Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 581

LET US PLAY We choose our favourite Christmas board games p44 LEFTOVERS TO LOVE Elly Curshen’s cavolo nero & Stilton Caesar p24 DAVID HAREWOOD Shakespeare, self-analysis and his cuddly new friend p10 OFFERS 4 for 3 on selected festive party food fromWaitrose p58 FREE 9 December 2021 Present perfect Handpicked for you, classic wines and spirits to give as gifts this year, p35

9 DECEMB ER 2021 2 NEWS&VIEWS Cover photography: Maja Smend, Channel 4, Illustration: Matthew Hollings/Illustration X Christmas and NewYear is amagical time for many, but for others it can be a real challenge. Family expectations, tensions and pressure can lead to – or exacerbate – feelings of desperation, and suicide prevention charity Samaritans says many people particularly struggle at this time of year. Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help, and the charity is expectingmore than 250,000 during the festive season. More than a third of these will be related to family issues, with new figures revealing that the amount of calls about family worries have risen for the fifth year in a row to 34% (up from27% in 2017). Mental health/illness remains the top concern at 46%, with isolation and loneliness third at 28%, and relationship problems next at 24%. “Christmas is incredibly family orientated, and The festive season is always a busy time for Samaritans, and callers citing family issues are on the rise, writes Emma Higginbotham families can be very complicated,” says Anna Barry, a Samaritans volunteer of 28 years, who always works over the festive period. “People come together over Christmas and there can be a lot of pressure and tension, and there is always the potential for it to be a letdown. They build it up so much. Theymight travel a long way, then they have a fight with somebody and it feels terrible. “Also, a lot of people don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with,” she adds. “All the advertising is about being together, but there’s a lot of loneliness at Christmas.” Anna, 64, is one of 20,000 people who volunteer at 201 Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland. She knows first hand how it can help, after using the service herself. “I called in a very di cult moment, and genuinely think it was life-saving,” she says. “I vowed, if I felt strong enough years later, I’d like to be on the other end of the phone. I was lucky enough to get accepted at Central London, and here I still am. I feel passionately about what we do, and the di erence it canmake.” Stephanie, fromKent, phoned Samaritans six years ago when she was feeling desperate during the festive season. “Christmas is really hard because you’re sold this dream that you should be with family, there should be presents everywhere and everything should be perfect andmagical, but the reality is not always like that,” she says. “People really struggle, and feel like they’re failing because they don’t have that picture-perfect Christmas. “I remember feeling lonely and overwhelmed on Christmas Eve. It all became toomuch and I tried to takemy life. I woke up the next day feeling very unwell, but I got dressed and went to visit my family. I became good at putting on a front, and I look back at the pictures and I’m smiling, but I wasn’t OK at all.” The 33-year-oldmanicurist, who has worked with celebrities including LittleMix and Leona Lewis, felt gradually worse, and called Samaritans in the NewYear. “At first I felt a bit embarrassed, but it was like floodgates – once I started speaking openly, it just all came pouring out,” she says. “It was a very long process for me to get better, but that call savedmy life, and I will be eternally grateful to that unknown gentleman for those hours that he gaveme. It’s a brilliant service.” The charity is now calling for donations to support its work. Giving £5 at samaritans.org/ donate-christmas will go towards training volunteers and ensuring its helpline is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Just donating a really small amount helps to keep the lights on and the phone lines open,” says Anna. “Any amount of money you can spare will support a phone call at a terribly important moment in somebody’s life.” Lending an ear for those in need at Christmas REACHING OUT Stephanie ( left) says a call to the Samaritans saved her life, while Anna (below, right) now volunteers with the charity ‘That call saved my life. I will be eternally grateful to that unknown gentleman for those hours he gave me’ DID YOU KNOW? You can call Samaritans free at any time on 116 123. The number won’t show up on the phone bill

