I made a start on the Christmas baking yesterday afternoon. This is what I will be eating on Christmas Day as I am a vegetarian. The carnivores also love this and have requested some over the holidays in addition to the turkey of course!
I have now finished decorating for Christmas, although I expect I will still tweak a decoration here and there! :) Here are a few photos:-
In the kitchen - my vintage tree decorated with red and cream wooden hearts, gold and red mini baubles and topped with a gold star. My Dad cut out the hearts for me a couple of years again and I painted them.
The ceramic tree, made by my husband, sits in the middle of the window sill. Lights and holly tinsel adorn the cabinets. In the living-room - the Paperwhites aren't going to flower in time for Christmas, because I was late planting them this year, but they will be something to look forward to in the new year. My Nana's vase filled with baubles.
The hall, stairs and landing - foliage decorating my vintage mirror, that is one of pair belonging to my parent's. Hanging from the banister are gingham hearts, stockings and trees that I made a few years ago.
Large green baubles, that match the smaller ones on the tree, hang from the lights.
Yesterday, I wrapped up most of the presents and placed them under the tree. I'm just hoping the the cats don't get too curious! :) I still need to get on with that baking, do a final grocery shop and last minute whizz around the house with the hoover and duster then I am ready for Christmas - I think! :) I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get any more snow so that my parents can travel down from Norfolk to spent Christmas with us. I expect a lot of people in Britain are hoping the snow stays away until after Christmas. Best wishes to you all, Pj x
During December we have seen a fair amount of snow, which is unusual for Hampshire. Maurice and Ella weren't too sure about the snow to start with, but they seem to have grown used to it now.
Jay and I have been out for walks in the snow. Everywhere looks so beautiful blanketed in white.
Back indoors I have put up the Christmas tree and most of the other decorations. All the cards have been posted. I still need to wrap up the presents and do most of the baking. I think I have a busy week ahead, but I love Christmas baking. :)
2010 has been a good year for holly berries, so I decided to make a holly wreath for our front door. Just to complicate matters, I wanted it to be star-shaped!
This is how to made one:-
Medium-gauge galvanised wire
Thin-gauge green plastic covered gardening wire
Holly or other greenery
Bendy, woody material eg. honeysuckle, willow, etc.
The first step is to draw around a dinner plate, on a wooden board and to mark the centre. From the centre draw a line to the outer edge, then draw four more lines from the centre to the circumference at 72' intervals. This marks the points of the pentagon. Draw in the pentagon and mark the centre of each line just drawn. Next decide how big the final star is going to be and measure the required length (my line was 25cm) from the centre of the circle, through the mark on the pentagon edge and mark the points of the star. Draw the star outline by joining the star points to the pentagon points. Hammer a nail in at each of these 10 points. Guide the galvanised wire around the outside of the star points and around the inside of the pentagon points. Join the two ends of the wire to form a loop for hanging up the wreath.
Next cover the wire with some woody material (I used some honeysuckle). Starting at the top of the star work down each side, evenly wiring on the holly with the plastic covered wire. Once you reach the bottom points, work from the centre, back down to the points. Hang up with string. Beware - your hands will suffer from working with this prickly stuff.
Each year Winchester hosts a Christmas market in the cathedral grounds and on Sunday we went for our annual visit.
Although the sun was shining, it was rather chilly in the morning
and we were very pleased to warm up in a coffee shop and have some lunch. Winchester always looks very pretty with its Christmas lights and the displays in the shop windows. I managed to complete all of my Christmas shopping; except for the last minute groceries. When we had finished, we walked through the cathedral grounds and back through the Christmas market.It was considerably less busy by this time. Yesterday was my last day at work before Christmas, so this week I plan to finish making some gifts and decorate the house. Only 10 days to Christmas! :)
... has been in our garden again and this is how it looked this morning.
Jack Frost was in the garden;
I saw him there at dawn;
He was dancing round the bushes
And prancing on the lawn.
He had a cloak of silver,
A hat all shimm'ring white,
A wand of glittering star-dust,
And shoes of sunbeam light.
(from the poem "Jack Frost in the Garden" by John P. Smeeton)
Sunday, Jack Frost painted the greenhouse roof.
It was -7'C in there yesterday afternoon. I didn't stay there for long! Just enough time to throw an extra blanket of bubble wrap over my seedlings. The best place to be was in the kitchen. I roasted some chestnuts, ready for my Christmas nut roast and popped them into the freezer.
And I made some mini mincepies to store in the freezer for Christmas.
The recipe for the orange pastry can be found here.
A seemingly suitable job for the first Sunday of Advent.