Tag Archives: Christmas

The Week Before Christmas

Oh, it’s been all go here this past week. I spent a fun day Christmas shopping in Brighton last weekend. The weather was mild, the sun shone and Christmas cheer was on offer.

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Then, of course, there’s the present wrapping…

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…and the decking the halls…

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Followed by the trifle-making, of course (Nigella’s recipe).

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Waiting for the custard to cool…

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…to be assembled on Boxing Day for a lunchtime buffet. Oh yes, of course, I’ll post that too.

 

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Christmas Tree Cats

I’ve been with my friends Modman and Brewgirl (not to forget Brewgirl’s 6-year-old daughter  The Sockless Wonder (Socky for short)) at their house near Canterbury for a few days. Oh, and the cats. Sminky…

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…who is very fond of chasing the sun…

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…and new arrival, 2-month-old Kipper, who, went not annoying Sminky or chasing tin foil bows around the floor, was usually found looking something like this.

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Except for this morning. When he suddenly discovered the delight of adding himself to the Christmas tree as a decoration.

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Sminky wasn’t going to be left out of the fun.

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“Have you seen the cats, Age?” Modman asked me as he wandered into the living room.

“No idea.” No point spoiling their fun.

Christmas

It was  a day of food, family and fun. It was a little after 6:00am when Hankenstein discovered Santa had, indeed, managed to slip down the chimney, set the presents under the tree…

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… fill the stockings and eat the gingerbread man, drink the whisky and read the note H had left for him. Rudoph’s carrot and glass of milk were gone too. Before H went to bed we checked where Santa was on the Norad Santa Tracker — he was heading over Gibraltar and had hit the 4 billion presents delivered marked. No wonder he and Rudolph were hungry when they reached Sussex!

The presents were opened (yes, there were some for me!)…

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…the stockings emptied and breakfast eaten. Then Wineguy headed into the kitchen to prepare Christmas lunch (he’s a keeper!). The rain had finally let up, so Tootsie, Hankenstein and I headed to the local park for a walk (and so H could play of course).

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When we got back, the table was set (Santa must have left some elves behind!)…

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…and Christmas lunch was ready! There were chicken livers with balsamic vinegar (delish)…

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…then roast prime rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding and lots of veg…

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…followed up by home-made lemon and raspberry trifle.

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Then there was “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Ice Age 3” and “Arthur Christmas” and putting together Lego, and playing Mousetrap and Battleship, with some cheese and crackers, and a visit from Magman, and Whist and wine and port and…

…and wonderful Christmas was had by all! Now the sun is out and we’re off to a country pub for Boxing Day lunch and a walk on the Sussex Downs.

Deck the Halls

I’m at my sister Tootsie’s for Christmas. I arrived yesterday afternoon, blown in the door by a 80mph gale.

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The tree lights twinkled…

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…Bing Crosby was crooning carols, Christmas card garlands hung from doors…

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…and home-knitted stockings hung by the fire (with care).

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I recognised some old family decorations…

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…and ones collected by Tootsie over the years.

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Somethings tasty sat in the centre of the dining table…

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…and there was some evidence that Canadians were in the house.

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Gingerbread Men (and Friends)

My nephew Hankenstein and I were tasked to make gingerbread men. I Googled a recipe (thank you Tate & Lyle http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/kitchen.php?recipe=35 , and assembled all the ingredients (to bake one must organise).

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I pre-heated the oven (to bake one needs a hot oven), and we mixed all the ingredients together (well, Hankenstein poured and I mixed). Then I threw flour all over the countertop (much to H’s delight) and we proceeded to roll out the gingery dough. I got out the gingerbread man cookie cutter, but H felt some dinosaurs would add a unique touch. Then the other cookie cutters began, as if by magic, to appear — bells, Santas, stars, snowmen, holly… because, as H said, “The gingerbread men would be lonely without friends”.

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H cut them all out and I spread them out onto the baking trays…

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…and then we watched them turn golden brown in the oven.

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A production line ensued, with the spicy, sugary smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies filling the kitchen.

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Then, it was the fun bit (or, really, the next phase of fun) — icing them! Well, to ice means for Auntie to decorate while H squirted icing into his mouth.

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Then it was time to taste them. Because to bake gingerbread men (and their friends) means to eat them, fresh out of the oven.

Deck the Doors

London loves to dress up for Christmas. The holly, the ivy, the mistletoe, the fairy lights and ribbon… oh how they lift the spirits and turn the grey city into a place of magic. I like the subtlety of the decorations too — sprig of holly, a twinkle of white light, a flash of red bow. Welcome to Christmas in London.

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