As ever, the build up to Christmas seems to go on forever and then before you know it is all over in the blink of an eye. For me this year the build up was all about baking for my new business, which was wonderful and exhausting in equal measures and far more successful than I ever imagined, but it did rather mean that everything else was pushed to the background. But despite my occasional middle of the night panics that Christmas wasn't going to happen for us this year, it did of course happen and for the most part was just as good as ever.
Decorations and the tree got put up in between rolling pastry and whisking up cakes. Joe helped me decorate the tree which was particularly lovely as he wasn't with us for Christmas this year.
My two eldest sons Ben and Sam, plus my youngest Jacob were all here for Christmas but Joe has taken himself off travelling again. This time only for five weeks to Peru and Bolivia and we did manage a quick Facebook message on Christmas Day but he was still missed.
What made things considerably easier this year was we all decided on a present amnesty in the family (prompted by my lack of time to go shopping... either in person or on the internet). There were still odds and ends exchanged and I gave everyone food hampers of homemade biscuits and jams etc but no-one felt obliged to go out and buy more "stuff" that none of us needed. It was wonderful and I can honestly say none of us missed the frenzy of present opening that is often Christmas morning.
When I told one friend this is what we were doing she was aghast... "What will you do if you don't have presents to open?" Well, we talked to each other, we laughed, we played games...
We went on walks and admired the seasonal berries...
As well as some not very seasonal blossom... what is going on with this weather?
There was also plenty of seasonal eating and drinking with much festive fizz consumed
And some not so traditional desserts (a chocolate pavlova should you ask). But I can honestly say that not one of us missed the present buying madness and not one of us feels hard done by or as though we have missed out.
Despite not eating meat myself, I cooked a turkey (locally reared in our village!) which over three days of various family members and friends visiting has been totally consumed... the last of it going in a curry this evening. To accompany it I made a lentil curry using a curry kit I was given by one of the Cambridge Eat-Up members, Pina...
I put in a few extra tomatoes and would have added a scattering of chopped coriander if I'd had some handy, which I didn't, but it was still very good as a main course veggie curry. And as might be expected the Turkey Korma curry eaters had some as a side dish too!
And so there we are... another Christmas done and dusted and not being very good at relaxing and doing nothing, I'm filling the limbo between Christmas and New Year, clearing out my sewing room and reflecting on how I'm going to combine my new baking venture with my textile work. But one thing is for sure... food is going to feature heavily in 2016!