Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Post Christmas Madness - Part One.

Hi All My Readers
Yet again another blog starting with an apology for taking soo long to write. I've been having a marvelous two weeks. Well it started with Christmas Eve and me going into super domestic goddess role.

Here is the turkey marinating in all sorts of goodies, overnight. The theory being that when you cook it the turkey remains moist.

Then here I am being very domesticated and making a gravy out of the turkey neck.

Christmas Eve No.2 and his wife arrived from Leeds - son full of cough and cold. Then Mrs A and hubby arrived for an easy dinner and pud (thanks to Nigella). It was a lovely evening and then Mr P and I headed out to a village parish church to enjoy the midnight communion service. This for me is the highlight of Christmas. The air always feels magical - can almost see Santa! I'm not quite sure how I stayed awake as I was so tired.

Christmas morning everyone was up before me. Forgot to say at 1.30am we were frying the joint of beef to seal it and put into the oven to cook slowly whilst we slept. Rather bizarre waking up to the smell of beef in the early hours of the morning. Thanks again to Nigella's Christmas book I was able to follow her timetable and go off to church without panicking re times. Mr P took a lovely service and then home to greet my dad who had arrived - full car of goodies. Can't remember opening any presies yet! Oh yes Mr P slipped into bed for  a quick snooze, whilst the dinner was cooking. Managed to accomplish the huge dinner for 2.30pm and have a sneaky glass of wine whilst cooking.

Just a sneak view of the quantities of food I cooked for Christmas dinner! Had to use two other tables for my family to help themselves to.

Once cleared up the first round of present opening started. There was a slight gap in time before No 4 and girlfriend arrived from Leeds. This then started the 2nd round of presents. Shortly afterwards No 3, hubby and dog arrived. Great excitement No 3 made an announcement to say she is pregnant with our first grandchild. Well we knew some weeks ago but it was to be kept a secret till today. Now means that I can legitimately get baby knitting. How exciting - a whole new world of crafting is going to open up for me. The baby is secondary in all this! No seriously we are delighted and know they will make brilliant parents. After all this excitement we all collapsed into bed. In case you are counting we now have nine bodies in the house plus a dog and a baby blob (known as "Nemo").

Boxing Day - Cranberry muffins for breakie and then a morning of games. Followed by the arrival of No 1 and hubby from Northern Ireland. All my babies safely gathered in - cluck, cluck. Needless to say we had another round of present opening. I like this rather than opening all presents in one go. What I need to say is that the family has become good at learning to wrap up presents for No 1 with one piece of sellotape. As she spends ages slowly unwrapping the paper! She's agonising to watch as she insists on not tearing the paper! Dinner was a family tradition of raclette. This is a Swiss tradition of cooking. It starts back in the summer when Mr P and I go to France and buy the raclette cheese for this event. It's a DIY meal as everyone cooks their own meat on the top of the raclette and then underneath a small pan is placed with the cheese to melt. The cheese is then used to pour over some new potatoes. So as well as the spuds and meat the meal is eaten with pickles and sweetcorn. It's a great sharing meal.
The evening was finished with No 3 playing the piano and the rest of us singing. The best moment was when my dad got carried away with the music and raced into the kitchen for a saucepan and wooden spoon to join in. It was a really special evening. Now have 11 bodies in the house!

27th December we said goodbye to my dad as he headed home. A long time was spent trying to sort out a family holiday together. Finding a house that can sleep all of us and allows dogs and is central to where we all live is a tall order. The holiday is still a work in progress. The evening was spent playing one of our family favourite games- "werewolf".

28th December. No 3's hubby had to go to work so they had to leave at 6am - while the rest of us were sleeping. Had the morning together and then it was time for us all to part. :(

We had a wonderful time and it is always so special when we can all meet up together.

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