Every year when I get to the Christmas dinner table I promise myself I'm going to spread the load to ensure I have enough room left over to try all the desserts. Well, maybe not all of them but certainly a good selection of what's on offer. I never get to try everything because one of the contradictions of my life is I don't like sweets that include alcohol – drinking is good; eating is bad – so any sherry- drenched trifles, rum-soaked plum puddings or lemon whiskey cakes can be shared among the others but will nary pass my lips.
Although, in some situations, this would leave me with precious little to choose from but fortunately my family has a fine Christmas dessert tradition. This convention exists because we are blessed with a mother/nanna who could cook up the most glorious desserts; the pinnacle, in my view, being her apple pie. Unfortunately, mum/nanna is not getting any younger and her days of spending Christmas Eve cooking up a storm are over. She has almost completely passed the baton over to us kids. We now each prepare a dessert for the table while mum/nanna provides the family member hosting the meal with his/her favourite dessert.