|He's on his way!|
The end of term kind of crept up on me this year, probably because of the business of shows, so I feel a bit like I'm catching up with myself!
It's funny how this time of year can get you all nostalgic and when you get to my ripe old age (!!!) you find yourself yearning for the simple treats you had as a child, or things you remember making or doing when you were tiny. I remember there was always lots of food to be indulged in in our house - and by that I mainly mean making - of course we all loved eating too, but there was as much fun to be had in the concocting and squeezing into the same hot kitchen as everyone else trying to make their speciality dish! Our family endeavoured to be creative in its festivities and we often had curry for Christmas - and are doing so this year. I know that doesn't sound very Christmas like - but we have found that it gives everyone the chance to contribute (it's hard to get curry badly wrong!), you can make dishes beforehand and they actually improve with time, and its really good fun. Plus - it reminds us all of Dad - who was the best curry maker you could ever meet and gives us a chance to use some of the ingredients he left us from his shelf of tricks - jars of every variety of spice, paste and leaf you could imagine. What a marvellous inheritance!
This year I have set my mind to making these sorts of memories with the children too. I confess that I am usually whirling about the house at this time of year, hiding presents, ordering things, writing lists and covering myself in a mountain of half-made present projects. I have often asked for exceeding patience from the children while I do all of this - and yes, it does all still have to be done. BUT, this year I am going to try to find at least a few moments to share some fun with the littlies. Last weekend, I found myself alone for the afternoon with all five, while hubby went off for a band practise and so we made a gingerbread house and gingerbread biscuits for the tree.
I have to day, I truly loved sharing baking with them. The heat of the gooey gingerbread mix when you first tumble it out of the bowl, rolling it out and teaching them how to get the most cuts out of each roll, making tiny piping bags for each of them to decorate with. The teachers each got a bag.....
the tree is decorated.....
and the gingerbread house is due to be covered in sweets this weekend and will be the centrepiece of the children's table on Christmas day.
Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?! Well, I can assure you, the pay off for an afternoon of baking with the children is a messy house and no uniforms ready for school the next day- and let no blogger tell you otherwise. But, it felt good and I know they will remember it and anyway - as I've said before......
So, tonight I am doing more baking for grown up presents. I have a lovely recipe for Florentines, scribbled on a scrap of paper years ago which I usually use - but alas, the piece of paper which usually pops up whenever I need it, is no-where to be found, so I may have to try Nigella, courtesy of this blog over here.
Whilst looking for it though, I did come across these...
A real memory from childhood. I remember making these sweets for my family when I was a girl, marvelling at the exotic ingredients....cream of tartar....gelatin....and all types of fruit and nuts. I remember the taste of the marzipan for the first time and shaping it into little delicacies. I remember thinking that I was making something really special. Something that would be appreciated by its grown up recipients. Something that would be enjoyed. That's a precious thing to give a child - the opportunity to bless an adult. And, yes, now that I'm a parent, I am fully aware of what goes into the peppermint creams we are occasionally treated to; remembering how I squidged and rolled mine when I was a child! But, I guess the important and oh, so lovely thing is that they properly feel that they have given you something they are proud of.
It seems like there isn't enough time to fit it all in - I have so many things I want to make for the children...Abney and Teal Dolls for Noah and Reuben and pencil cases for each of them. Ah, well, I will do what I can and remember that the time is the most precious thing. It's probably a twee thing to say, but as they are growing older and babies become little men, it's ever more precious. And if they get some
In the meantime I'm making the house as cosy and festive as possible - tree up,
advent calender and basket of books unfolding the wonder of the Christmas story,
sweety bowls glistening in the fairy lights,
lots of snugly blankets on the sofa and Radio Times heavily circled by Eldest Child........aaaaah!
Well, I can hear The Polar Express is pulling into the station, so time to get tired boys to bed!
Enjoy your Christmas preparations!
|My favourite Christmas book by Jane Ray|