Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Passed

Christmas started early in our house as anticipation and speculation sparked off chirrupings in the children’s bedroom at 5.30. By 6 o’clock we caved in and let them onto our bed to demolish their stockings. The compensation for this was that we had a gentle stroll outside in the early morning sunshine, cup of tea in hand, watching the swallows swooping to catch their breakfast, while the children were watching a DVD and examining their booty.

One of the advantages of a summer Christmas is that we eat the traditional fare cold, with salads, so we were able to do a lot of the preparation beforehand and spend time on the phone to far-flung family without burning the sprouts. Our gammon was already sitting cooked in its cidery stock, ready to be glazed with mustard and treacle sugar. Some of the stock transformed the couscous from plain starch into a flavourful salad that sings in its own right with mango, nuts and herbs. My sister-in-law took charge of the turkey and stuffing, as well as the sausages wrapped in bacon and other sister-in-law is the salad queen, so the food front was divided and conquered. The puddings were ready in the fridge – a succulent summer pudding made with the berries from our farm and these stripey jellies that I love because they are so pretty and jelly is an intrinsic part of the Christmas feast for me, plus some meringues and the de rigueur Christmas pudding (a small bought one for the traditionalists).

The Christmas feasting is now over for another year. Our fridge was groaning with the leftovers, enough turkey and ham, summer pudding and stripey jelly to re-enact Christmas lunch for four days in a row and we still were enjoying it – that ham was soooo good!. The Christmas cake stands proudly aloft bearing its plastic donkey and sparkly angels that were selected to adorn it this year. Despite the enormous lunch on Christmas Day we did manage to sample a sliver of it for a late afternoon tea time. Gastronomic heroism on the grand scale.

The earthquake rumble of new skateboards on wooden floors, the shrieks and giggles as they crash, bright streaks of paint from craft sets on new Christmas outfits, soaking in Biotex in the bathroom, folded wrapping paper rustling, as it is restrewn across the sitting room floor the girls re-playing their best part of Christmas by wrapping then unwrapping their presents once more, the crunch of plastic cracker novelties underfoot, these are the soundtrack of the aftermath of the festivities....those skateboards may well meet an untimely end fairly soon!


  1. THAT is the best part of Christmas! (well, maybe not all the skateboard noise. maybe they get lost?) But, in essence, everything you've just described minus the Christmas pudding is, for me, the Point.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Sounds like you had a beautiful day, Kit. I admire your gastronomic bravery - sometimes one just has to knuckle down and keep eating! I have dissed jellies in the past, but I have to say your stripy Christmas jellies in a glass look gorgeous. I'd eat one.


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