Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas Preparations

There has been very little time over the last few weeks for any sewing, although I have made some progress with both Love Songs and Celtic Autumn. As you might expect my time has been taken up with Christmas stuff. Most of my shopping this year has been done over the Internet with a massive order to HMV, several orders to Amazon and others to the clothes shops Daughter's presents are coming from. I actually got away with only spending half a day in town shopping. Apart from one parcel, which is on its way from the US, everything has arrived safely. Last week our poor postman had to knock on the door every day because he had too many parcels to get through the letterbox easily!! In amongst those parcels were two for me, two small additions to my stash.

Some 28 count even weave and two threads that I need for Love Songs from Country Designs and a chart from Thread Bear. The linen was bought using my £5.00 voucher, which expires at the end of the month, so I don't feel too guilty about getting it.

I have been busy doing or planning all of my Christmas baking. The cake was made a couple of weeks ago, it's a Chocolate Fruit/Christmas cake based on a Nigella recipe. Her recipe uses prunes which I replace with mixed fruit as the thought of eating prunes fills me with horror. For years I made a traditional Christmas cake which would still be here at Easter but since I've made this one it's gone by New Year. You can't taste the chocolate and it tastes just like a Christmas cake but is just that bit lighter. You can find the recipe for the cake here.

I will be adding the marzipan this week and icing it earlier next week.

The Christmas puddings were also made last weekend, although the second one had to wait as I needed to order a part for my pressure cooker after it boiled dry when I made the first one!! I didn't turn the gas down low enough - oops. I did the same thing last year and it didn't effect the taste and the pudding looked moist enough when I but fresh baking paper and foil on it so I think I've got away with it. These are based on Delia's recipe and for years now I have always made two, the second gets eaten on Easter Sunday.

I love Christmas pudding and Christmas cake and even made them when I was a single parent and Son and Daughter didn't really eat them. I can't wait for my Christmas dinner. Or even better Boxing Day breakfast, toast and turkey dripping mmmmmmmmmm.

I'm just about at the stage where I can really start to look forward to Christmas and all the get-togethers that we have planned. The presents are all wrapped, the cards are written and posted and all the food for the Christmas fortnight is planned. I spent Saturday afternoon surrounded by recipe books planning the various meals and putting together my big Christmas shopping list which I will be doing on Friday with husband. Once that is done Christmas will officially start. I'm so far ahead that I've even given the oven its pre-Christmas clean and already washed all my crystal, a job that is normally done on Christmas Eve. I'm feeling very virtuous at the moment.

On Friday evening we will put up the tree, Saturday will see Husband and I doing our traditional pre-Christmas walk and on Sunday daughter returns from uni for the holidays. On Monday my parents are visiting along with an aunt and I'm planning a special meal, pork in fennel sauce (Jamie Oliver) with all the trimmings, Chestnut Cheesecake and Bakewell Tart (both Nigella). I've even been able to purchase some gold sugar stars to go on the Bakewell Tart from a new shop in town. On Boxing Day we will make a return visit to my mums where hopefully I'll get to meet up with one of my sisters and my brother. The following Sunday Husband's dad is joining us for dinner as he is spending Christmas Day with Husband's sister. So lots to look forward to and lots of baking to come.

Of course all of this organisation could come to nothing if we should win the lottery next weekend or even the jackpot (£500.00) at the pub quiz tonight as then I'll be out shopping for presents for all the relatives that aren't getting any this year due to Husband's lack of employment. Keep your fingers crossed for the jackpot at the quiz as nothing would make me happier this year than to have to do some last minute shopping.

Being so far ahead with Christmas I'm now hoping to catch up on some sewing so maybe I'll have pictures to post tomorrow. I had planned on doing some sewing yesterday but woke up with the most horrendous sore throat and earache which preceded to get worse throughout the day. By the end of the day I felt quite achy and this morning felt even worse but strangely have felt a lot better as the day has progressed, maybe it was some weird 24 hour thing. I hope so as I haven't really been visiting the gym or swimming pool recently, it was so cold last week that I couldn't drag myself out of bed to go and if I don't go in the morning I never seem to get round to it later in the day!! I really would like to get back into it before Christmas and all that eating starts.

1 comment:

Redwitch said...

Mmmm all your cooking sounds lovely, I think I've put on weight just reading about it! Hope you feel better soon! :)