In the event, I made:
- two Christmas puddings
- roasted red pepper soup (courtesy of Jan Karon's recipe book)
- gingerbread (the cake variety)
- mince pies (24)
- lemonade (lemon squash)
As for the gingerbread, it's the first time I've made this recipe since we moved house. How wonderful - as I keep saying - to have an electric oven that really will do temperatures other than 180C! The gingerbread was perfect after 45 minutes rather than beginning to burn after half an hour, and so sticky it was almost impossible to cut. But very good to eat! It keeps well too.
I also made some flaxseed bread in the breadmaker, but that's easy enough. I make bread most days. Just throw in the ingredients about 9am and turn it out around noon.
By lunchtime, I was pretty tired. I realised that the one thing I miss about our old (and very tatty) kitchen is the table and chairs. We have our dining area right next to the kitchen in this house, but there's plenty of work surface in the kitchen, and it seems silly to carry mixtures to the dining table just so I can sit down. But three hours on my feet is quite tiring. I must be getting old.
After lunch I sat down for an hour to catch up with email, then was out at Larnaka Community Church for the children's Christmas service. I ended up helping in the kitchen more than expected, since someone else didn't turn up. But I got to sit at the back of the church for most of the service, where Tim was playing the piano and some of the youth group did some puppet sketches.
The children in the service seemed to enjoy it, wandering around informally and taking part in some of the activities.
I did a fair bit of clearing up afterwards - there were lots of refreshments available in the church hall - then walked home, by which time it was about 5.30pm. Tim - who left earlier - had put on some food. We had to eat earlyish as we were going out bowling with Grace Church at 7pm. Or so we thought... we arrived just on 7pm to find nobody we recognised, and (a few phone calls later) realised we were half an hour early. Amazing.
We hadn't been ten-pin bowling for many years - certainly not since we came to Cyprus, and possibly not since we had the boys. Twenty years or more, then. It's rather more high-tech than it used to be, with computerised scoring and individual names on the screens telling us when it's our turn. On my first attempt I somehow managed to knock over all the skittles. Unfortunately, my foot went a couple of centimetres over the line meaning that I scored nothing but an 'F' (for 'foul').
That was my best turn. Thereafter I scored 8 and 0 alternately until near the end of the first round (10 games is one round) when I managed to pull a muscle in my thigh. Suddenly I couldn't do the necessary action to let go of the bowl! I tried left-handed but it wasn't accurate enough to be worth doing, so I sat out and someone who came only to watch took over my game.
By the time we got home my leg was fine so long as I held it straight, but painful to bend. I limped up the stairs, wondering if I'd be able to get down in the morning.
Thankfully it's a lot better today.