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Friday, 30 November 2018

The Calm after the Storm

Peace and sanity has been restored here.  I am pretty certain that most of it is to do with his work.  I apologise if I come over as a little hard-hearted but I have found over the past ten years or so that if I am all nice and sympathetic he is ten times worse.  So a little tough love i.e. being firm and not putting up with any argie-bargey is employed and so far this seems to have stood me in good stance with him.

As he did not eat his tea last night I have cooked tonight.  We have had a steak pie with steamed potatoes, mixed cauli, broccoli, carrot and peas and then some shredded cabbage with lots of gravy.  He complained that he did not want anything to eat as he was not hungry.  (see what I mean about cannot do the right thing and walking on eggshells) and he has eaten more than what he thought he would. It is a good job that I am a pretty placid person unless I lose my temper. I had already told him that he was eating it as it was already cooked which it was.  

He has turned round and thanked me for going to the trouble of.  I needed something as well.  I am also a big believer that comfort style food does a lot more good for the system rather than just feed you.  He is nodding so that will not do him any harm. He may be working overtime tomorrow and then again he maybe not so I shall see when I get up.

However I would like to thank you for your support those comments printed and private ones.  It is very much appreciated.

Tomorrow is another day as they say.  Whether he works or not is another matter but we are set to go out for a meal with some friends tomorrow evening so hopefully that will do him good as well.

Take care and catch you all later.

Pattypan

x

Thursday, 29 November 2018

A little pique tongue

We are a lot luckier than most but needless to say things have been going a little pique tongue to say the least this last week.

It started with the heating not working. We thought it had been sorted out but have since found out that the leak that we could not locate was in fact on the backside of a radiator and that is in the process of being put right.  I knew my suspicions were right and I was in the right area to find said impediment.  My instincts are normally right despite being pooh poohed by other half.

Since then my TV which was originally my mother's has packed up.  OH being too impatient for everything as it needs to be done yesterday (he is in the middle of a meltdown bipolar wise things are tough at work and he can only see his own perspective).  Despite that  whatever I do is not right and I get blamed quite a lot as I do not live up to his exacting standards! Never mind I have my own issues.

Needless to say we have a second TV  - don't know what he has done but that and the TV which had packed up are on top of my desk (the big one should be on the wall).  There is no talking to him at the moment so I am just letting him stew and getting on with things that I need to get on with.  Even the dog got yelled at poor thing.

He will get out of it but time has to be taken.  

It is not easy living with someone with bipolar!

Don't worry I have yelled back and am okay.  I have learned a few techniques over the past years and he does not get molly coddled or allowed to get away with it.

It is a condition that is severely misunderstood and people think that because you joke and laugh and appear to be more than okay that everything is hunky dory.  However in reality a light mood can turn on a penny.  He is either laid back and the life and soul of a party or terribly manic and there is no time for anything. That is why it is often referred to by its common name of manic depression.

There is a long line of people in his family who have this - his only manifested itself after he lost his Dad and his Mum in a 13 week period (in reality his grandparents but they adopted him) when he was small.

Does anyone else have a bipolar member of the family and if so how do you cope with it!  It would be interesting to exchange notes. He is now sleeping it off.

Hey ho it all makes life interesting.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Catch you all soon

Pattypan

x

I am having a down day today

Despite having an early night because I was shattered I ended up being violently ill with an acidosis attack last night.  I have been asleep and have woken up feeling drained and not quite firing on all pistons so a gentle day it is for me today.  It will settle it just has a habit of catching me unawares.

Hopefully be back later on.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

A bit shattered

I have had another busy day - not got on as far as I would have liked but have done some which is the main thing.  I am now absolutely shattered as have been getting up with OH and not going back to bed.  He is up most  mornings at 6:00am and I am awake before that.

So it is an early night for a change tonight.  I am cold and am going to cuddle under the quilt and just chill.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

From The Nutcracker(s) to Cookie Cutters


Something in our house which has always been used for literally "cracking nuts" and they come in all different sorts, shapes and sizes.  My favourite one is a carved wooden bowl with a raised middle on which to place your nut and a small hammer to bash it with.  A reproduction bought from the company Past Times when it was operating but still a lovely piece.  Probably not the most efficient but certainly one of the most charming. The photo below is similar to the one I have although mine has extensive carving of a Celtic braid on it.




