.. how lovely are your branches
After the School Christmas fair last Saturday where the kids saw Santa and we spent a small fortune in record breaking time , we set off to get our tree.
Historically we have always gone to Macclesfield Forest to get our tree, but last year we tried a different place just on the outskirts of the forest where they cut your chosen tree down for you. I really liked this idea as the kids can play hide and seek and there is no tussle with a tree as one of you, usually the doh, have to hold it up to ensure its branches fall just right (not that I am fussy or anything...ahem
aka fusspot fanny). Unfortunately this year the selection was quite poor, so we headed for the Forest again and within minutes we found our tree, which I hasten to add is not usually the case. I think the doh sighed a sigh of relief as his love for intimacy with a Spruce has worn a little thin over the years.
This year we had such a laugh wearing our Santa hats and giggling about the decorations and who made what and when. We all sang along to classic Christmas songs and it was just perfect! The kids really got stuck in and I was very proud of myself, as for the first time I didn't try and do a little sneaky rearranging when everyone left the room, oh no my dearies I actually left it heavily decorated on one side and smiled a sigh of admiration at the work carried out by the four beings that maketh our family. Once the last baubles were on it was time to get the precious fairy out of her box. She is so beautiful and I love everything about her. She is delicate and serene, but I have been told by two small gremlins that a star is required for next year, but why??? She is beautiful, surely not!! Do share your views, do you have a star, an angel or a fairy perching on top of your tree??
It has been a really busy week as I have been working non stop on this custom order that is taking a great deal longer than anticipated. It is largely hand embroidery so it's very time consuming as most of you will know and time is ticking. Yes 12 days to Christmas and I am slowly ticking things off my list. I finally managed to get around to making my usual Christmas chutney this week. This has become a bit of a tradition for our family and if I am honest most of our friends and family love and kind of expect it for Christmas.
This is no ordinary chutney, it is Delia's Christmas Chutney, which is made with dried fruit, onions and Christmas spices. I am not a big chutney lover, largely because I don't eat bread, but this chutney is simply delectable and it makes the perfect accompaniment to any meat or cheese at Christmas. I know for us and most of our friends the jar is usually finished by the end of the Christmas week and I have now learnt to make a few extra jars.
With the help of my little assistants we made this years mincemeat, again chosing Delia's recipe. I have tried quite a few, but for me this one just has those extra special flavours that makes you appreciate the fact that it is home made and just so much better than anything shop bought. To make it gluten free just ensure that you use gluten free suet that you can buy here, and for the pasty I just use my gluten free pastry recipe. Which mincemeat recipe do you use or do you just buy from the shop? I think these days the shop bought ones have definitely improved, but for anyone with gluten issues, options are fairly limited.
I am almost half way through wrapping presents, but more on that another time where I will share a lovely lavender body scrub recipe with you. This is such a busy time of year and I apologise if I am not getting around to everyone's blogs as quickly as I would like. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, its jam packed with exciting things such as X Factor final and Strictly come dancing, drinks with friends, another Christmas fair and then we have a date as family to sit down and watch the classic movie elf with Will Ferrell, life is busy but good. A big and warm welcome to my new followers I look forward to getting to know you a little better.
Wishing you all a very lovely weekend.