Fanny lets us know that many fancy London stores and supermarkets have installed machines which cage meat in fine elasticated string. No one can be sure about the rest of the country. Fanny says this is all happening just in time to save even more precious moments for Christmas. And what a time saver it was! Traditionally, these meat joints had to be tied up by 'professionals' in the old-fashioned way, taking at least five minutes. But, hurrah, thanks to the machine this job is cut to a mere 3 seconds. Fantastic. I assume that Fanny hopes you'll use the 'spare' four minutes and fifty-seven seconds to arrange your joints on platters with seasonal vegetables or of course pop them straight onto your spit-roast at home. Naturally. I am missing so much fun being a vegetarian. And it is so time consuming.
I bet you'll never have seen anything vegetarian arranged in such a splendid way as this Guard of Honour? No nut roast could ever resemble this. Fanny gets Johnnie to do the 'home butcher adventuring' to transform these ordinary but best neck ends of lamb into a show-off dish. This presumably saves Fanny even more time. Just get Johnnie to do it.
Vegetables do help create a stunning centrepiece for an otherwise lacklustre saddle of lamb, so vegetarians shouldn't despair. I'd be happy with an oven-baked tomato spruced up with a sprig of Rosemary, some Brussels and a bed of peas, wouldn't you? Fanny says that baby sprouts are the only ones worth eating, steamed, bien sur.
If you are really strapped for time over Christmas, perhaps a French Sausage Roll would appeal? It's a huge baked garlic sausage covered in puff pastry which has been brushed in mustard. French Mustard. Oh and English too. Just like Fanny (ahem) an Anglo-French alliance. With all the spare time you have, best to tiddle things up with plaits of pastry. For those fancying a different bird this Christmas, Fanny reaches into her Grandmothers notebook and produces a Pigeon Pie. Fanny loves a pigeon. Not only do they taste great but the price is low too. The biggest advantage they have though, according to Fanny, is that very few pigeons are frozen, so the chances are you'll be eating fresh flesh. I'll stick to the freshly prepared baby sprouts if you don't mind.