However most people will be familiar with the "old Chestnut" excuse the pun.  These are the more recognised versions.  Now a question everyone are you buying Nuts this Christmas. Do you have Nutcrackers if not perhaps now would be a good time to buy some. Or alternatively, if you do have some can you lay your hands on them?




Most people are familiar with the ballet classic "The Nutcracker" and with the beautiful suite of music written by Tchaikovsky.




and





Are just a couple of the well known pieces from this suite.  But for me the real essence of this ballet is a "Christmas" one.  I would love to see a ballet in the flesh as it were.   I have never been to the ballet but when I am on my own and it is on the TV I am glued to the screen watching this most lovely of ballets.  I also had ballet lessons as a child which I loved, but I am afraid I was not a natural.  I think what also attracted me was the flight of imagination from a simple Nutcracker to an ornate "bewitched" storyline.

Indeed this year the Christmas toys for John Lewis are a "Teddy Bear" Nutcracker soft toy soldier and the Sugar Plum Fairy!  Both are delightful but expensive although I am sure highly collectible.



I collect Nutcracker Dolls "Christmas decorations".  These are the sort of ornament I am talking about



The majority of mine though have mechanical musical boxes on the base.  Each of them has a different tune.  You probably will not be surprised but I love music boxes and have picked up several over the years.  However I also have a couple of automaton ones as well where the arms move and beat a drum.  Something like this


I even have miniature ones for the Christmas tree.

Yesterday whilst in town I nipped into Lakeland for a nosey round and I spotted their "Nutcracker" cookie cutter.  It is lovely and I have my eye on this - it is about £10 for the larger size but there is an intermediate size which they did not have in the shop yesterday.  This is the large size



Lakeland in our local store and on one of their magazines also have a cake decorated with these cut outs which looks quite impressive.

However today I indulged in these:

The Ballerina cookie cutter






I also bought a Stag's head cookie cutter as well.  These are also to go into an extensive collection of different cutters as I quite fancied making some shaped cookies for a change this Christmas.  But more on that in another post.

So do you have your Nutcrackers at the ready and your Cookie cutters to hand all sorted and ready for action over the Christmas period?

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

P.S.  I nearly forgot if you do buy in nuts for Christmas and there are plenty left in the coming year.  Even though they may not be at their best you can still use them to create decorations for next Christmas with the aid of a glue gun, and some Styroform balls or shapes.  The base can be spray painted in your chosen colour and then the nuts glued onto the shape.  They cost an arm and a leg to buy.  You can also with the aid of inners out of kitchen rolls spray paint the tubes again in your chosen colour and then glue a mixture of nuts on.  Once all dried and securely in play spray varnish them and then let them dry.  Then string them on a long cord/string.  They need to be interspaced with a small covered or decorated ball to make the tubes hang correctly but it is another decoration for next to nothing.

PP

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Christmas cards and Stamps


Just a few of the cards I have for sending this year - not all of them but some.  I had hoped to make them but that will happen next year now.




This is another little job that I have to do.  Write all the Christmas cards and get them sent out early.  I have all the stamps as I bought a couple of books earlier on in the year.  Now to get them out to their recipients.  It will be a useful job well done, especially for the older members of my family who do not use the internet or do not have such equipment.  It is always nice to receive a message from a family loved one.  Makes you feel wanted and as we get older that means more than most other things.

I actually think the custom of sending through the post cards and letters utterly charming.  It has been mostly overtaken by the Internet but it is not quite the same somehow as sending cards and letters through the pillar box and receiving cards through the letter box.  I actually prefer writing with a proper ink pen by preference.  I was a runner up in  a small writing competition over 20 years ago and I received a beautiful ink pen for my efforts which is my main pen.  I also have my Dad's ink pen which I learned to write with.


 I shall probably prepare all mine over the weekend and then get them sent off early next week.  That will be another job off the To do list.  Although there are still many more where that came from.

I also need to prepare the address labels on the computer.   I handwrite the cards but preprint the labels.  I buy packs of labels (to go through the computer) from Wilkos for this purpose.

So this will be another couple of things off the long Christmas list. How are you getting on with your cards.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x




Planning on Fresh Greenery



The Holly and the Ivy 
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the Wood
The Holly bears the Crown 
And the rising of the sun and the running of the deer
And the playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir



I love fresh greenery in the house at Christmas and ideally I would love a fresh Christmas tree but that is not going to happen here as we are restricted on space somewhat.  However for me the scent and lush look of natural foliage and natural Christmas trees is second to none. But you have to deal with what you have but it does not stop me aspiring for natural foliage all the way round for the future both outside and in.

