A very relaxed Christmas with friends

It was a great Christmas but slightly unconventional. I suppose it started in New York where my senses were assaulted by Christmas everywhere, in the nicest possible way. The Christmas dinner at Fjäderholmarnas Krog in Stockholm was the traditional dinner. After that it went slightly unconventional.

Since I went to Stockholm I was behind and I had a ton of things to get done before Christmas could start. I spent all day Saturday trying to get as much as possible done, cleaned the house, did the groceries and bought a tree, quite a productive day. In the evening we went to an Elvis party. It was such great fun!


It was a great night and I was feeling very tired and slightly humble the day after and my productivity rate was set to pretty much zero for quite some time but in the end I did a few things but just the thought of baking, as I had planned, seemed like way too much work.

We decided to head to Harrods for afternoon tea for two, if there would be a anywhere in London where Christmas reins I figured it would be here and I wasn’t wrong.


The afternoon tea was nice. HarrodsTea_Cakes

After this and some shopping I went home to do the last preparations before my friends arrived from Sweden. The winds and the rain picked up and whilst getting things done I kept an eye on the flights and it was getting later and later and finally, they landed and Christmas could start!


We took a chilled approach to Christmas. The day of the 24th, Christmas Eve was dedicated to shopping, braving pouring rain. I lasted for about an hour and then headed home before everyone to get started on the Swedish Christmas dinner. We didn’t have much variety just the most important Christmas foods.

The ham, cooked low and slow in the oven, this is always the responsibility of my friend and the ham always turns out great, this year was no exception.


As I was making the meatballs I was thinking that they should be traditional, made from beef mince and with mustard for flavor. This time without thinking I had bought a mix of beef and pork but I was sure it would work anyway, they did not turn out very traditional but perhaps some of the best ones I made so here is the recipe.

P’s Christmas Meatballs 

Preparation time 10 minutes 

Cooking time 30 minutes 

Serves 4-6


  • 500 gr or 17.6 oz mince beef
  • 500 gr or 17.6 oz mince pork
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup cream
  •  1 egg
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard (smooth)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

Put the dried breadcrumbs with the cream in a bowl and mix. Let it swell for a minute and then add the mince meat and the egg. Mix and set aside. Peel and grate the onions and add to the mixture with the garlic, hot sauce, mustard and spices. Add more salt if wished. Shape them on to balls and place the shaped balls on a wet cutting board, this way they won’t stick. Pan fry them in batches until cooked through. If you are unsure about the spicing pan fry a little of the mixed mince and taste.


We had herring, despite my best intentions I never made any wasabi herring so we had a very traditional mustard pickled herring that we had with boiled eggs and it was delicious in it’s simplicity. I made a beetroot and apple salad and pan fried some sausages. 

For greens I steamed Tien Ly flowers and bok choy and served with a miso dressing and sesame seeds.


It was all getting out of hand regarding the traditional Christmas but we loved our relaxed approach.

Every year we also celebrate Christmas day and this year was no difference. We had quite a large turkey, free range and organic from Robson’s the butchers. I had asked them to remove the wishbone and take the legs off and de bone them for me. I did a truffle and shitake mushroom butter with lemon thyme to go under the skin of the crown. I put some salt and pepper on the inside of the legs and then stuffed the legs with wild boar and apple sausage with some extra, finely chopped apple. I wrapped them in tin foil and placed them with the turkey in a big roasting pan. with bacon. I baked it at 180C or 360C for 1 1/2 hour and the turkey is done.


The stuffed legs 25Dec_StuffedTurkeyThigh

A parsnip bake 25Dec_ParsnipBake

Roast potatoes 25Dec_RoastPotatoes

A brussels sprout salad with the rest of the miso dressing


We finally got to taste this years batch of home made cranberry jam and no Christmas dinner is done without gravy.

Turkey gravy 

Preparation time 5 minutes 

Cooking time 15-20 minutes 

Serves 6 


  • 2 shallot onions
  • 2 dl or 1 cup of prosecco
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 5 dl or 21/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup cream (I used low fat)
  • 1 pinch of lemon thyme
  • 1 handful of shitake mushrooms, pre cooked and sliced
  • juices from the rested turkey
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste

Peel and chop the onions fine. Place them in a pan with the butter and gently cook them until they start to soften. Then add the prosecco and let cook down for about 5 minutes. When this is done add the chicken stock and lemon thyme and let cook until it is reduced to half. Then add the cream and the turkey juices (I added the juice through the strainer as I kept the onion in the sauce when serving), the soy sauce and let cook for a few minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms and taste with salt and pepper before serving.

The pigs in blankets were still in the fridge as I forgot them but I am sure they will make a great brunch tomorrow! Christmas is almost over, one more day. Enjoy Boxing day and I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

2 Responses to “A very relaxed Christmas with friends”
  1. Merry everything, Petra! We also had a chilled out xmas and ate an inhuman quantities of food. Happy almost new year!

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