9 DECEMB ER 2021 3 Photography: Abbie Trayler-Smith, Getty Images, Tara Fisher, Tom Dymond Walking in nature has become a national pastime recently, but as winter starts to bite it can be tempting to huddle indoors until spring. However, there’s a special joy to walking at this time of year, which is why the Ramblers is running itsWalk YourWay in Winter campaign to encourage us to lace up our boots and hit the trails. To boost motivation, the walking charity has created a downloadable ‘bingo’ card with challenges to tick o , such as spotting wildlife, seeing a sunrise and foraging for edible plants. You can also use the card to discover what type of walker you are, be it a ‘nature wanderer’, ‘adventurous hiker’ or ‘weekend walk and talker’. “We want to get everyone outdoors, whether for a short local stroll or something more challenging,” says TomPlatt from the Ramblers. “The stark winter scenery is perfect for spotting birds and other wildlife, catching a beautiful sunrise or sunset, watching seals who are breeding now or a herd of wandering deer, while the clear night skies are ideal for stargazing.” Every year, 300,000 people take part in organised walks with the Ramblers. With If you overdo the Christmas ham this year, or find it hard to hold back on thosemoreish pigs in blankets, don’t feel guilty – you are supporting UK pig farmers in their hour of need, particularly if your pork products come fromWaitrose. A deepening crisis has developed in the industry recently, driven by a shortage of lorry drivers, butchers and abattoir workers. Many workers trained in butchery have returned to the EU, which has led to abattoirs running at reduced capacity, creating an oversupply of pork. The National Pig Association say that 10,000 healthy pigs have been culled on farms since the crisis began. While some retailers have dropped the price of pork to take advantage of cheap British cuts, atWaitrose – where all pork products are British and outdoor bred – the retailer is standing by its commitment to pay farmers fairly and sustain high animal welfare standards. “Rather than putting pork DIVE INTO KNITTING After photos of British diver Tom Daley knitting in the stands at the Tokyo Olympics went viral this summer, the gold medal-winner has launched his own knitting brand. Made With Love By Tom Daley features kits from £30 to £145 for jumpers, hats, scarves – and even a bright pink cuddly åamingo. He described his hobby as “the one thing that has kept me sane” in Tokyo, and now says he’s inviting people to #threadthelove. BEYOND BORDERS More than 600 Waitrose products are now available at Edinburgh and East Lothian family run store chain Margiotta, as part of a plan to expand into Scotland. There are currently six Waitrose shops north of the border and Margiotta has 10 stores, eight of which started stocking products – from prepared fruit and vegetables to seasonal foods – from the beginning of this month. The other two stores will join early in 2022 after refurbishment. GREATNESS RECOGNISED Josephine Baker (below) has become the ärst black woman to enter France’s Panthéon, the Paris mausoleum for national heroes. Born in Missouri in 1906, she åed 20s segregationist America for France, where she became a music-hall superstar, joined the resistance in the Second World War and later became a civil rights activist. In an interview she once said: “I don’t like the word hatred… We weren’t put on Earth for that, more to understand and love each other.” THE GOOD NEWS GUIDE A weekly round-up of heartwarming stories Walk your way to winter adventures more than over 140,000miles of public rights of way across England andWales and 42,000 footpaths in Scotland, there are plenty of routes to explore. According to a YouGov poll released by the charity, 70%of walkers cite getting out in the fresh air as their mainmotivator, while 48.5% give the chance to be in nature as their reason for leaving the house. Almost a third (30%) walk for health and wellbeing, while 36.3% walk simply to relax. Just 7%of those polled are reluctant walkers, showing just how popular going for a ramble has become. PatsyWestcott Walk YourWay inWinter runs until the end of February; download the bingo card at ramblers.org.uk/go-walking Enjoy British pork and support our farmers on promotion, we wanted to help by putting in a base price that ensures our farmers won’t be disadvantaged by themarket price drop,” says Jake Pickering, Partner and senior manager for agriculture. The pork backlog building up at farms and in abattoirs has beenmade worse by an unexpected drop in exports. For the past few years, China has been importing large quantities of UK pork while dealing with an outbreak of African Swine Fever, but its own production is now back in action. The National Farmers’ Union of England andWales says the challenges the sector faces are unprecedented. “As well as encouraging themeat-eating public to buy British pork, it’s equally vital that UK retailers continue to support our farmers,” says NFU president Minette Batters. “The supportWaitrose is o ering to raise the baseline its farmers will be paid is appreciated.” Anna Shepard OUT AND ABOUT The Ramblers are urging people to go walking this winter STARS SUPPORT CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY Celebrities including Holly Willoughby, Alex Scott and Dr Ranj Singh (right) are donning festive knitwear tomorrow (10 December) for Save the Children’s 10th Christmas Jumper Day. The charity is encouraging people to upcycle, borrow or buy second-hand to make this the most sustainable event yet. Don your jazziest jumper and donate £2 (or £1 for kids) to Save the Children. savethechildren.org.uk

5 9 DECEMB ER 2021 I’monly just recovering fromthe deluge of enticements that floodedmy inbox for Black Friday, which I resistedwith great di culty inmy attempt to livemore sustainably. It also led to a bit of a stando with the onlymember of my householdwho does appear to be listening – Alexa. Increasingly, I am confrontedwith coincidences that seementirely connected to an eavesdropper in ourmidst. AmI alone in finding it a little bit sinister that a random conversationwith a friend aboutmy hunt for linen sheets suddenly sees a tsunami of adverts appear on every page I open onGoogle? I’mno conspiracy theorist, but it’s starting to feel like the horror sloganwas right: thewalls truly do have ears. It could be the perfect solution tomy Christmas dilemmas, though. Since the kitchen in our house is where every conversation of note takes place, if I keep a close watch onmy influx of unsolicited I’ll settle for more kindness – and a new co ee grinder farming village in the gardens of Versailles. A friend says that her family have agreed to only do gifts for kids, with the caveat that if you see something a grown-upmight love during the year, you can buy it for them. I’mall for retailers makingmoney. They are businesses, and we need to support themafter the past two years, but gift lists dragged from reluctant children, or buying box sets of bubble bath which are simply regifted, is no longer acceptable. Spotting a co eemachine that grinds the beans, on the other hand, and buying it because someone really wants one (yours truly) is quite another thing. (This is a quick caveat to my ‘I don’t want anything!’) All that said, I welcome with open arms the increasing amount of gifts that are doing a bit of giving back. They are shopportunities with a heart – quite literally in some cases. John Lewis and Waitrose have a Give A Little Love section, where you can donate directly or buy a red heart-shaped umbrella, which is pleasingly Lulu Guinness in look, the profits fromwhich will be donated to charities supporting families in need. Youmight do your online Christmas shop, which is frequently an eye-watering sum, and do a bit of donating at the same time. Then there are all the brilliant charities working so hard, especially at this time of year, where the haves and have nots become ever more polarised. Matching friends to causes and donating on their behalf can be as thoughtful as selecting thema good book. Whether it’s a nod to guilty-feeling consumers, brilliant tapping into the zeitgeist or a genuine wish to do some good, I verymuch welcome any innovation which encourages us to think of others. And – without being toomushy, it is Christmas, and therefore acceptable – we all know that nothing feels so good as doing an act of kindness. And that’s enoughHallmark emotion for this year. SINGING FROM THE SAME HYMN SHEET Inmy house, we knowwe’re close to the 25th when all other music is banished andmy husband’s festive playlist goes on permanent rotation. Much as I love ShaneMacGowan and KirstyMacColl’s duet on Fairytale of NewYork, Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby andWham!’s Last Christmas, there’s a limit to howmany times I can hear themwithout wondering whether, on permanent rotation, they might be classified as a formof torture. So it’s with great joy that I can report a new tune in town, and I’mpredicting it’s going to join the annals of Christmas classics. Don’t Be Alone on Christmas Night by Greensmith &Masterson is a brilliant new charity single supporting Save The Children. Drummer-producer-songwriter Dominic Greensmith, award-winning writer-director Heidi Greensmith and gravelly voiced singer-songwriter AdamMasterson have created themost gloriously memorable song. Chills, as the kids say. Two Greensmith children are on the record –Hunter, 16, on bass and 17-year-old Audrey on backing vocals –making it a latter-day Von Trappstyle e ort, and you don’t get more Christmassy than rewatching The Sound of Music. I suspect even my husband – who insists on singing Shane’s part louder than Shane – will be adopting a new festive melody. Thank goodness for that. adverts, I’ll be illuminated as to the wishlists of my nearest and dearest. Not that I’mgoing all out this year. There’s nothing like a pandemic and the sight of desperate people risking their lives to cross the icy English Channel tomakemass consumerism feel very last decade. That old adage that ‘Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without any presents’ is being heavily disproved byme this year. I’mnot a Grinch. My hall – singular – is duly deckedwith holly, and I am thoroughly looking forward, subject to no extra restrictions being imposed, to revelling and feasting with friends and family. Nevermind the turkey – he’s but a lone ranger in the Frostrup-McCue bu et spread. So no one can accuseme of being a killjoy. But, present wise, I’mhaving a rethink. There is nothing I especially want and certainly nothing I genuinely need. Shopping these days has become an ethical minefield, though thankfullymy friend Livia Firth and her brilliant Eco-Age newsletter is always on hand to remindme which companies have the right green credentials. Nevertheless, there’s a limit to howmuch stu any of us need, and impulsive consumption feels as sybaritic as the Empress Joséphine of France, said to have bought 900 dresses in a year, orMarie Antoinette, whosemany excesses included building a play Illustration: Michael Parkin/Folioart NEWS&VI EWS MY WEEK Mariella Frostrup