As I am not working at the moment I am hoping this year to actually go gathering Ivy from the garden and Holly with berries (from the front garden) and also Laurel and Bay to incorporate into a few decorations in any event.  I do have several artificial garlands and wreaths of different compositions.  I tend to do what I can with the back door and the front door to make it look festive I usually do fresh outside though and keep the faux ones for inside.

I have always wanted a proper big fire place with proper fresh garlands to decorate.  For me any future home will have to have an open fire or two or log burners and the dream an Aga/Rayburn - the large one




Bearing in mind that I love greenery and I am sure that I am not the only person to do so, I was browsing  on the Waitrose site and came up with the following links for doing things yourself in the run up to Christmas, how to choose and how to do things and a couple of other ideas besides.  These are located on the following links.
christmas-centrepiece

https://www.waitroseflorist.com/christmas-inspiration

There is also a short video (a clip from a programme I believe) that discusses ivy, mistletoe and holly.  




For those of you who wish to buy rather than have a go yourself there are some lovely ones to be had from here.  This is the Rocket Gardens site.  I have bought plants from them and they have been superb. Even if you do not buy the wreaths or greenery from them etc.  it might give you some ideas on what to do for yourself.

Christmas


Some lovely ideas all the way round.

Are you going to do greenery for Christmas and have a go at doing your own displays.

And finally to put you in the mood "Mistletoe and Wine" 




Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Monday, 26 November 2018

Monday evening Catch up

It has been bitterly cold here today hampered by the fact that the central heating is on the blink but we have found out why and have located the cause.  Hopefully matters will be rectified by tomorrow, but there has been a lot of water in an unexpected space (we have had a leak) and I need to get the problem repaired and then the house dried out.  Next time when I cannot feel heat I am going to yell a bit more and then maybe a certain person might take me a little more seriously.

I have had a busy evening as I sit as Secretary on a Committee and it was our AGM this evening. I have not long got in but it has been a productive evening in any event.  

Now I am in to chill. I have some preparation to do for tomorrow but then the time is my own for a little while at least.

It is extremely cold out again but at least the house is warmer than outside.

I have a friend to meet for lunch tomorrow and to put the world to rights with for a little while at least.

Right am off to potter.  Tomorrow is another day.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Things to get ready in the run up to Christmas Part One

There are a few more things to get ready in the run up to Christmas.  I buy in butter regularly or make it from reduced double cream when I can find it and then freeze it but the little stock I had in hand has in recent weeks been used up so I need to make some more.  With all the good food that is going to be around you need some nice butter to spread on that plum loaf (I am making plum loaf for my brother and his family and shall also make him some home made butter to go with it).   With my Kilner hand butter churner this is easily achieved.

Please see my post with links here on how to make butter:

Butter

You can also flavour butters, with fresh herbs, fennel, with chilli, cinnamon (I have some of this in mind to have spread on tea cakes, crumpets or pancakes in the run up to the holiday and for the holiday itself), rose and saffron.

Potted Shrimps

I also intend to get some fresh brown shrimps from the market and pot them to have yet again over the Christmas holiday absolutely delicious served as a starter with some brown bread and home made butter or just a snack on its own. You use clarified butter to make these.

Shortbread 

I also want to make some home made butter for my home made shortbread which is one of those things that we make every year.  It is so yummy and a nod to our Scottish heritage.

Buttermilk 

As I will be making at least a couple of batches of butter, there will be buttermilk left over which is ideal for adding to scones and also pancakes. It can also be used in Soda bread.  However you can also make buttermilk in its own right.  Recipe to follow separately.    However it is something I am going to start making on a regular basis as it can be used when making fried chicken, scones, even a pannacotta which would be ideal served with a mixed berry coulis for a lovely dessert over the Christmas period.  

There is so much you can do just with home made butter and buttermilk.  I am aiming next year to do more with both of these as the flavour of the food made with them is delish.

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you later on.

Pattypan

x

Christmas Carols Number 3 - We Three Kings of Orient Are - The Robert Shaw Chorale




This is a firm favourite as far as Carols go for me as it brings back happy memories of my brother and myself engaged playing as young children.

