I will get the other pictures from my weekend away Ooop North posted soon, but at the moment I am busy in the kitchen, mainly, and doing the necessary housework to have everything tidy before our offspring arrive home. We just have a quiet family Christmas here, as we live so far away from friends and relations. Hopefully when we move that will change. When we move . . .
I managed to catch The Wartime Farm Christmas programme the other evening, and recorded it so I can watch it again (probably whilst I am doing the ironing). One thing that Ruth said really rang true - "You can't BUY Christmas - it's up to you to MAKE it." How true this was in war time when there simply WEREN'T any toys on sale for working class pockets (and those that could be found were often shoddy). So it had, of necessity, to be a home-made Christmas.
Now we are again in a time of austerity, many people have had to cut their expenditure and we are no exception. I have made a number of presents again, and I have to say, it is SO satisfying to do so, even when one knitting pattern drove me nearly cross-eyed with concentration and has been much-unpicked.
Now I have a busy weekend of baking ahead of me, and the usual Christmas traditions for food are being adhered to. When I suggested to my son that I rang the changes on the usual Chocolate Roulade with raspberry coulis and perhaps did a Lemon Meringue type roulade, he said no! Chocolate and raspberry it had to be . . . I make it on Christmas Day and the cook's reward is to have a big slice of it for breakfast on Boxing Day morning : )
I have to say, I have tried to keep away from the shops during the run up to Christmas - especially grocery shopping as it irks me to see instant this and that going in shopping trolleys. One of my pet hates is seeing people happily spending several pounds on a
thick foil tray (throwaway) to cook the turkey in rather than spend a
couple of pounds more and have a decent baking tray they can use every
year . . . Then there are the jars of pickled onions which are SO incredibly easy to make, jars of chutney, pickles, sauces etc. But I dare say there is such a huge gap in the cooking ability between a grandmother in her 70s and a grand-daughter in her 20s and social differences which require people to be in full-time work. A childhood spent in war-time austerity (when cooking skills were still handed down), then met in the 1960s and 1970s the beginnings of instant this and that and then the "ready meal". Who would have thought that fish fingers and sliced bread were the thin end of a wedge that would ultimately make such a difference in the kitchen?
But this is starting to sound like a lecture and that wasn't my intention. Have fun in your kitchen over the next few days and remember that old adage, whatever alcohol you put in your cooking, "one for the cook" is much-recommended too!