A Countryside Christmas episode 1: Gethin Jones introduces tips on how to have a countryside Christmas. Anita Rani gets a lesson on how to make a Christmas card, Andrew Ingram helps you choose the right tree and gives you some top tips on keeping it spruced up, and Mary Berry shares a recipe that will give everyone that cosy Christmas feeling.
Gethin Jones’s ultimate guide to a countryside Christmas, featuring top tips and recipes from a selection of favourite faces.
A Countryside Christmas episode 1
How to choose a Christmas tree
When picking out a Christmas tree, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider the size of your space and choose a tree that will fit comfortably without making the room feel cramped. You should also look for a tree with fresh, green needles that are not easily plucked from the branches. Additionally, make sure the tree is symmetrical and has a strong, sturdy trunk. You can also shake the tree to see if it sheds many needles, which may indicate that it is not as fresh. Finally, consider the type of tree you want, such as a fir, pine, or spruce, and choose one that fits your personal preference and the style of your home.
A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as a spruce, pine, or fir, associated with the celebration of Christmas. The modern Christmas tree originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany, and was popularized in the United States in the 19th century. Today, Christmas trees are a traditional part of Christmas celebrations in many countries around the world. Typically, people put up their Christmas trees in their homes and decorate them with ornaments and lights. Some families also have a tradition of reading Christmas stories or singing Christmas carols around the tree.
Berry’s first job was at the Bath Electricity Board showroom and then conducting home visits to show new customers how to use their electric ovens. She would typically demonstrate the ovens by making a Victoria sponge, a technique she would later repeat when in television studios to test out an oven she had not used before. Her catchment area for demonstrations was limited to the greater Bath area, which she drove around in a Ford Popular supplied as a company car.
Her ambition was to move out of the family home to London, which her parents would not allow until she was 21. At the age of 22, she applied to work at the Dutch Dairy Bureau, while taking City & Guilds courses in the evenings. She then persuaded her manager to pay for her to undertake the professional qualification from the French Le Cordon Bleu school.
She left the Dutch Dairy Bureau to become a recipe tester for PR firm Benson’s, where she began to write her first book. She has since cooked for a range of food-related bodies, including the Egg Council and the Flour Advisory Board. In 1966 she became food editor of Housewife magazine. She was food editor of Ideal Home magazine from 1970 to 1973.
Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970. She launched her own product range in 1994 with her daughter Annabel. The salad dressings and sauces were originally only sold at Mary’s AGA cooking school, but have since been sold in Britain, Germany and Ireland with retailers such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco. She has also appeared on a BBC Two series called The Great British Food Revival, and her solo show, Mary Berry Cooks, began airing on 3 March 2014.