My father from an early age had a good voice and he was in the local village choir.  His voice was that good and described by my granddad to me as him having the voice of an Angel that he auditioned for the Lincoln Cathedral Choir.  This was more complicated as one of the requisites of being in the choir was that you had to pass the entrance exam for the Cathedral school and to this end the local Vicar Mr Guy tutored him with the extra work and subjects.  Needless to say my father passed and was part of the choir for over 10 years.  So from the age of 8 his life revolved around the Cathedral and singing and music. He was Head Chorister and soloist.  His voice broke late after he was 18 which was when he left the choir.  However it did not stop him singing at full whack as he had been taught it was just the results were not quite the same and sadly I never got to hear how good his voice was.

One of the remnants of music was that at one stage we had a piano in the house.  It was passed on to someone else much to my chagrin.  However the piano stool stayed and all Dad's sheet music and the family photographs were kept in there for many years.

In the front room mum also had a slimline coffee table which was frequently turned upside down and we used to row our boat down the river.  At the same time she had purchased two vinyl red and grey pouffes and a new coal scuttle which was black bucket but brass lid.

So in the run up to Christmas this was our playground.  The sheet music would come out of the piano stool, the coal scuttle would become the cymbal and the two pouffes were the drums (we had two not one) complete with a pair of my mum's knitting needles (which were stored in the drop down table) we turned this into our musical accompaniment and sang our hearts out as only children could (not necessarily in tune but sing our hearts out we did).  We Three Kings was a favourite, we had the sheet music for that (although at that stage we could not read music) however our version was less traditional something along the lines of:

We Three Kings of Leicester Square
Selling women's underwear
Their fantastic
No elastic 
Only a penny a pair!

Very irreverent I know but part and parcel of being children at the time.

I look back at that time now that I am oh so much older at the joy, simplicity and happiness that we had as children and the scope to use our imaginations and create our own fun.  I sometimes wonder if my brother remembers those happy times when we were kids and being grown ups was so far off.  Happy days.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Games and Entertainment for Christmas

We grew up playing games at Christmas  I spy, spelling games, Board games, charades etc.  

On Christmas Day every member of the family had to do a party piece in the late afternoon to entertain the rest of the family.  Recite a piece of poetry, do folk dancing, play a piece of music, singing, charades.  We never knew quite what to expect but everyone without exception had to take part.  We had a lot of fun in the process.



Perhaps that is why I have grown up playing board games, enjoying jig saw puzzles, dancing, reciting poetry (my singing is not very good and leaves a lot to be desired).  My dad used to play piano and the rest of the family used to sing.  He was good at playing the piano.

As a result over the years I have managed to add quite a few board games to the stash.  When the children were at home they were also encouraged in this respect too.  There is a long tradition of getting out the board games and getting competitive.

When mum passed and my brother and I cleared the house we split what games she had between us.  I have the Scrabble my brother has the Monopoly (In fairness I already have this).


In recent months I have also added a few extra board games such as Backgammon which I am determined to learn to play over the Christmas period.  My Dad used to play but it is a game we were never taught.  

I also picked up a while back a Victorian based fishing game from The Works for next to nothing. 



The game appealed to me as it was simple, very different to the current games available but there are two reasons for this game joining the array of games I already have in that one, it is different and two is a reproduction of an original parlour game.  This will go under the Christmas tree (after the presents have been removed) - forms part of a staged Christmas tableaux of toys under the Christmas tree so that the tree does not look too bare after the main event.  It is all about the "fairytale" that is Christmas and allows us to release our inner child.


The Works also had other games such as Sticks in two different sizes, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Tiddlywinks all traditional board games.

Do you drag out the traditional games at Christmas or like my family used to do have a little home spun entertainment.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Overslept

This morning.  Missy was not happy about something and so OH took her out for an early morning walk as he suspected she needed to go.  So a disturbed sleep all round.  She does her best to tell us if something is not right and she settled down a bit afterwards.  As a result we ended up oversleeping and things that had been planned have been put off to another day.


The sun has been out here today but it is bitter.  Warm in the sunlight but decidedly dodgy in the shadows.


OH has watched the Grand Prix this afternoon and I have been pottering around the house.  Just enjoying the day for what it is.


We have had a piece of roast beef for dinner this evening served with some mashed potato, roast potato, roast parsnips, roast shallots, carrots, broccoli Brussell Sprouts and peas.  Very tasty it was too.  Enough was cooked as usual for tomorrow night's tea and there is also enough for pack ups.  There was also lots of gravy left over as well (I always make plenty) as you can also add left over bits to make a home made soup to keep you warm.

