Monday, December 5, 2016

Another Early

There must be something in the air ... and sadly it's not summer. Maybe the recent tendency towards cooler temperatures has somehow tangled up a whole lot of mixed messages in my subconscious (after all, most Christmas movies, Christmas carols, and Christmas cards portray a Northern Hemisphere scene) and caused me to think of Christmas when I normally wouldn't (because usually I'm waiting for it to get hot before I think Christmas - which it never does here).

Or maybe it was just because I had some helpers.

Whatever the reason, our Christmas tree that we decided to recycle from last year has been decorated (although the lights haven't been plugged in) and someone has helpfully set up the manager scenes.


DH also unwrapped the puddings ready to freeze and we had to resist the temptation to eat them now. (They smelt so good.)

However, while all this preparation has occurred earlier than usual, there is at least one event in our family calendar that won't be early.

Despite everyone - or almost everyone - wishing it was so.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


With each year seemingly shorter than the year before, it has been a very long time since I've been organised at Christmas time. Most recently our traditional Christmas Pudding Making day has had to be squeezed in some time in the last days leading up to Christmas.

But not this year.

The puddings are hanging to dry as I write this and it's not even December!

I'm not sure what DH and I expected when we began this tradition over thirty years ago. Certainly not the mess and the joy and the excitement that would mingle together with the flour and butter and fruit and spices and make everything taste better - raw and cooked.

We never imagined back then the next generation becoming involved. That was too far off in the future and grandchildren were a distant dream. But now are they not only involved but they could probably do it without our help. (Apart from the cleaning up. No one has ever taken over that side of things.)

Nowadays the older cousins help the younger ...

It's all hands in together ...

Tasting (everything) is still a vital part of the process ...

No one is too young ...


Or too old to help ...


And it's always the same ones that stay right to the end ...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Let's Eat!

One of the many benefits of having DH home has been that he has taken over the cooking. It's wonderful to get home from work and not have to bother with cooking tea.

He's also done quite a bit of baking, especially when some of The Most Adorable Granddaughters in the World have visited.

Of course, fresh gingerbread is a good excuse for eating outside with a pretty quilt as a tablecloth.

Feeling guilty that he was always slaving over a hot stove, I decided to celebrate his heritage and make something I have wanted to for a long time: Welsh Cakes.

Now these are not the same as the Welsh Cake recipe his maternal aunt jealously guarded. That cake we think was a fruit cake. (One day I hope to find a living relative willing to share the recipe.) No, these are what are commonly called Welsh Cakes and are similar to a griddle scone but with currants and sweeter.

We left off the dusting of sugar and the toppings of jam and butter as they were already sweet enough and didn't need anything more.


On a roll (and possibly feeling a little envious that I can't claim a Welsh grandfather or an English grandmother since my ancestors left their homelands too many generations ago to count easily), I decided to make Welsh Rarebit. Again, something I've wanted to try for a while. It takes slightly longer than grilled cheese on toast - but not a lot longer - and was worth it. (I decreased the cheese by about one third and it was fine.)


Now I'm just wondering if there is a way to keep DH home full time so that he can always do the cooking and I can just dabble in the kitchen when the mood strikes me.