7 9 DECEMB ER 2021 NEWS&VI EWS THE CHEESE SHOP OWNER Cheesemonger Morgan McGlynn owns Cheeses of Muswell Hill, north London What’s your perfect cheeseboard formula? Go for a soft, semi-soft, hard and semi-hard cheese. For the soft I always go for amild fresh one – something rich and buttery such as burrata, mild Brie or Camembert. Then smooth and nutty like Comté or mountain Gruyère, as well as a hard cheese that’s sharp and crunchy – aged Cheddar or Gouda. At Christmas, the blue (semi-hard) has to be Stilton and Colston Bassett is the one. Accompaniments? Go traditional – oatcakes or water crackers – nothing that overpowers the cheese. Quince jelly is underrated, but for something a bit di erent try cherry paste or a drizzle of balsamic. I love pecans, almonds or walnuts too, especially pickled walnuts with Stilton. To drink, a Negroni or English sparkling – bubbles work with everything. Top tip? Have elements that pair with each cheese whether meat, fruit, veggies or chutney. For instance, Cheddar goes well with ham or sundried tomato, blue cheese with dark chocolate. cheesesonline.co.uk THE CHEF Frederick Forster is head chef at Read’s Restaurant in Kent and is on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 What’s your perfect cheeseboard formula? I’ma simple eater when it comes to cheese and themost important thing is the quality. At Christmas I like Vacherin – it’s good for the board but can double up as a fondue. I love Lincolnshire Poacher, Westcombe Cheddar and a French number called Brillat Savarin, a soft triple-creamcheese I make cheesecake with. I’d add Brie, Camembert and Stilton because it’s important to have familiarity too. Accompaniments? Plain oatcakes or biscuits. We make our own Read’s Eccles cakes with buttery pastry, currants, sultanas, orange zest and a little cinnamon – they are incredible served warmwith cheese. We also serve palate cleansers like grapes and Kent apples. And to drink, beer, ale, whisky, bourbon or Sauternes. Top tip? Save a little Christmas pudding and serve it warmalongside Cheddar. reads.com THE CHEESEMAKER Rose Grimond founded Nettlebed Creamery in Oxfordshire and adopts an approach of ‘more is more’ What’s your perfect cheeseboard formula? I think variety is key, so go for a smaller amount of a larger number of cheeses. I’d choose Highmoor for squidge and umami; luxurious triple cream cheese Bix; an exceptional goat’s milk cheese like SinodunHill; a Su olk Brie called Baron Bigod; Winslade which is a fabulous cross between a Vacherin and Camembert; Stichelton instead of Stilton; a classic crumbly Cheshire like Appleby’s; the superlative hard sheep milk’s cheese Spenwood; a semi-hard nutty Alpinestyle cheese like Comté or ourWitheridge and, lastly, Hafod Cheddar, which is Britain’s only organic artisan Cheddar. Accompaniments? Jacob’s CreamCrackers provide texture and snap but don’t compete with the cheese, or I like a really good sourdough. Quince jelly, pickled walnuts or carrot kraut provide acidity. To drink, English sparkling wine is more in harmony than red. Top tip? Why not addmini Father Christmases, reindeer or elves to make it a visual centrepiece. nettlebedcreamery.com THE AUTHOR Ned Palmer wrote A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles and runs The Cheese Tasting Co What’s your perfect cheeseboard formula? You want a range of textures, flavours and intensities. Start by eating themildest, something like a lovely Appleby’s Cheshire. Get proper Somerset Cheddar like Keen’s or you could have Lincolnshire Poacher, which is the lovechild of Cheddar and Gruyère. I’d probably go for Stichelton over Stilton. For greater intensity, look for a washed rind cheese like IrishMilleens. And the Christmas extravaganza is a Vacherin, cheese so gooey it has to come in its own wooden box. Accompaniments? A good sourdough or anything plain like Stockan’s Oatcakes, although fruit cake with Cheddar, Lancashire orWensleydale is also delicious. Acidic cheese doesn’t work with acidic fruit. Damson paste is tart and intense – you don’t needmuch. The best all-purpose drink is a late- bottled Riesling. Top tip? Visit a dedicated cheese counter. cheesetastingco.uk A homage to fromage Whether your tastes run to the uncomplicated or the more adventurous, four experts share their secrets for the perfect Christmas cheeseboard with Anna-Marie Julyan Photography: iStock / Getty Images Plus, Adam Robertson

