Of course I wasn't ready for Christmas. I'm not entirely sure what I was doing, but it certainly didn't include writing Christmas cards. I bought 30 or so and so far have written 2. I'll save the other 28 for next year. It does make me feel horribly guilty, because I've got loads and loads of lovely cards from all around the world. I think I'll be writing January cards to make up for my being totally crap.
On the plus side, the house was made presentable, proper food has been cooked and I haven't blown as much money on stuff as compared to previous years. So I am well pleased.
Solstice morning, I refuse to write about. If I just say: Local government, piss up in brewery, incandescent rage, I think that will cover all the bases and leave out the tedious re-visiting of the very stressful 6 hours.
Solstice evening was a complete contrast. I cooked for some of my favourite people on the planet. Hanging around with foodies on-line and IRL has obviously rubbed off. I was inventive and arty with the menu. I did one starter, Lawrence sorted the other.
I did mini-Yorkshire puddings filled with red-onion marmalade and chunks of chipolatas. Lawrence called them Yorkshire vol au vents, at which point I threatened to stuff them with tuna and sweetcorn. He shut up. Lawrence prepared blinis with smoked salmon, creme fraiche with finely chopped shallots, salmon caviar and garnished with dill.
For mains, I prepared braised beef in wine, served with creamy horseradish mash, carrots, leeks au gratin and stir fried cabbage. It was followed by a yummy pear crumble.
This was all washed down with copious amounts of gin, red wine, sherry and coffee and a heck of a lot of laughter. We exchanged pressies, lots of hugs, stories, gossip and plans for the New Year. It was brilliant.
The next day, I tackled the kitchen in phases and it was all sorted eventually, with no stressing.
I did most of the food shopping yesterday, but realised at about 1 am (as you do) I had no potatoes, so I dragged Boy out at lunchtime (morning by his body clock) to finish off. It was also a good opportunity to pick up some more tonic, cider and cream.
For lunch, I made from scratch salmon fishcakes with dill, using up the left-over mashed potato. Boy hated it so much, he ate four. We've had a lovely afternoon chilling out and he's now out with friends. I've been playing on Skyrim again after quite a long break and it's good fun to immerse myself in such a lovely, magical landscape. I also have been grazing on the little treats sat on our dining table, washing everything down with cider.
Tomorrow will be a Casa de Roses traditional Christmas. Boy and I will be in our pyjamas all day. We'll have breakfast, open pressies, open a bottle of something naughty, cook the duck and watch the most awful selection of DVDs. I flatly refuse to do stress or angst on Christmas Day. I love our Christmases together. He's such great company and he mucks in, so it's not left to just me to sort everything.
Darlings, I wish you all a fabulous, sparkly festive season. Whatever festival you celebrate, whatever path you walk upon. May 2013 bring you and yours love, good health, prosperity and joy.