Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Seasons Greetings.

                                                    Seasons Greetings to every one.
Seasonal cake, marzipan, no icing.

 We awoke to bright sunshine and not a hint of frost, today has continued to be warm with a couple of showers and temperatures up to 54f - 12c not quite the weather you expect in Ireland at Christmas.
The last six weeks have been full of Christmas, it has been impossible to get away from it, the local radio station has appeared to have wall to wall Christmas records, normally this station has a good mix of music but they were determined to make sure no one missed a single record that has ever been made for Christmas. Many of these records should have been allowed to sink into oblivion. Today it is back to normal thank goodness.
Today we took time to recall childhood Christmases, of how simple they were. Decorations were always home made, paper chains, sprayed twigs, paper lanterns that we made ourselves, there was always a real tree, but one that had roots on it so it could be planted and have a chance of growing. Snow on the tree was made from teased out cotton wool, and on reflection, horrors , clip on candle holders with the small cake candles in them which were lit on Christmas day, what a combination for a fire hazard. Neither of us can recall a fire arising from this hazard but I'm sure there must have been. Decorations never went up before Christmas eve, and were always removed on twelfth night, the sixth of January, the 'Feast of the Kings', making the twelve days of Christmas.
Christmas presents were normally home made, a wooden toy, knitted toys or a set of new cloths for a favourite doll. Wrapping paper was always removed with care and folded up by the adults for use the next year, same with string, everyone would have had a string box where every piece was carefully stored.
Turkey was unheard of, chicken was a luxury preserved for Christmas and Easter, it would normally be a capon collected from the farm, vegetables were what was growing in the garden, Christmas cake and puddings were always home made. Every one stirring the pudding and making a wish on stir up Sunday. this was always the build up to Christmas.
You knew when it was almost Christmas as the Salvation Army would appear in the high streets playing Christmas carols, it was then the Christmas rush would start, no more than two weeks before the big event. Those times were magic, it was a time of sharing but not of excess.
I think I might have taken things a little too far this year as Christmas morning saw me hastily wrapping presents, I had also left decorating the cake until the 23rd, but everything that we are doing has been done, the veg are picked and waiting to be cooked, the pudding is steaming away and the bird is in the oven. The tree went up last night and will come down on the 6th.
Tomorrow we have been invited to friends and the coming weekend we have friends coming for a couple of days, so we have not skipped Christmas, just kept it as simple as possible.
Double yolker quail egg.

The quail are now laying well and we even had some to give to a friend and his wife, we also had a large one laid which we used to brush the mince pies with, it was a double yolker,   quite unusual for a quail egg.
Bright and fresh with the personal touch .
 I eventually finished decorating the hallway, all 42 feet of it, with hand done stencilling the full length both sides. it did take a long time but we are both pleased with the result.

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