8 9 DECEMB ER 2021 NEWS&VI EWS IN MY OPINION Fi Glover IN MY OPINION i lover The Radio 4 journalist airs her views In Shakespeare’s time, Christmas was an occasion of excessive consumption. England in the early 17th century was alsomarked by religious conflict and a generation later, under Oliver Cromwell, it was e ectively cancelled. In Twelfth Night (set at the end of Christmas), Shakespeare takes aimat those who disliked the festivities via Sir Toby Belch, who defends the people’s right to enjoy ‘cakes and ale’. Holiday feasting was a carnivalesque a air, as glimpsed in Romeo and Juliet, when the playwright takes us into the kitchens as the Capulet banquet is prepped. In the scene where Romeo gains his first sight of Juliet, the Capulet servants prepare dinner and a server hankers over marzipan, instructing a co-worker to break himo ‘a piece of marchpane’. Marzipan, today’s staple exterior of Christmas cakes, was in the Bard’s time a favourite to accompany dinners on grand occasions and was oftenmoulded into figurines of the famous to entertain guests – they would have eaten with their hands, breaking o pieces of marzipanmen. Aside from the sweets, Tudor Christmas centred on poultry –most commonly woodcock, partridge, or swan. While none of Shakespeare’s plays are set at Christmas, every Jane Austen novel relishes in it. By the Georgian period, beef, mutton and venison were elbowing aside birds on the festive table. The white soupmentioned byMr Bingley in Pride and Prejudice Christmas dining rituals have evolved over the centuries, as reflected in some of our best-known works of fiction. Historian Bryce Evans reveals how authors documented the changes Novel look at festive feasts past and present gives us a clue to the lavish variety of foodstu s which were part of the Georgian feast, with global trade providing exotic items such as oranges and raisins which appear in Austen’s own recipe collection, as seen in Martha Lloyd’s Household Book: The Original Manuscript fromJane Austen’s Kitchen. As the British empire expanded, colonially sourced ingredients becamemore typical andGeorgian recipes formince pies contained lessmeat thanTudor ones, while dried fruit, spices and sugar came to the fore. A Jane Austen Christmas was still a time for ‘friends’ and ‘friendlymeetings’, as noted in Emma, and community ‘gaieties’ as in Pride and Prejudice. But in the succeeding Victorian period, by contrast, it was about the immediate family, as memorably captured by Charles Dickens in AChristmas Carol, when the Cratchits dine on a turkey gifted by the newly benevolent Scrooge. This scenemarked the start of the turkey’s ascent as essential festive food. The Ghost of Christmas Present, glimpsed by Scrooge, is surrounded by a surfeit of food – turkeys, geese, game, poultry, suckling pigs, sausages, mince pies and plumpuddings. This abundance contrasts with the hunger of two children hiding beneath the Ghost’s cloak: Ignorance andWant. Food symbolism features heavily in Dickens (think of themice nibbling onMiss Havisham’s wedding cake in Great Expectations) and in AChristmas Carol, Dickens uses food as amotif for inequality. He’dmade this point before, in Oliver Twist, when the book’s eponymous orphan famously requestedmore gruel. Dickens was borrowing from contemporary press outrage over themeanness of food in England’s new workhouse system, and in newspapers of the day, it was not gruel that was the subject of scandal, but reports of workhouse inmates being denied roast meat and plumpudding on Christmas Day. This cancelling of festive food for the poorest would raise hackles and, in turn, Dickens’ pen. In urging charity at Christmas, AChristmas Carol established that the holiday was becoming associated with overindulgence that was consumerist, not communal. The works of James Joyce feature food aplenty and As I write, the chances of seeing your little ones in their school play are still good – even if it’s being live-streamed, it’s more than last year. The nativity got amention in our PM’s look ahead to the dos and don’ts with the arrival of Omicron. For every parent sighing in relief andmaking sure their phone is fully charged, I bet there’ll be a parent preparing their ‘school concert smile’. You know the one. It manages to say both “I want to commit this tomemory forever,” and “Pleasemake it stop right now.” I’ve worn that smile as yet another squeaky rendition of Away in a Manger is performed by Year 4s on the recorder. Oh, the recorder. What can we say about our universal experience of its ear-blasting squeakiness? It’s a strange instrument – I played itmyself as a child. I evenmoved on to a treble andwon a prize at the SouthamptonMusic Festival, whichmymother regards as one ofmy finest achievements. But it’s so hard to play well. It blows and hisses, not to mention it’s lacking in any kind of soulfulness. It just reminds most people of the opening to Blackadder. And so for some terrific news from2021 – at last, I hear you cry! The ukulele is taking over. This four-stringed tiny guitar of wonder is catching upwith the recorder, and if its surge in popularity continues, then next year it will eclipse thewindy plastic howler. It’s not just the kids who are in on it. A survey ofmore than 450 adults and children found that the proportion playing the recorder has halved in the last 20 years, while there’s been a 15-fold increase for the ukulele. Thank heavens, and for a serious reason too. As a youngster, it was hard to find rolemodels in the rock and roll world to keep your pecker up on a wind instrument. I wasn’t alone in ditchingmymusic lessons when the lure of pop came along. I couldn’t work out where playing a recorder came into it all, apart froma bit of action on The Beatles’ The Fool on the Hill, the recorder didn’t seem to belong in the world of popular music. But the ukulele is the gateway to a thousand guitar ri s. It’ll stand you in such good stead if you want to cross over tomusic that has amore syncopated beat. As to where you put a ‘uke’ solo in a show about amanger and three kings, well I suspect the kids will find a way – and parents and carers will bemuch happier. And teachers too. After the year they’ve had, let’s help them in any way we can. ‘Oh, the recorder. What can we say about our universal experience of its ear-blasting squeakiness?’ Fortunately…with Fi and Jane and The Listening Project are on BBC Sounds @fifiglover

