Booths 2018 Christmas Book is out today!
Forget the John Lewis ad, here in Lancashire we know when Christmas is on its way....the Booths Christmas Book arrives!
It takes almost a year to produce, from first ideas in December to going to print in September and finally being available for the first time in stores across the county today.
Apparently some folk travel across country to get hold of it, comparing it to the launch of a certain festive truck...and one ultra-keen customer has even told Booths they hold an annual 'Christmas Ordering Party'. Hmmm.
We picked ours up in the Fulwood store at 7am....so we can bring you the highlights of this year's offering.
So what's new in this year's book?
Well, first of all there are the 12 recipes of Christmas...from parsnip and hazelnut soup with blue cheese toast, whole roasted cauliflower with spinach, cranberries and chestnuts to the rather lovely festive gingerbread house, which features on the cover.
But we're really interested in the buying options to make the big day a special one, so here we go.......
We counted 14 different types of smoked salmon if you are looking for a starter on the big day...or you can push the boat out with lobster thermidore (Â£39) or whole tail langoustines. (Â£17)
Take a long time opening those presents? This years there is a special 'brunch bundle', complete with smoked salmon, kippers, smoked haddock, prosecco, tea and Christmas coffee (Â£35).
Lots of turkey options to choose from as ever, but if you are looking for something a bit different, there are eight different kinds of three bird roasts, featuring goose, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and others. (starts from Â£25). And if game is your thing, there is an entire game box with the whole caboodle for Â£40.
Mutton is a wonderful thing...but pretty difficult to get hold of....here you can buy a haunch or saddle for the Christmas table from Â£35. We ordered this last year for New Year's Eve and weren't disappointed.
Got a veggie in the family? If you are looking for easy, but luxurious options, there is a whole section this year....and not just nut loaf!
And if there are just the two of you, Booths will actually put the whole thing together for you to avoid lots of leftovers. I think they might be missing the point here....all the leftovers are what make Christmas brilliant...but if you are a neat freak, Â£22 gets you Christmas on a plate x2.
And so to pudding....be boring and go for the four types of traditional Christmas pudding on offer if you like...or be bold and head to a salted caramel sponge pudding, several types of chocolate pudd and sticky toffee figgy pudding.
I liked the look of the the chocolate and raspberry melting dome (Â£12)and the mulled wine cheesecake. (Â£8).
Lastly, if you are looking for something for a New Year's Eve party, as well as the usual finger food fayre, this year there are a host of different pies....the Blue Cow Pie (Â£15) featuring beef and mushrooms with Garstang blue cheese, steak and Lancaster black ale pie (Â£12) and a rather delicious-looking game pie (Â£15), featuring partridge, pheasant, venison, duck and quail are all good, easy party options.
You can round all that off with Booths usual excellent selection of festive drink, including this year a feature on Brindle Distillery's Cuckoo Gin, which I can personally recommend.
So raise a glass and get ready for Christmas. It may be October, but it's never too early to get in the festive spirit.