The Roast Squash will be turned into soup tomorrow but it has gone all nice and caramelised.  I love soup.  OH is not always in the mood but it is very filling and good for you so I shall look forward to that tomorrow midday wish some bread and butter.

I am still doing battle royal with the house and have been plugging away.  Today I am in the bathroom trying to strip that out and give it a massive deep clean.  Think it will be finished sometime tomorrow. Then I will be able to get things like my lighthouse, wooden three tier rack and some of the shelving back in with a bit of luck which should then free up space elsewhere.

Right will catch you all soon.

Have a lovely evening.

Pattypan




Christmas Carols Number 2 In the Bleak Midwinter

I love in the Bleak midwinter -it is another one of my favourite carols.  And what more suitable day than the first Sunday in Advent to play this well loved traditional carol.  Gives some atmosphere if you are at home making your Christmas puddings and your Christmas cakes.



Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Catch you later.


Pattypan

x

Home Made Decorations

Always add a charm of their own to the Christmas house.  I am always finding ideas and I save them on my Pinterest boards.

I have recently found the following and although I do not have time this year to make these I am going to start making them in the New Year.  I am going to have a couple of large boxes one for home made presents to go into and one for home made decorations.   I am thinking along the lines of embroidered and patchwork throws at the moment and also some festive cushions and other individual pieces. Some of these I intend starting over the Christmas break inbetween everything else.  I have jelly roll strips in Christmas fabrics as well as pastels and other printed fabrics so I intend to stock up on threads before Christmas so that I can really play.  I also intend to master the embroidery machine as well.  I have seen some lovely panels (the programmes for which will need purchasing) to create some really lovely and different pieces.

However I know some of you have children and grandchildren and some of the projects could be really fun to make together in the run up to Christmas and make special memories for the children or grandchildren in the process.


Here are the links:



Reindeer Garland at the Proper Blog

This has Santa's sleigh as well.  You could also make this three D by making it out of felt.   There is a downloadable template on this blog. Could also be used to make Christmas Cushions.






The next one is from the Gold Jelly Bean Blog.  Basically it uses bow tie pasta to create a Christmas garland.  A nice one for the kidlets to make or the big kidlets.



These two were from the House Beautiful craft section and more ideas are here



I also liked this wreath.  There does not appear to be a tutorial just a picture.



I particularly liked this decoration from Caths Pennies which is a decoration ready to buy.  Still looks very effective.



https://cathspenniesdesigns.com/product-category/holiday-ornament-patterns-misc/

There are some other lovely ornaments here too.

There is also this crazy patchwork stocking to make from a website called snapguide.





There is also this delightful patchwork star decoration from Ros Made Me 




In fact there are so many lovely links that for the time being I am going to stop here.  When I get a few more minutes I will pop up some  more of my favourites.  All worth having a go at.  All these home made decorations also make your home individual and you can add your own spin by following the decoration as is and choosing your own fabrics or by glamming it up with some jingle bells or beads.  All puts the individual touch on the pieces you choose to make.

Hope this has given you some ideas.  If you are anything like me you will not be short on ideas just the time to do them.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Saturday roundup

We have had trouble with the radiators not getting hot enough and as OH has been home today which he has not been for the past few weeks and he has done a little investigating.  It turns out that we have had an airlock in one of the radiators which he has now unleashed.  The heat is now back up to full strength. Ah.

Its been another damp and chilly day here which I think is why I have noticed that the house was not as warm as it could be.  We are going to check out another radiator tomorrow.  The new one that was dealt with today you use a screwdriver.  The one to be checked tomorrow uses a key.  I think I know where it is but am not absolutely sure so will have to scout around for that this evening and then if I cannot find it see whether OH can come up with anything to fix it.  

I have noticed that the front half of the house does not appear to be as warm as the back (although the loo and bathroom and the kitchen always tend to be cooler when the wind is in the wrong direction.  It is starting to get really chilly out again.

One of the things that I have been doing is if I get really cold I go outside for a little while and then come back in again - it really makes you appreciate how warm it actually is.  OH cannot stand too much heat whereas I cannot bear the cold so instead of just putting the heating on I have either been putting on an extra jumper or going out for a while and it seems to be doing the trick.

We are having roast pork for tea but I am just serving it with some home made chips rather than doing all veg etc.  He is getting a full roast tomorrow in any event.

I have also roasted a Squash with a little chilli powder on it as I intend to make some soup tomorrow.  As I have the small oven only on for the pork I thought I might as well get my money's worth and cook it up at the same time.

Catch  you soon.

