Maria Greenwood shares her band of the month 'The Gravity Drive' and talks losing sight of what Christmas is actually about
PUBLISHED: 12:32 10 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 10 December 2014
Is there such a thing as the perfect Christmas tree? And how should you cook your Brussels sprouts? There is so much to plan for Christmas but don’t lose sight of what this time of year is really all about
Every year I promise myself I’m going to start my Christmas shopping early, and every year I find myself making a final mad dash around the shops on Christmas Eve seeking brandy butter and red cabbage.
What is it about this time of year that makes us put pressure on ourselves to get everything just right? This is especially true when it comes to cooking ‘The Christmas Dinner’. Whole books have been written on this very subject, when essentially Christmas lunch is really just a roast. Yet my search for Michelin star perfection in the past has had me exchanging words with my other half in the middle of a supermarket aisle over just how many Brussels sprouts you should feed your guests, and should they be lightly boiled or sautéed with pancetta and chestnuts?
One of the things I love most about this time of year is having a real Christmas tree. I love the smell of fresh pine, though I don’t love clearing up all the needles, but you can’t have one without the other. Now if you are already judging me on my culinary sprout debate in the supermarket aisle, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ when it comes to Christmas tree shopping.
The first big decision is when to buy the tree. Too early and it will be past it’s best by Christmas Day, too late and all the good ones may be gone. Then once you’ve committed on when to go, the next hurdle to overcome is finding the perfect shaped tree. There is a fundamental flaw to this whole selection process. You’re not able to see if your tree is too bushy or too lean until it’s been unwrapped. So that’s exactly what I ask them to do. Under normal circumstances this is perfectly acceptable, but I’m not so sure you would have thought the same if you had seen me last year. After half an hour of looking I had narrowed the options down to a short list of five. Two were being held up by the seller, two more by my other half, while I held on to a possible fifth option. I did manage to make a final decision, after I asked each one to be given a bit of a twirl. Well, it’s important to see your potential Christmas tree from all angles!
During the festive frenzy it’s easy to get caught up in the search for the perfect present, not to mention the hunt for the best Brussels sprouts (I prefer on the stalk). But would it really matter if for one year I chose not to buy red cabbage for Boxing Day? And so what if my gravy is a little lumpy or my Christmas tree is only bushy on one side? Surely what is most important is spending time with family and friends, because that’s what Christmas is really all about. And Christmas definitely wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
Maria’s Band of the Month - The Gravity Drive
They met, they got married and they started making music. Elijah Wolf and his wife Ava are a harmony driven, husband and wife duo, called The Gravity Drive. Where many musicians are lured by the bright lights of the big city, Elijah and Ava have chosen to independently release records on their own label from their home near Bridport, and with some impressive results. As well as being regular guests on Unplugged on Wessex FM, their debut album Testament has attracted the attention of national stations. Infectious melodies, thoughtful lyrics, creatively packaged with a sleek delivery. I predict 2015 will be a big year for them.
To find out more visit their website thegravitydrive.com.