Posts Tagged ‘christmas’


Merry Christmas, peace & goodwill

December 25, 2009

To all visitors to this blog over the past year, I wish you a peaceful, happy Christmas. As I write, our (formerly) happy free-range ham from is glazing in the oven, and it smells delicious.

The glaze is made from some gorgeously lustrous Seville marmalade made a couple of months back by the Parsnip Princess, mixed with orange juice, Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar.

I wish you a happy day, wherever you may be and whatever your festivus for the rest-of-us may comprise. Thank you for all your visits here, and especially all your comments and suggestions and cooking ideas.

It’s all given me much more pleasure than I can say, and I hope you come back again in 2010.


On kids, chaos and Kringles …

December 13, 2009

I’m ambivalent about Christmas.

On the one hand there’s all the madness and revolting consumer hideousness. We just had our house painted, including letterbox, which involved removing my texta ‘no junk mail‘ sign and have not yet put a new one on. The mountains of crap hurtling through that letterbox every day has been a shock, let me tell you.  New sign required asap.

Then there’s the various levels of stress rising in almost everyone I know – about family gatherings, rules or lack thereof about gifts, the costs of everything, the waste and looming landfill, arguments over venues or traditional & nostalgic versus modern but unfestive menus, old family battles about who can’t stand who and the annual effort of having to hide it, and so on, ad infinitum. One friend’s family had an early Christmas lunch together last week as they’ll be apart later, and he said the change in the vibe was incredible – simply that the day, complete with presents and decorations and special food and so on, was a thousand times more enjoyable than usual simply because it wasn’t The Day.

But on the other hand, I’m also a bit of a sucker for the whole shebang. Another friend and I confessed to each other that actually, despite everything, we do like a bit of Hubbub on The Day. Kids, tree, special food, hoopla. I think I have never gotten over the childhood Christmas thrill. Maybe that’s what sends everyone round the twist. We all revert to the children we were, and still remain.

Lucky for me, I have two large and lovable families, and look forward to the day every year, despite the odd hyperventilating minor meltdown in the lead-up. This year it’s Senor’s family turn, and it will be a big affair full of kids and chaos and – given the family is full of excellent cooks and even better eaters – good food.

Presents and scary expense are kept under fine control on both sides of our family, on Senor’s with the name-from-a-hat draw thing (I just can’t say that ridiculous Kris Kringle expression without thinking of various tortuous office KKs over the years, which may just reduce me to tears).

Anyhoo, I supervised this hat-name-draw thing with two of the kids, M and H, a few weeks ago. Explaining and performing the intricacies of this procedure with them was like Who’s on First. Read the rest of this entry ?