMAS!

I also forked out for a currywurst. Having had some wonderful currywurst in Berlin back in Easter my expectations were high. The extortionate price, I thought, could only mean it was going to be a bloody good currywurst but it turns out it was just expensive and not much else. For pudding (because when you have a disappointing main course, a pudding is compulsory) I had a crepe with white chocolate which was pretty much what it says on the tin and again, for a rather large cost.

From this trip to the Birmingham German Christmas Market I can pretty much conclude that the food is expensive and not really all that great. As for the drinks, although they were also expensive they were worth it. After all, who can deny Christmas in a cup? Next time a drink and soaking up the festive spirit will be on the agenda. After all, I’m not a Scrooge and Christmas gathering on a single street in Birmingham has a nice cosiness (or pushing and shoving) to it.

To make up for our lack of delicious food my friends and I slipped into Selfridges where we were greeted by a glass of cranberry and raspberry champagne and salted caramel macaroons. Well this is more like it! Perhaps I’ll spend my free time strolling around Selfridges from now on… who knows what they will be handing out tomorrow?!

Here’s a few pictures from the market and Selfridges…

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Masquerade Christmas Ball

Masquerade Christmas Ball

Well what a wonderful surprise. I was expecting a medley of soup and dry turkey to be served up at the Geography University Christmas Ball but my oh my was I wrong. I was absolutely THRILLED when the waitress asked for my ORDER. We get a choice?! Well I suppose that explains why the ticket cost so much. A choice of turkey, sea bass or a vegetable roulade. Before I knew it the words ‘sea bass’ came out of my mouth… the turkey can wait! Served with a potato and leek purée it was simply delicious. Thank you very much Hyatt Hotel you have exceeded all expectations and I am one happy customer.

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Sorry what?!

Sorry what?!

Well these blew my wholemeal piece of toast out of the water when they crashed onto my TV screen this morning. Christmas tree shaped crumpets!!!!! I’ve got a feeling some very happy Christmas mornings are in store for me.

Check out the Asda advert for more of their Christmas shaped treats:

Picture taken from ASDA Twitter.