Pattypan

Good afternoon Peeps

Its been a busy day so far - I am in the kitchen again.  Much needed after my "black dog" days this week.  Thank you for your kind words, suggestions and care It is very much appreciated.  Thank you each and everyone. When I get like this I am usually only like it for a day - two at most but it seems to have been most of the week for which I apologise.  

The dishwasher is on doing sterling service, I am washing and wiping everything down and have the walls and floors to scrub as well. (Monthly strip out) Later on (if not today) I have some orange marmalade, lemon marmalade and lemon and ginger marmalade to make.  I also have some vegetables to prepare for the fridge so it is all steam ahead in the kitchen.  I am taking my time and things so far seem to be progressing nicely and to plan.  I also have some shallots to prepare  - basically I just peel them and tidy them up bung them into a freezer bag and then put them in the freezer.  Everytime I have a joint or need a bit more flavour in a meal I add these from frozen.  They usually help my roast potatoes go all nice and caramelised.  We need some of these to have with the Turkey in any event so they are always useful to stockpile and it is another job safely out of the way in the preparation of Christmas and/or Sunday dinners.  You can of course use them in casseroles and stew as well.

Once the dishwasher has finished this jaunt I will pop in the new jam jars and also some storage jars that are going to be put back into use get them clean and then at least on the jar side I am going to be ready for the marmalade session and adding things to jars.  I am fed up of the cornflour packet going absolutely everywhere.

We have paid our weekly visit to the freezer and have stocked up on meals for the week.  We have some faggots, steak, lamb steaks, mince, a joint of beef for tomorrow night's dinner, chicken, some peas, brussels and parsnip and some broccoli florets as well. The joint of beef is bigger than usual but as I have said to OH if we get an extra meal out of it (like I normally do with a joint) and there is anything left he can have it in his sarnies with some horseradish (he does not do mustard).

We have a small piece of pork for tea tonight - just a scrappy bit that needs using up that should keep him happy.

I have in mind during the week to make a couple of vegetable quiches and put them up in the freezer as I quite frequently like this sort of thing but he doesn't do quiche.

I also have a yen for a homemade Treacle sponge.  Now that really is talking to me served with home made custard.  However as I have some bread to use up it may well be a bread and butter pudding which is also a firm favourite or indeed bread pudding served in strips  - he could take some in his pack up then.  Well worth buying reduced bread to make something like this as it saves the pennies.

Right must get a wriggle on hope you are all having either a relaxing afternoon or if busy that everything is working out well and going to plan.

Am off to get on catch up soon.

Pattypan


xxx


P.S.  I seem to have some new followers just to say welcome and make yourself comfortable and hope that you enjoy reading.

Kind regards.


Pattypan

x

Time to start stockpiling if you can

If you can, now is the time to start putting up things in the freezer or the pantry to save the frustration of not being able to obtain this or that in the last few days before Christmas (that is unless you have already started and nearly finished it).

I am specifically thinking frozen puff pastry or even fresh and then freeze it yourself, little pots of different pate (I am thinking M & S here) and of course other seasonal bits and bobs.  Frozen veggies, frozen gateau or fresh and freeze yourself.  Make your own uncooked mince pies, and tart cases and freeze then just shove into the oven from frozen to cook when needed. Sausage rolls the same little fruit pies,  Anything that will save you time and also a massive shopping trolley trying to push it through the hoards.  If you can it will be less stressful then the last few days can just be for the top ups.

Also stockpiling on things like cheddar, butter, lard if you use it margarine, cake decorating supplies and cake /baking ingredients.  Sausage meat whatever you use for your staples for Christmas cooking is worth getting put up and out the way with and then you can concentrate on the fancier items.  Always watch the long stop date and you should be more than okay.

I was looking at some Brandy cream in the fridge at M & S today wondering why it was on sale now.  The sell by date is second week into 2019.  There were lots of items like that.  I am assuming the Brandy (being pure spirit) pickles the cream!

Things like fish I buy or prepare myself usually the week before Christmas.

When I start shopping in September I always start with the long stop date items like sweets and drinks.  Things like crisps I normally leave until November.  

I think overall most of the work in stocking the pantry up actually happens in the months before Christmas - well it does here in any event.  That is why I make so much on the preserves front.

And if you have not already made them the Christmas Pudding and Cake are traditionally made on "Stir up Sunday) being the first Sunday in Advent - which is tomorrow.   

Catch you later.  

Pattypan 


xxx

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)