9 9 DECEMB ER 2021 in so doing, reflect the consumerist society of the early 20th century. Diners in Joyce’s The Dead enjoy amulti-course NewYear’s Eve dinner of brown goose, beef tenderloin with fig sauce, honey-glazed ham, potatoes and bread pudding. The ability of imperial trade to deliver goods fromever further-flung corners of the globe is hinted at – American apples and Smyrna figs arementioned, as well as blancmange. As in previous periods, the abundance and eclecticismof food at the gathering illustrates the host’s wealth. While the Harry Potter books owe a debt to the Dickensian tradition, a close look at Christmas food reveals they are of their time, too. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JKRowling describes Harry’s dinner at Hogwarts – roast turkeys, roast and boiled potatoes, platters of fat chipolatas, tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy. This is a traditional dinner, served from traditional vessels. The theme of festive plenty is familiar, as is the Victorian favourite of a flaming pudding doused in brandy with a ‘silver sickle’ buried within. Coins ‘As the British empire expanded, colonially sourced ingredients became more typical and Georgian recipes for mince pies contained less meat than Tudor ones’ embedded in the pud are a ritual dating back to medieval times that persists to this day. However, there’s a clue that the Hogwarts meal takes place in the recent past, as seen in its reference to chipolatas. The French sausage became a staple of the British Christmas plate late in the 20th century, championed by Delia Smith. Wrapped in bacon as pigs in blankets, it’s now considered key tomany a festive plate. Frommarzipan and honey-glazed ham to puds drenched in brandy, authors have documented the foods enjoyed at Christmas withmouthwatering e ect. But perhaps we should be examining the message, too? ADickens Christmas feels apt this year, with community, not consumerism, a high priority. gather round Dickens’ A Christmas Carol ( left); a typical Tudor festive feast (below); Harry Potter’s big lunch at Hogwarts (bottom right); Jane Austen (bottom left) 1 Where are you? At home in Gloucestershire. It’s beautiful and sunny and the day is looking good. 2 Five words to describe your new book, Diary of a Christmas Elf? Magical, funny, daring Christmas adventure. 3 Do you share any characteristics with Tog the Christmas elf? The main thing that we don’t have in common is that Tog is completely bafåed by anything technological. I’m a real digital geek. 4 As a result of the success of your Christmas books, you’ve been crowned ‘the king of Christmas’. Are you happy with that accolade? I should be so lucky. It’s a great title to have bestowed on me. However, I feel more like I’m the town crier of Christmas. 5 Any plans to do a Christmas album? For me, it would be all about änding a festive woollen jumper and the right äreplace to stand in front of for the album cover. 6 You studied physics at Cambridge University. Does this ever come in handy? It came in very useful when writing the book. My knowledge of science was really handy when getting into the nittygritty of how toys are manufactured and how the elves might make the toys in Santa’s workshop. 7 Which of your TV shows do you get asked about the most? People always ask about Death in Paradise. Mainly they want to know if it was as hot as it looks. The answer to that is always yes. It’s älmed in the Caribbean in 40-degree heat, and I was wearing a wool suit. The actor and author on elves, physics and being ‘the king of Christmas’ 7 QUESTIONS WITH… BEN MI LLER Ben Miller’s Diary of a Christmas Elf (Simon & Schuster Children’s) is out now. Interview: Nick Neads Photography: Shutterstock, Alamy Stock Photo, Faye Thomas Photography

10 9 DECEMB ER 2021 NEWS&VI EWS Photography: Smallz & Raskind/Getty Images for Samsung

