So this is our first special ornament, a goose. The story behind this is that a couple of years ago I got a winter hat & scarf set from Asda supermarket. A couple of times I saw other human people wearing the same items which was a bit of a fashion faux pas, but not quite as bad as this:
That's right, a GOOSE wearing my scarf. Could you ever live that down ? The story was that the farm put hats and scarves on their livestock so that it would be warmer & happier and therefore taste better, sigh
Happy Boxing Day everyone! We had a merry Christmas here, our first together as a married couple :) We never got any lights or tinsel for the tree, but we did make a start on getting some personal ornaments, more about that some other time.
I got some lovely presents: a couple of books (I love to read), a couple of nice notebooks to write about books in LOL, some beautiful perfume, but my favourite was a photo album of our exploits in 2008. I wonder what one for 2009 will include ?
It was delicious! We also added tofu chunks to it. I could eat it all day :)
I also started making some mincemeat - it has to sit overnight for the flavours to develop, so I'll be cooking it tomorrow. Yum ! Home made mince pies all round.
We also put up our Christmas tree yesterday:
So to answer the question on the meme, we have a black owl on the top :)
We still need tinsel and lights. And presents underneath it- LOL. Jesse James is no longer allowed in the front room unsupervised, as he thinks the baubles have been put on it specifically for his entertainment.
Yesterday we took Jesse James to the vets... to be neutered. The nurse there also talked us into doing his vaccines and having him microchipped. He stayed overnight and it was so strange to walk out without him. Jerry picked him up today, and he (Jesse James) has been very quiet and snoozy. Still, it's been for his own good. Guess we'll be taking Pepe to be 'done' soon as well ! Merry Christmas Jesse !
Here is my recipe for Christmas Pudding, 2008 style. It is a loose adaptation of Nigella Lawson's in "How to be a domestic Goddess":
100g fresh cranberrries
50g each raisins & sultanas
50g glace cherries, chopped
50g prunes, chopped
50g flaked almonds I wanted whole almonds which I'd have then chopped into slivers, but flaked was the closest they had in the supermarket
150ml rum/ Cointreau mix - I ran out of rum so maybe 100ml rum topped up with 50ml Cointreau- I thought an orangey flavour would be nice :)
1 Euro coin/s, cleaned
90g self-raising flour
125g white breadcrumbs
1medium cooking apple
150g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
*** 3 large eggs. I have made my pudding vegan (so suitable for Jerry) so I have replaced the eggs with 3tbsp soy flour mixed with 3tbsp water, mixed to a paste. I have not tried to vegan-ise the recipe in this way before, so fingers crossed !
zest of 1 orange
1.5 litre pudding basin
Nigella's recipe also includes dried blueberries, marron glace pieces and candied peel, but I don't like or just didn't get these from the supermarket. One of the great things about the recipe is that you can adjust it to your own tastes and what's available.
Soak the fruit in the rum overnight ***I didn't do this - I put the alcohol with the raisins, currants and sultanas in a pan and gently warmed so the fruit absorbed the alcohol
Soak the 1 Euro coin overnight in Coca Cola- to clean it ! Please feel free to use whatever coin you like- maybe bigger ones are better as they are easier to spot - less of a potential choking hazard :) I like using a Euro in the pudding as it's a gift of Good Luck for the coming year, rather than money which can be spent...
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and then add the soaked fruit. Add the cleaned coin/s. I also wrapped mine in a piece of greaseproof paper.
Grease the pudding basin and put the mixture in. Now I'm not sure in previous years if I have halved the above quantities, because this year I seem to have enough for 2x 30 oz basins- I guess the in-laws will be getting one!
Cover with a piece of greaseproof paper in which you have folded a pleat, then boil or steam for 3 and 1/2 hours. I think mine got done for closer to 2 hrs as we were going to bed.
Rewrap the pudding and store somewhere cool until Christmas, then reheat in the same way- boil/ steam for another 3 and 1/2 hrs.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Just bought some wrapping paper this evening- the cheapest one in the supermarket because it only goes in the bin in the end anyway right ?
2. Real tree or Artificial? I'd love to get a real one, just a small one. This will be Jerry & I's first Christmas together married xxx
3. When do you put up the tree? If we're getting a real one it might be purchased on or after December payday - Friday 19th.
4. Wreath on your door? No, but we've not got any decorations up yet so it might be nice to get one...
5. Do you like eggnog? I like Starbucks Eggnog lattes but they're not doing them this year :(
6. Favorite Christmas gift received as a child? Gosh, I dunno...
7. Easiest person to buy for? Jerry as he's pretty good at dropping hints :)
8. Least easy? Probably mum, but I think I might get her Professor Layton's Curious Village this year
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Again, it's our first married Christmas so it'd be nice to send out cards to our new in-laws.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I received a chocolate fondue set from a Secret Santa in work that I returned
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I like "Jack Frost"
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I've got a couple of gifts already, might get some more after I get paid again
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I took the fondue set back for something I actually wanted ... I've heard that Professor Layton has sold out in a lot of shops so my mum might just be getting my copy
15. Open presents on Christmas eve or morning? Christmas morning, always!
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, but not flashing ones.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Let it snow, Frank Sinatra ?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Does this mean go on holiday, or travel as visit relatives ? I think we might be staying home for Christmas Day and maybe inviting people to us...
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? ...maybe; Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Vixen, Rudolph ... how many are there ?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Don't mind...
21. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Party mix !
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Worrying about presents a bit, also just how busy the shops get !
23. Favorite Tree ornament, theme or color? Dunno, we don't have a tradition for tree decoration yet. I know you can get Pug ornaments !
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? All the veggie trimmings, home made Christmas Pudding/ mince pies
Yesterday was Stir Up Sunday, the last Sunday in November when it has become traditional for me to make my Christmas Pudding. My recipe included fresh cranberries, flaked almonds, golden rum & Cointreau, currants, raisins, sultanas, orange zest, brown sugar, veggie suet... Jerry was a hero and nipped over to the shop for an apple for me xxx