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A recipe for a treat; NIGELLA'S CHRISTMAS KITCHEN MON, BBC2, 8.30pm.

Nigella Lawson leads the parade of TV chefs delivering their Christmas offerings this week, but Nigella overwhelms the opposition with five shows spread over four consecutive nights.

The first three programmes are all new and the last two are culled from her 2006 series of the same name.

Nigella's main theme is to plan ahead and take the stress and strain out of Christmas catering without giving up any of the enjoyment of great food, shameless overindulgence and sociable time spent in the bosom of the family, bosom being the operative word here.

In the first programme, Nigella makes masses of mince pies and freezes them a week ahead of the big day, using suet-free mincemeat that reminds her of how mince pies should really taste like.

She also suggests freezable suppers to help the season go more smoothly, such as Lamb Tagine with dates and pomegranates, part of a 'Three Kings Eastern Supper'.

So does Nigella really enjoy Christmas? "I revel in it," she says. "Yes, there are moments of stress, but actually the cooking is the least of it. Sometimes, when there are 25 people in the house, some of them whining children, I go in to the kitchen and enjoy the silence. I pretend to be working, but in fact I'm escaping..."

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TASTY... And the cakes look nice too
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 13, 2008
Words:224
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