11 9 DECEMB ER 2021 Despite spending most of the past decade working on the other side of the Atlantic, David Harewood has only ever missed one Christmas at home with his family – and it’s not an experience he’s in a hurry to repeat. “I was inNewYork, doing AMidsummer Night’s Dream, and it was weird,” the actor tells Weekend. “It’s probably the one and only time I’ll ever do that. Christmas is not a time to be on your own.” This year, the 56-year-old will not only be happily ensconced at home in south London with his wife Kirsty and their two daughters, he’ll be spreading a little Christmas cheer by narrating The Abominable SnowBaby – the latest entry in a distinguished line of festive Channel 4 animations, stretching all the way back to The Snowman. “It’s a Christmas tradition,” agrees David. “I used to watch The Snowman with the kids, fighting back the tears, pretending I’mbig and strong. So it’s been an absolute joy to be part of this one. I’ve seen the animation, and it’s beautifully done – I think it’s going to become one of those Christmas classics that, hopefully, people will be watching for years to come.” Based on a short story by the late Terry Pratchett, The Abominable SnowBaby tells the heartwarming tale of Albert Scruggins (voiced by Hugh Dancy), a caretaker who wakes to find his small town has been visited by a huge snowfall – and a 14-foot baby yeti. While the town gives him the cold shoulder, the pup receives much needed TLC fromAlbert’s indomitable granny, brilliantly brought to life by the great JulieWalters. If there’s amoral at the heart of the story, then, it’s about the kindness of strangers. “That’s one of the things that stood out for me,” says David. “The whole parable of welcoming strangers – scary, frightening, di erent-looking strangers – into our homes, and giving themwarmth and comfort, especially at this time of year. It’s amessage I think we need to be reminded of.” For actors, Christmas often arrives unseasonably early, and this was no exception. “I actually recorded it in Vancouver over the summer,” says David. “But it’s such a warm, Christmassy story that I managed to get in the mood, even though it was 30 degrees outside.” Both David and JulieWalters (who didn’t actuallymeet until SnowBaby’s press photoshoot) are immortalised on Birmingham’s HollywoodstyleWalk of Stars. “She’s an absolute top Brummie, and a wonderful actress,” he says. “So I’mdelighted to be in her company.” Growing up in the city’s Small Heath area, the son of a lorry driver father and a caterer mother who had come to England fromBarbados in the late 50s, David turned to acting on the suggestion of a teacher at his comprehensive school (reasoning that it “sounded as good as anything”). Turned down by BirminghamYouth Theatre, he headed to the National Youth Theatre in London and, aged 18, successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. For the first two decades of his career, David worked fairly solidly, with screen roles running the gamut fromFriar Tuck in the BBC’s RobinHood to NelsonMandela in the TV film MrsMandela. On stage, meanwhile, he played DrMartin Luther King Jr, and was – incredibly – the first black actor to play Othello for the National Theatre. But by his mid-forties, the decent roles were drying up, and he was down to his last £80 when he was persuaded to record a self-tape for the US espionage thriller Homeland. “It was amassive game-changer, massive,” he says of his role as CIA counterterrorismdirector David Estes, and his wider induction into the world of American TV. “As it has been for quite a few black British actors who’ve found success out there. “I’ve been back in this country for three or four months now, and I still haven’t seen a leading black actor on a British drama,” adds David (who, somewhat ironically, was made anMBE for services to drama in 2012). “Whereas in America, you see dramas led by black and Asian and Hispanic men and women every day. I don’t know why that isn’t happening here – whether it’s a reluctance on the part of producers, or on the part of the audience.” Finding success in the States didn’t come without a cost, though – his two daughters, Maize and Raven, were both under 10 when he landed the Homeland job. “FaceTime has been a lifesaver, as I’m sure it has for many a travelling actor,” he says. “It was a discussion we had, whether they all came withme, but the girls were in school at the time, so we decided they should stay. And I went o and, finally, after 30-odd years, made a decent living, so I could put some food in their bellies.” The first lockdown was the longest he’d spent in the UK for nine years, and now he’s back for good (or until the next transatlantic job o er comes in). When Weekend catches up with him, David is in rehearsals for Best of Enemies, James Graham’s new play about the battle for the 1968 presidential nomination, which has just opened at the Young Vic. It’s his first time on the UK stage for a decade, and the role of WilliamF Buckley Jr – a (white) conservative US politician who supported Actor David Harewood tells Paul Kirkley about looking into ‘the dark corners’ of his past – and making what he hopes will become a new Christmas TV classic ‘I’ve opened all the cupboards and had a good old root around in my soul’

13 9 DECEMB ER 2021 NEWS&VI EWS segregation and opposed the civil rights movement – could scarcely bemore challenging. “It’s been tough, really tough,” he admits. “I turned it down at first, because I couldn’t see it. Psychologically, it’s a huge challenge, stepping into those shoes. And it’s incredible how your mind works – in getting to a place where I could start to play him, I foundmyself beginning to admire theman. Because of his charmand his intellect, you start to forget how dangerous people like that really are. “Casting a black actor in that role is not only challenging for me, I think it’s also going to be challenging to an audience,” he considers. “Some people will probably have a problemwith it, I’m sure. But we don’t do theatre for those people. We do theatre for people who are prepared to engage in the exchange of ideas.” It’s not the first di cult challenge David has squared up to in recent years. In 2019, hemade a Bafta-nominated BBC film, Psychosis andMe, exploring themental collapse he su ered in his early 20s, which led to himbeing sectioned and detained on a psychiatric ward. According to research, blackmen experience psychosis 10 times more frequently than white men, and are four times more likely to be detained under theMental Health Act; in David’s psychiatric report, he was described as “a large blackman” who needed to be restrained by six policemen, and was given four times the standard dose of anti-psychotic drugs. Even whilemaking the documentary, he couldn’t bring himself to read that psychiatric report. But when he began writing his autobiography, Maybe I Don’t Belong Here, last summer, he knew it was something he couldn’t put o any longer. “It had been sort of flying aroundmy brain, ever since I made the documentary,” he says. “I’d already started the book, but I knew I couldn’t SUPER CV In recent years, David has had huge success as part of the DC Comics TV universe, playing the dual roles of Martian Manhunter and Cyborg Superman on shows such as The Flash and Supergirl. “The buzz of getting your own super suit is just awesome,” he says. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in front of the mirror and just laughed, because as a kid that’s exactly what you want to do – play super heroes.” He is about to direct his ärst feature älm, For Whom the Bell Tolls – about the early 90s boxing rivalry between Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. David was initially unhappy with his Homeland character being killed off after two seasons – but it ended up being a good career move. “Everybody seemed to have the same reaction – which was ‘what the **** did they do that for?’” he recalls. “And then everyone wanted to see me, so it actually opened a lot of doors.” Africa to the Caribbean and forced to work as slaves for the Harewood family. In 2007, David went toHarewoodHouse in Yorkshire to talk to David Lascelles, now the 8th Earl of Harewood (and cousin to the Queen) about their shared history. A decade-and-a-half on, is he any closer to making peace with bearing such a visible scar of slavery as part of his own family’s identity? “It’s a tough question, and I do wrestle with it,” he says. “I had a conversation withmy daughters about it the other day – about whether or not they wanted tomaintain the name. Which is completely up to them. It’s such a complex thing. “It’s like people have said tome about my book, ‘Do you feel like you belong now?’ And I can’t answer that. These are questions I still wrestle with. The best way I can answer those questions is to say they’re unanswered questions.” ‘To read about your disturbed self... it’s pretty uncomfortable. But that allowed me to look at my life in perspective’ VARIETY SHOW David as David Estes in Homeland (above); The Abominable Snow Baby, which he narrates (right) The Abominable SnowBaby, Channel 4, Christmas Day, 7.30pm. Best of Enemies is at London’s Young Vic until 22 January really write it until I’d read thosemedical notes. So when I got back to Vancouver, I sat down, in quarantine, and readmymedical records from 30 years ago. Which was really di cult – to read about your disturbed self, and the things you said and did… it’s pretty uncomfortable. But it actually painted the picture for me, of why I was so disturbed. And that allowedme to look at my life in perspective, and throw new light onmyself andmy story.” Writing the book – in which he explores the links between race, identity andmental health – was an ‘emotional but fulfilling’ experience, adds David. “It’s almost like I’ve opened all the cupboards, and really had a good old root around inmy soul and in all my dark corners, and there are nomore spiders that can scareme anymore. “And the great thing is the book has helped so many other people. I get messages fromblack actors reaching out and saying: ‘Thank you for writing that – I don’t feel like I’mgoing crazy anymore.’ It’s also been helpful tomental health organisations, in terms of discussing the treatment of black patients – some of themhave even changed practice. So that’s been deeply pleasing for me. It’s been a little challenging at times [exploring these issues], but I’mall the stronger for it.” Certain issues, though, remain unresolved – not least the question of David’s own surname, acquired when his ancestors were shipped from BREAKING NEW GROUND David was the first black actor to play Othello for the National Theatre Photography: Alamy Stock Photo, Channel 4

