Things have been a tad hectic round here this last week or so and in the past day or so I have started grocery shopping for ingredients not ready made things. I object to paying through the nose for items that I can quite easily make myself. I love cooking and I am not one of these ladies who cannot cook. Granted I am a plain cook but the more you practice something the better you get at it. Bit like riding a bicycle you fall off your perch once or twice until you find your way around it and then its free wheeling all the way.
I am no different to many other ladies and gents doing the shopping but I do not drive and this year I have not had the services of the OH to run around to either come and collect shopping from town or to run me down into town; due mainly to the shift pattern he has been rostered on to so I have to walk everywhere. The walking does me good, but when you have some extremly heavy bags and you live over a mile from town (without going round town) I am slightly knackered and I have got drenched a couple of times in the process. (drowned rat syndrome).
It takes me longer to do the shopping as I buy the ingredients not a finished product and I don't overdo things we have the choice of a couple of things but I do a batch bake and then those items that a more volatile/fragile I make as we need that way we do not over-complicate matters or waste anything unnecessarily. To tell the truth I tend to just buy basic items as I need them so it has been a bit of shock on the price front and I have not gone overboard. The shopping I have done is not just for the Christmas period it also has to take me through to the end of the month.
I went back into town this evening about 6:30 p.m and it was wonderful so different to earlier on when we were playing bash a shopping trolley and so I was able to do Marks and Spencers and Waitrose. I still have a couple of more items to get from both shops but I just could not carry them tonight.
Christmas Eve is by tradition my family's baking day. I remember as a little girl watching my mother bring through a big meat platter (which was a blue and white print plate) stacked full of mince pies, jam tarts, coconut cheesecakes and lemon curd tarts as well as all the preparation for the Christmas feast; The Turkey used to be cooked overnight on Christmas Eve (after all the baking had been done) and mum had a gas copper in which the Christmas Pudding used to be cooked. I still have to go up town again tomorrow and on Christmas Eve to finish present and food shopping.
I have the cranberries for the fresh cranberry sauce/relish that has Cointreau added, the bread sauce, the pastry, the shortbread, the tiffin, the regrigerator cake, the almond clementine cake, the Yule log etc. and I have a batch of Tiger rolls to make on Christmas day so that I have fresh rolls for when mum comes to dinner on Boxing Day (for tea). I have puff pastry in the freezer to make sausage rolls with and some savouries and I may well have a go at doing some home made Danish Pastries and also some Stollen.
Right I am going to wend my way upstairs to Bedfordshire as I have an early start in the morning. OH has tomorrow off so he is taking me to the Butchers to collect the Turkey and then off to Sainsburys.