The festive spirit.

I’m a bit of a “bah humbug” when it comes to Christmas. I do enjoy the holiday, honest. But I hate the build up which nowadays seems to start in September- buy, buy, buy. Consume. Prepare. And whatever you do, it has to be PERFECT. None of us are immune from this pressure.

As a person of dual heritage- half English, half Belgian- this is the weekend when we would go down to my parents to celebrate St Nicholas Although the children are now grown up  and we no longer celebrate the day, it is still, as far as I am concerned, the weekend when we can start talking about and preparing for the holidays.

That mainly means food. Our children, being students, mainly want money. But presents have never been the most important aspect of Christmas in our ‘hold. No, it’s food. The suggestion that we deviate from our traditional duck is met with outrage. So this is now ordered from Barry Fitch. I will be making the customary Mexican wedding cakes (tried to link to a recipe, but mine don’t include nuts….)

Today, I have been looking into what I can do with the apples some visitors brought over from Belgium. I have sliced some then soaked in lemon juice and frozen. I will also make some apple chutney to go with the ham and cheeses and make some fruit “mincemeat”.

As we have an abundance of sage in the garden, I thought I would make some sage and onion stuffing. I warn you, if you follow Mrs Beeton’s recipe on the BBC website, you will end up making twice as much as you need! This is now made and in the freezer, waiting for some finishing touches.

Earlier in the year, I soaked some plums in vodka to make a liqueur. Decanted today and will use to add to wine to make our own version of Kir. It tasted good. Cheers.

The point is, I suppose, that we can all create our own version of what Christmas is, our own traditions, and we don’t have to buy into anyone else’s  package. It can cost what you want and what you can afford.  Have a good un!



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