Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Deck The Halls ..
Well , actually I haven't got any holly - but I have put up all the rest of my Christmas bling ! It's one time in the year when I can surround myself with pretty / glittery / glossy / sparkley things and no males in the house complain !! We usually have at least 3 trees (amount of decoration is in inverse proportions to size of house , as a good rule of thumb) and as many pieces with glitter on as I can reasonably get away with . Whilst avoiding the dreaded "tacky" comments .
This year I chose a lovely new white tree , which is livening up the dining room . So it's lucky no one will be "dining" in there , as (obviously) there wouldn't be room now! Usually we all sit together in the kitchen (which is generally the hub of our universe!)
I can't get away from the fact that Christmas lights are so bewitching , not to mention beguiling - I wonder if my children feel the same ? I remember so vividly the magical excitement of coming sleepily down the stairs to find my father testing the fairy lights - with them strung across the floor ; the tiny , bright pools of impossibly enchanting light dancing across the carpet .The wonderment that would then suffuse my whole being - I then believed that Christmas was nearly here !
A huge part of Christmas to me is that special aroma , evoking more childhood memories of the days when mince pies were made on Christmas Eve . It should be 1 part cinnamon , 1 part clove and 2 parts orange !! Every year I go on a quest round the shops to find this extra special "essence of Christmas" in a can or bottle . Every morning when I come downstairs I liberally squirt the air and inhale .... aahhh !
My sons have told me this is how they know the festive season is well and truly upon them ! Mind you , there's absolutely no substitute for the real thing , and to that end several batches of mince pies will shortly be made . I always make star-topped , macaroon , and meringue . Also last year I first made puff pastry pin-wheels with mincemeat and flaked almonds (a complete doddle) Making shortcrust pastry is so relaxing , I love popping the batches of spicy little tarts in to the oven - and always sneak one or two "to try them out" when they're cool .
These new little bearies, sitting under the tiny rustic tree on my dining room dresser, look like they're enjoying themselves. I must say a big "Thank You" to (L to R) Samantha Potter, Tina Jenson and Clare Davis-Tedd for allowing me to adopt them - what a delightful little group!
T.T.F.N Ruth xx