15 9 DECEMB ER 2021 FOOD&DRINK Fresh inspiration More taste, less waste with our festive recipe special p16 Going underground Wookey Hole caves help produce a classic cheese p20 Lovely leftovers Ravinder Bhogal’s turkey & winter greens noodle bowls p24 Photography: Maja Smend Food Styling: Jennifer Joyce Props Styling: Wei Tang

9 DECEMB ER 2021 16 FOOD&DRINK More taste, no waste I’m not sure if it’s just me, but when it comes to Christmas food, I look forward to the leftovers as much as the main event. A turkey sandwich crammed with stufäng and cranberry sauce. The best bubble and squeak with roasties and sprouts. The last of the Christmas pud crumbled into ice cream and topped off with a splash of that sweet sherry that really needs änishing up. And, of course, a bite of Stilton if I happen to be passing the fridge. So I can’t wait to try this week’s recipes from Ravinder Bhogal, Elly Curshen and Edd Kimber (p24). Imaginative and full of bold åavours, these dishes have got me excited about ‘twixmas’ meals already. And for those who have run out of fridge space, this clever no-waste menu is for you. Whether it’s breadcrumbs from the salmon topping that are made into treacle tart, or the last of the parsley added to the potatoes, all the fresh ingredients in these recipes get used up. It’s a savvy – and delicious – way to avoid food waste. ALISON OAKERVEE Partner & food and drink editor No-waste can produce some amazing dishes, as this stylishmenu proves. The sides and pudding use leftover ingredients from the salmon to create a delicious spread Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 30 minutes 75g unsalted butter 1 tsp pul biber ¾ tsp fennel seeds, crushed 75g Cooks’ Ingredients Soft White Breadcrumbs (from a 200g pack) 1 unwaxed lemon, zest, and cut into wedges ½ orange, scrubbed, zest 50g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped 2/3 x 25g pack åat leaf parsley, änely chopped 500g No.1 Scottish Prime Fillet of Salmon, skin removed 1 Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the pul biber and fennel seeds and cook until aromatic. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl, then mix in the citrus zests, nuts, parsley and a pinch of salt. 2 Sit the salmon in a roasting tin, season and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Pour over the spiced butter and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and the äsh is cooked through, opaque and åakes easily. Serve with the lemon wedges. Per serving 2180kJ/525kcals/39g fat/13g saturated fat/ 10g carbs/1.5g sugars/2.6g äbre/32g protein/0.4g salt Butter-roasted salmon with a hazelnut & citrus crust A beautiful yet hassle-free fish supper that’s perfect for Christmas Eve or any special meal over the festive period

9 DECEMB ER 2021 17 Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 35 minutes 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes 2½ tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/ 3 x 25g pack åat leaf parsley, änely chopped 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6, and put a roasting tin in to heat up. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the potatoes and parboil for 5-7 minutes. Drain well and leave in the colander for a few moments to steam dry. Tip them into the hot roasting tin and toss with the oil and garlic. Season. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway, until golden and crispy. Mix in the parsley and serve. V Per serving 1296kJ/308kcals/9.1g fat/1.1g saturated fat/ 49g carbs/2.3g sugars/5.1g äbre/4.9g protein/0.5g salt/gluten free/vegan Garlic & parsley Parmentier potatoes Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 5 minutes 1½ tbsp olive oil 500g Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced ½ orange, juice 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 Heat the oil in a frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. Add the sprouts and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the orange juice and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and a little charred in places. Season, then stir in the butter just before serving. V Per serving 599kJ/145kcals/10g fat/3.1g saturated fat/ 5.8g carbs/4.4g sugars/5.1g äbre/4.4g protein/0.1g salt/ 1 of your 5 a day/gluten free Shredded sprouts Leftover juice from the orange in the salmon recipe adds a lovely twist to this classic accompaniment Roast potatoes and veg are a great way to use up any fresh herbs lurking in the fridge. Sprinkle over liberally for added brightness High in äbre

