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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas days

Ah,'ve been lovely.

The last five days have flown past in a flurry of fun. Lots of eating, drinking, laughing, sharing, caring, singing,'s been a blast with all of our children, Lucy, Billy and Callum, here.

Our cottage has been bursting at the seams with extra people and animals. For a few days there were seven humans and four dogs staying over, an extra human (Elly) another day, some went home, and then yesterday there were six humans and four dogs , when my lovely sisters in law and their husbands/partners came for lunch with two large spaniels.

I love having a house full at Christmas with my gang....catching up with what's going on, sitting around the kitchen or dining table , relaxing by the fire, watching old favourite films where we know every single line of dialogue and are in fits of giggles waiting or the punch lines.

Usually I do all of the cooking, but not so much this year. In fact, it's been a real joint effort which has worked so well.

On Christmas Eve we broke with tradition. For years, I've baked a large gammon, but this year my son Callum said he would like to cook the meal. Was this because he's bored with the gammon? No, but this was a welcome surprise...and he did everything for that meal from buying, prepping and serving.  It was a gamble though, making a Jamie Oliver's Beef Wellington complete with mushroom pate inside, plus goose fat roasted potatoes and seasonal greens when you've not made a whole dinner before. No pressure with it being our Christmas Eve meal.


It was delicious, really flavoursome and we all absolutely loved it, so much so that all the gang were warning me I would have to step up to the plate with Christmas lunch. No pressure there either!
Luckily, dear, darling Tom Kerridge saved the day as I made his Turkey Crown....stuffed with sausage meat, pistacios , dried cranberries etc, topped with a toasted crumble of pork scratching, s pistachios and sourdough. Lots of praise indeed , and the ultimate accolade of "best carrots ever " as I faithfully replicated the Kerridge recipe of carrots poached in butter, star anise etc.
Make no mistake, this was such a rich lunch, there was no huge pudding this year, and most of us didn't want anything else to eat at all for the rest of the day.
Even though the dogs had been walked in the morning, I thought I might spontaneously combust if I just sat down after the meal, so Callum and I took the dogs for a walk around the village.
Even so, I still couldn't eat a thing for the rest of the day, but some  managed  cheese and biscuits at about ten, as we made our way through a  marathon game of monopoly.  It was such fun....the cunning, the guile, the bad language from some (er yes, that would include me) as certain people began putting hotels on all of their properties, the competiveness between my sons who carried on the game until after I'd gone to bed, three and a half hours after the game began.
Boxing Day was busy too, but my daughter Lucy and her hairy husband Harry cooked a huge  full English breakfast which lasted us most of the day.
Then yesterday, Nigel and Mandy brought the most delicious chicken curry with them for lunch. What a treat.....all I had to do was make a pudding. Home made ice cream with a raspberry coulis made from the raspberries from my allotment, plus some raspberry gin.
It's been a wonderful five days...the Christmas chaos of a full cottage eating such tasty meals, toasting each other, catching up all on our news and just being together. It's been so busy and  I've been so engrossed in each moment, I've hardly taken any photos.
Today though it's quiet. So quiet, even the dining room looks so different without us all squashed around the table, talking at full speed and at full blast.
Some have gone home, others are away for a few days and my husband is on the golf course. I took the three remaining dogs on a walk earlier around the fields and lanes on the village. One of those glorious mornings where the sun had climbed high after the earlier fog, a morning where I had to walk where the sun has dissolved the hard frost on one side of the road only to try and avoid skidding on the ice.

 A morning where as soon as we were in the fields and the dogs off their leads, I could admire the different patterns of the ice on the mud and stamp on icy puddles to hear that satisfying thwack and crack as my wellies crashed the ice.
And for the rest of the day, I am relaxing. I'm just about to go and sit by the fire and do nothing.  Until tomorrow that is, when I go back to work, and when I get home , my gorgeous mum (Mama) who I love and adore will have arrived from my brother's on the Isle of Wight to be with us until her birthday  at the beginning of January.
Happy Days, and I really hope that you all have had a lovely Christmas too.....



  1. Enjoyed reading your Christmas blog as always Bridget. All sounded wonderful and the food sounded sumptous. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Diane, it was! As for the food, well...lets just say I've put on a few pounds! I hope you have a wonderful 2017.....