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Alternative Festive Feasting

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At this time of year it's important to take the time to think about how to spend the festive season. You don't need to follow the crowds, spend a fortune and get caught up in the crazed queuing and bulk buying.

There are loads of alternative ideas you can experiment with. Try making delicious gifts like chocolate truffles flavoured with ginger and coated with nuts. Get the kids involved in the crafting and wrapping them up.

Set new traditions, slow the pace and try a £5 budget for presents. A thoughtful gift of something special, like Bradfield Brewery's seasonal Belgium Blue, could be the perfect indulgence for the beer lover in your life. Get advice from one of our excellent beer shops, like Beer Central, Hop Hideout or Turner's. Plan your cooking to avoid waste and look out for recipes to make the most of leftovers. Check out this month's recipe for Praline Bread Pudding using stale croissants by Joe'spresso .

Set new traditions

If you're cooking for one, cook your favourite food, even if it's not traditional. Get the radio on and think about colour and texture to make any dish a bit more indulgent. Start your Christmas Day with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and spinach on toast with a scattering of pomegranate seeds.

Get sociable and meet up with friends and family to play board games. The Treehouse Board Game Cafe suggest taking a look at the first chapter of ediblegames.com. You make the games in the kitchen and eating the components is all part of the fun.

To inspire you with more festive suggestions and traditions to try out, we've got a selection from some of Sheffield's finest independent traders. Happy Christmas!

Ros Ayres

nibblypig.co.uk

Cocoa Wonderland

462 Ecclesall Road, S11 8PX

cocoawonderland.co.uk

Eating and drinking outside is underrated in the winter. All you need to do is wrap up warm, fill a flask with a hot tipple and venture into the wilderness.

Try making gifts from waste. One of our Cocoa girls, Kat, uses our unwanted coffee granules to make an exfoliating body scrub. Mix it with coconut oil or cocoa butter, then rub in when bathing for super soft skin.

Our gluten-free and vegan Chocolate a la Tassa Spanish drinking chocolate blocks are £4.25. They make a deliciously thick hot chocolate and a touch of cinnamon added to the blend makes it extra warming and aromatic.

Heeley City Farm

Richards Road, S2 3DT

heeleyfarm.org.uk

We run a Rent A Christmas tree scheme. You hire a live tree from us for the Christmas period, then in January all the trees are returned to us and looked after until next year, when they are rented out again.

We encourage people to buy their vegetables from organisations that are growing food locally. This reduces food miles, helps the local economy and supports the work we do as a charity. If you are buying meat, try to get high-welfare, free-range, locally-sourced products, or go for a vegetarian Christmas and have a nut roast full of nuts, spices and herbs.

Smorgas

401 Glossop Road, S10 2PR

smorgas.co

In Scandinavia, festivities start on the first Sunday of Advent and every Sunday in December is reserved for visiting family and friends, who'll offer warming glögg with spiced ginger biscuits (pepparkakor and pebernodder) and other home-baked goodies.

In the run up to Christmas, time is spent with the family, decorating the home with simple and seasonal homemade decorations. The main event is celebrated on Christmas Eve with a big family dinner following family traditions with recipes handed down the generations, including pickled herring, a shot or two of aquavit, roasted meats and cheese.

Feasting on Christmas Eve leaves Christmas Day free to enjoy long walks and a winter picnic with leftovers. God jul!

Make No Bones

4A Rutland Way, S3 8DG

templeof.fun

A great food tradition to try out is our Bloody Maria Bravas. Reheat roast potatoes or any other leftovers, add tequila to a spicy tomato sauce, cover the potatoes and add a bit of coriander. It's cheap, saves on waste and cures the Boxing Day hangover.

This year Make No Bones at the Church have come up with a great way to reuse your leftovers the next day, as many families do at Christmas. Instead of making the standard sandwich, create a Yorkshire Pudding wrap - vegan, of course - and load up with all of the Christmas dinner leftovers.

Next article in issue 141

Recipe Praline Bread Pudding

This is a really good way of using up leftover croissants, but other buttery pastries will work fine, as well as brioche and white bread. Ad…

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