Christmas Eve!

Well, everything is now in train for Christmas Day. Excited kids, presents under the tree. We have a quiet family Christmas here – just the five of us. The kids come downstairs and open their stockings first thing, we get up when we have to (when the noise level get too intolerable), have breakfast and get the lunch ready. Then we all open our presents and go to church. Then lunch and a lazy afternoon only punctuated by more eating …

Le Creuset casserole filled with stew

This was our lunch today. Lancashire hot pot. We call it ‘lobby’ in Stoke-on-Trent, where I was brought up and where my family still live. I don’t know why.

extremely full fridge inside

Our fridge is extremely full now. I can take a photo of it because Barnabas cleaned it in return for extra computer time on Monday. Note the duck down the bottom – our roast for tomorrow.

bowl with red stuff in it - well, that's what it looks like

I made the first bit of the trifle this morning. This will be for tea tomorrow (not that we’ll want tea tomorrow but we will force ourselves, no doubt). Trifle sponge, lots of sherry, tinned strawberries, jelly, tinned raspberries. (I was going to use frozen but the freezer is so full I couldn’t find them). Doesn’t look very attractive at the moment but wait till tomorrow! It now has a layer of custard on top of this. Then a layer of sliced bananas and a layer of whipped cream and some jelly sweets (the kids’ favourite part!).

Anyway, A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all of you in Australia and New Zealand reading this! I’ll say it to everyone else tomorrow…

Computers, clean house, and cake

My kids spend far too long on the tv and computers in the holidays so this year I decided to limit it – to 2 hours a day when I was around to see them. (So if I lie in and they get up early they still get several hours more!!). I hit on the idea of getting them to do housework for extra hours on the computer/tv. And it has been a success! They’ll do chores for computer time but not for money… So I have a cleaner house – so far they’ve cleaned several kitchen cupboards, washed the windows, hoovered, cleaned the shower and even the loos! And changed their sheets… Amazing.

Yesterday Anselm even iced the Christmas cake (bought uniced at Sainsburys and laced with brandy before marzipanning and icing). Voluntarily. I made the royal icing and I think it was a bit soft because the ‘Merry Christmas’ plaque sank into it, and Father Christmas looks as though he is wading through deep snow!

Today he decided to make some scones to earn some more computer time. Unfortunately, in the process something seems to have fallen out of the cupboard and landed on the not-quite-dry icing so now it looks as though someone has been playing in the snow!

Rather dishevelled-looking Christmas cake with Santa

I did a quick repair job with a bit of water icing. I think we need a few more cake decorations though….

slightly less dishevelled looking cake

Quiet Tuesday

Just a quick post today. I was planning on dragging the kids round the shops today – the fridge had been nearly completely cleared out by my gannets with the hollow legs. But Zachary had a tummy bug all through the night – he seems to be recovering now but definitely hasn’t felt like going out! So I sent the eldest two to Sainsburys with a list and they did pretty well! Sounds like they enjoyed it too, except for carrying it all back. Anyway, I hope Zachary’s better tomorrow – they’re all booked in for a 3 day football skills course (which should give me a bit of time to work on things textiley)…