Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve

It has become a regular occurrence for me to write a blog post on Christmas Eve, with a photo of this year's Christmas cake. I'm not sure at what point a regular occurrence turns into a tradition. Either way, it has happened sufficiently often that it is now on my general list of things-to-do-in-the-runup-to-Christmas.

Not that there are all that many things on the list. We have simplified as much as we can, while keeping to the things we like. This year we still had two Christmas puddings and a large tub of mincemeat left from last year, so I didn't even have to make those.  I ordered UK gifts online, early in December. I wrote our newsletter around the same time, and posted about thirty along with Christmas cards, to relatives and a few close friends. Most of our friends send email newsletters rather than cards now, though;  each year the number we email has increased, and the number of cards written and sent has decreased.

Should anyone reading this, who is not on our mailing list, wish to see our newsletter it's now up at the family site:  Family Christmas newsletter 2018.

We decorated - in a low-key way - a couple of weeks ago.  I printed out the newsletters we received by email, and added them to the handful received by mail in a folder, so we can read them at our leisure. We ordered our turkey mid-December and collected it, along with other food items we need over the next few days, yesterday. I prefer not to shop on Sundays if I can avoid it, but we definitely didn't want to fight the crowds in the supermarket on Christmas Eve.

I have a few things to do today - to bake an alternative cake, and make some vegetarian sausages, and, this evening, help Tim with some of the vegetable preparation for tomorrow. He's made stuffings and the turkey is gently roasting now. Doing it on Christmas Eve, carving in the evening and then re-heating for an hour before Christmas Day lunch, works beautifully for us.

As for the cake, I baked it late in October, fed it a couple of times, made marzipan (without almond essence) about ten days ago to cover it, then iced it (again, making icing in the food processor - so much easier than beating by hand) a couple of days ago.  There was leftover marzipan so I made a few rough balls as it looked rather sparse after I added the least tasteless of my plastic cake decorations.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, relaxing Christmas, and a hopeful New Year.

PS if anyone would like to hear/read a rather different perspective on Advent, this is one of our son Daniel's rare blog posts with something he wrote recently:  Audio Advent Calendar

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