9 DECEMB ER 2021 19 FOOD&DRINK More taste, no waste Photography: Maja Smend Food Stylist: Sian Davies Props Stylist: Wei Tang Serves 6 Prepare 30 minutes + chilling and cooling Cook 50 minutes 50g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and cooled 150g plain åour, plus extra for dusting 1 tbsp caster sugar 100g chilled unsalted butter, diced 1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg, lightly beaten Clotted cream, to serve (optional) For the cranberry layer 75g caster sugar 180g frozen cranberries 1½ tsp cornåour For the älling 125g Cooks’ Ingredients Soft White Breadcrumbs (from a 200g pack) 1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg, lightly beaten ½ orange, scrubbed, zest and juice 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger Pinch ground cloves 300g golden syrup 1 For the pastry, put 30g hazelnuts in a food processor and whizz until änely ground. Add the åour, caster sugar and a pinch of salt and whizz again to mix. Tip in the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles äne breadcrumbs. Add ½ the beaten egg and 1½ tsp cold water, then pulse until it forms a dough (save the remaining egg for the älling.) Chill, covered, for 30 minutes, or until ärm. 2 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Put an 18cm sandwich tin on a baking tray. Cut 2 long strips of baking parchment (about 3cm wide) and arrange in a cross in the tin, leaving plenty of excess overhanging. Fold over the lip of the tin to secure. On a lightly åoured surface, roll out the pastry to 3mm (about the thickness of a £1 coin). Use to line the tin, making sure the parchment strips are still in place. Trim excess pastry, then crimp the edges, if liked. Use a fork to prick holes in the base, then line with parchment and äll with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sides are pale golden. Remove the parchment and beans. Bake for 5 minutes more, or until the base feels dry. Cool to room temperature in the tin. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4. 3 Meanwhile, put the sugar, cranberries and cornåour in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, or until the liquid thickens and takes a few seconds to äll the gap when a wooden spoon is run through it. Cool. 4 Mix together the älling ingredients (with the reserved beaten egg) in a bowl, then spread the cranberry mixture over the cooled pastry case in an even layer. Spoon the älling on top and bake on the bottom shelf of the oven on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, until golden with a slight wobble in the centre. Cool in the tin on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then remove the tart from the tin, using the parchment strips to lift it out. Roughly chop the remaining 20g hazelnuts and scatter on top. Serve with clotted cream, if liked. Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. V Per serving (excluding clotted cream) 2439kJ/581kcals/21g fat/9.8g saturated fat/86g carbs/57g sugars/ 3.9g äbre/8.6g protein/0.7g salt This absolutely gorgeous tart deserves to be centre of attention in its own right, but it’s also a clever way to use up leftover breadcrumbs and nuts HOWWE’RE FIGHTING FOOD WASTE We work closely with charity FareShare to redistribute surplus food from our stores and depots to those who need it and we aim to cut food waste in our operations and across our supply chain by 50% by 2030. We also support the government’s food-waste partner, Wrap, in its goal to halve household food waste by 2030 – at the moment, 70% of UK food waste is generated in the home. HOW YOU CAN HELP From planning ahead to using up leftovers, there are lots of practical ways you can play your part. For top tips, kitchen hacks and brilliant no-waste recipes, visit waitrose.com/foodwasteathome. AGAINST PARTNERS Spiced cranberry treacle tart

20 9 DECEMB ER 2021 FOOD&DRINK First Bites At Ford Farm in Dorset, they’ve revived the old tradition of maturing cheese in caves, withWookey Hole Cheddar Meet the producer ‘We mature our cheese 150 feet underground’ “We’re one of the last remaining UK producers of traditional farmhouse Cheddar, and wemake our cheese withmilk from Dorset farms, to recipes fromhundreds of years ago,” says Mike Pullin (right) of Ford Farm. “As a boy, I grew up in the Mendips and was fascinated by stories about cheese being stored in caves, so I got the idea to try and revive the tradition, bymaturing Cheddar at the famousWookey Hole caves. It’s done quite a bit in France – Roquefort and Gruyère are two famous examples – but it had prettymuch died out here. “It took us about two years of trying out di erent parts of the caves to find exactly the right conditions. For maturing cheese, you need high humidity, which stops the cheese shrinking and gives it a nice creamy texture, plus a consistent temperature – in the caves it’s 11°C all year round. “We have 800 cheeses in the caves at a time – about 10 tonnes – and the area we use in the heart of the cave system is 150 feet underground. It’s hard work to get the cheeses down there. I can’t imagine how peoplemanaged it centuries ago. “The idea of cavematuring is that the cheeses pick up flavour from their surroundings. We put ours in at nine months old, then they spend threemonths down there. We have strict hygiene procedures and check on it all the time so that we take it out when it’s just right. It develops a fantastic flavour – nicely nutty with earthy undertones from the caves and a beautiful aroma. “I’m in the caves onmy own a bit and people askme if it’s creepy. I don’t think about it – I’m concentrating on cheese!” Nuts have always been an integral part of midwinter feasting, stored froma fruitful harvest to provide flavour and nutrition in the leanmonths. Our mixed nuts are a delicious jumble of almonds, pecans, brazils, hazelnuts and walnuts. Toasting in the oven until golden brings out their flavour. Leftovers can be frozen in an airtight container – they remain far fresher this way than in the cupboard. Aside frommunching by the handful, here are some ideas for how to use them in the run-up to Christmas. 1 A CROWN FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS CAKE A fruit cake topped with glossymixed nuts is easy to achieve and looks and tastes fantastic. Toss withmelted butter and sugar (50g each works for about 250g nuts) then spoon onto the cake with 30minutes’ cooking time remaining. Cool fully before removing from the tin, then finish the cake with a ribbon. 2 SIMPLE SNACKS Stir together nuts and your favourite spices, plus a little oil, sugar and salt. Bake on a lined tray until golden and aromatic to serve with drinks, or put into sterilised jam jars to give as gifts. Search ‘spiced Christmas nuts’ at waitrose.com for the full recipe. Prepare breakfast for the week with layered pots of yogurt, fruit compote and chopped toasted nuts. Add a handful of nuts to a lunch salad for crunch and added protein, too. 3 HOMEMADE NUT BUTTER For mixed nut butter, process toasted, cooled nuts until they become oily, thick and smooth. Season with salt and refrigerate. If you like a sweeter nut butter, add some cocoa powder and a little sugar or maple syrup for a chocolate version. Instead of using ground almonds in baking, amixed nut flour adds a complex flavour – put cold nuts into a processor and pulse until fine. Toasted, finely chopped nuts also work well stirred through pasta sauces and salsas – stir into pasta with ricotta, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pecorino and parsley, plus some cooking water to loosen. Mix choppedmixed nuts into dukkah, sprinkle over gratins and bakes or add to stu ngs. 3 ways with... Mixed nuts ‘It took us about two years of trying out di erent parts of the caves to find exactly the right conditions for maturing the cheese’