It’s still Christmas right???

So, it’s sort of over.  Well the big day is over anyway.  I always feel an element of sadness in the days after Christmas.  I get so excited, spend increasing amounts of time from, let’s face it the start of September once my birthday is over planning, preparing and thinking about it.  This year,  I felt very Christmassy around mid-November, then it seemed to take ages for December, and then suddenly it was here!  All of that, for one day!  But what a day it was!!  We hosted Christmas for the first time this year, and by the evening there were ten of us in our living room around the tree, opening presents, playing games, drinking, eating and generally getting our Christmas on.

Apart from the good company and festivities there were three things that made this Christmas truly awesome…the food, the presents and having my niece here for her first Christmas.

Food

Usually at my parents, my mum doesn’t like us to snack before dinner.  I guess I can understand that.  You spend Christmas morning in the kitchen and so want everyone to be hungry for and enjoy the meal you serve.  I am the opposite, I want people to be so full they need to loosen their belts.  So in addition to the traditional turkey meal, we provided an array of goodies for people to munch on, a lot of which I spent Christmas eve making (before heading out for drinks).  For the evening, we boiled a ham, and served a selection of cheeses, pates, breads and bits….I do love cheese, and the ham was awesome.  I am still feeling the after effects of so much food!

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I would have taken photos of the evening buffet with cheeses etc… except by then the three bottles of fizz we’d got through was kicking in and my plans for taking everlasting memories by way of photos went out the window!

Speaking of tables, I was quite impressed with how our table looked after I’d set it.  I’d bought everyone a little present from my niece – a little plaque with a quote on – ‘Home is where your mum is’ or ‘Dad’s carry photos where their money used to be’ and ‘Grandads are just antique little boys’! I put them on everyone’s plate so they had them over dinner!

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My niece’s first Christmas!

Perhaps told best by photos – let’s just say by the end of the day, she was an expert in unwrapping and had been more spoiled than anyone!

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And finally…the presents!

What an incredibly good girl I must have been in 2013 to get the amazing gifts I got….some I don’t have photos of yet but will post when I’ve taken.  A Vivienne Westwood bass orb necklace, four pairs of shoes, a pair of boots, a superdry top, make up, loads of baking stuff, books, chocolates, including an awesome gingerbread house and mini chocolate basket made by my sis!

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Christmas Fizz

Last night we hosted the first of our Christmas events; Christmas fizz.  Four of our friends came over and we all drank some of the finest drinks known to mankind (as Withnail would proclaim).  The dress code was come in an outfit that you feel reflects the inner you.  There was a range of outfits, all equally as glam; from bow-ties to LBDs.  I embraced my inner eccentricity and dressed as a 1920s flapper in a gorgeous sequin and fringe dress.

dress

As I’ve mentioned before, one rule I always live by is that no one should sit in my house feeling hungry or thirsty. So with a bottle of Etienne Dumont and a bottle of Piper Heidsieck in the fridge I set about making some snacks.  Some I did buy – some samosas and bhajis from the supermarket, but the rest I made.

Strawberries covered in melted dairy milk, puff pastry tart with caramelised onion chutney, pesto and tomato and oregano sauce:

buffet1 and home made mince pies – not sure if it worked that well as I’d not tried it before; and I personally don’t like mince pies so couldn’t taste; but I added a bit of Jack Daniels to the mincemeat.  I actually find mince pies had to make – they always seem to fall apart during the baking process.  However, icing sugar can hide a multitude of sins; and at Christmas, I just say the dusting of sugar is to create a snow effect….now that’s festive.buffet2 Finally, my favourite piece; these cute little strawberry snowmen.  Two of my favourite things, strawberries and icing….I used a cream cheese icing as it’s stiffer than butter icing, and added more vanilla essence than the recipe prescribed.  It tasted like ice cream!IMG_1022With Christmas day just two days away, I’ve got quite a bit of baking to do.  I’m not sure what I’ll be making – a chocolate torte is definitely on the list, and I definitely want to make some more santas.  I’m contemplating cup cakes too….

I may walk into the village tomorrow to pick up some ingredients.  It’s quite cold out, but that just means I get to wear my vintage fur hat! Yay for Christmas!

fur hat