Monday 17 December 2007

Countdown to Christmas

It's been a quiet couple of weeks in the garden. The garlic and onions are going ok; the garlic in particular is shooting off with most of it around five inches high. The onions which were very late into the ground are plodding along as expected really; a couple of baby shoots have now appeared which at least proves progress but I don't expect massive growth until next year.

What with Christmas being just around the corner our attentions have been focused on warmer, less muddy things just recently. We got our tree all set up last week and once again it looks far bigger in the front room than it did at the shop, we even had to snip six inches of the top to fix the star on. I get quite fussy about the tree at Christmas, I love having a real one but it needs to be the right shape so it can take a bit of hunting to get one that ticks all my boxes. The kittens have been surprisingly good with it so far too; although how much that has to do with them being perfectly behaved and how much it has to do with it pricking them on the nose when they go to sniff it we'll never know.

In the kitchen the Christmas cake got its layer of marzipan at the weekend so all it needs now is some icing to finish it off. Not that horrible shop bought stuff though; proper royal icing spiked into peaks with the back of a spoon is the order of the day for Christmas cakes and well worth the extra effort. With any luck we'll get that done tonight which will leave only the marzipan fruits, mince pies and sausage rolls to make in advance of the big day.

It's been interesting planning the Christmas menu this year and realising that next year we could be getting so much of it from our own plot. Not just the obvious things like vegetables but also hidden extras like cranberries for the sauce and soft fruits for the trifle not to mention jams, chutneys and pickles. It’s certainly something to aim for anyway, if we can provide all that for ourselves next year then we'll be very proud not to mention a bit better off.