A Very Northern Christmas Party

Following on from my Booths Christmas preview event post, I promised to give you some of the finer details in separate posts.

I thought I’d start by giving you some pointers for hosting the perfect Christmas party. The range of party food on offer from Booths,
supplied by both Gazebo Foods and Frank Dale, was extensive, to say the least. Not content with offerings of limp sausage rolls, bland vol au fish pea rostivents or cheese and pineapple on sticks, the Booths range of canapes and nibbles was diverse, with something for everyone. And the moreish morsels were not only delicious, but looked so pretty too! The ready made titbits required minimal preparation, leaving you more time to spend circulating with the drinks tray, free to enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest. I’d definitely recommend the classic Brie de Meaux and cranberry filo tart, and for seafood lovers, the coconut prawns with mango dip are a must. My personal favourite, though, was the mini fish and pea rosti – seriously, it’s like a perfect portion of fish and chips, in one mouthful! Naturally, there are pies, quiches and other shareable party foods on the menu, but with flavours such as Toulouse sausage, pancetta and rabbbit wrapped in puff pasty, this is not your average sausage roll!

To complement your canapes (and for all your Christmas Day side dishes),  it was lovely to see a super selection of veg boxes, ranging from a basic box to a heritage vegetable box, which featured unusual produce, such as Red darling purple sprouts and parsley root (which I am reliably informed tastes similar to parsnip, but with a more aromatic flavour, not dissimilar to celery). I loved how passionate about the produce the buyer, Tom, was, and how keen he was to share his enormous depth of knowledge about the origins of all the vegetables. It’s really refreshing to meet someone who so clearly cares about the standard of the goods he sells, and his enthusiasm was infectious!
amaretto brownie bites

Having started our little tour of the mini food fair, and buoyed on by what we’d learned about Booths’ ethics so far, next stop was the bakery, where we met Susan Bell, of Bell’s of Lazonby. Although they are a well known local bakery, I actually had no idea that Booths’ own branded mince pies, stollen bites and amaretto brownie bites, to mention but a few, are made by Bell’s, and it was great to meet Susan and chat in depth about her cakes and bakes, and have chance to sample a naughty treat at the same time. Even as a non-almond fan (I really dislike marzipan), I confess that the amaretto brownie bites are delicious, and a perfect size to nibble with a cup of tea! The hard part is not eating the whole pack.

While we are on the subject of cakes, even a drinks party wouldn’t be complete without a little something sweet, and if mince pies aren’t your thing, the Booths party range has just the thing – mini black forest gateaux, Victoria sponges and scones with strawberries and cream! The mini desserts are the perfect size to pop in your mouth as you mingle with guests, and small enough that you can manage more than one if you can’t decide which to choose. If, however, you prefer larger desserts to share out, the luxury dessert selection is just the thing… banoffee, black forest cheesecake, raspberry brownie and lemon crunch make up the set of 12 slices, giving even the fussiest of diners ample choice.
stollen bites and pink champagneAll that’s left now is to get your heels out and slip into that dress, happy that the stress of the party has been taken away and you can relax and enjoy the evening ahead. Cheers!

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