Putting the sprouts on ...

PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
After a timely reminder in the Circus, as it's almost Hallowe'en, the Christmas preparations thread is probably long overdue.

Here's your space for gloating or panicking, whichever applies.

Comments

  • Oh, I bought some lovely sprouts several days ago;
    A few got cooked but they're so nice raw they've all gone.

    OK back to Christmas prep etc.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited October 30
    Extension finally built and decorated so it's Christmas Day here for the first time in some years. I will be following the KISS principle, which means dressing up in skin tight clothing and bizarre makeup. Or not.

    I run a fairly traditional ship on for Christmas dinner, so dead fowl, cured snorty squeally mammal's leg and various plant roots and shoots will be the thing. Hasselback spuds perhaps; I like them. If there's a starter it's something really easy which won't throw my timings. Main as trad as you can get.

    Possible tip I've possibly given out before - if you buy your sprouts on the stem you don't have to muck about with trimming them - snap them off, straight into the water.

    All the plans will probably be subject to change as I'm generally on my third pint well before serving up time - ooh, mental note to self; home brewery on full capacity during November. I can manage 120 pints at a time... should be enough, even with Brother in Law coming....

    Argh! Brain on fire with Ideas now... That KISS principle usually gets jettisoned quietly half way through November... focus, man, focus!
  • About a fortnight ago we visited a place where there is a Good Butcher. Venison joint purchased (we had it from him last year) and in freezer.
  • I've actually felt that Christmas sucks for about a decade, and wish it wasn't such a Big Thing. It is more fun if you don't expect anything. We're at the stage of life where the two of just say what we're doing, and if the adult children and their partners have any possibility, they may join us. There's no grandchildren, and it is increasingly likely there won't be any. (sigh) We've spent Xmas eve and day alone at home before and this is quite depressing, we can go to church, and make a little Xmas dinner for ourselves, but waiting for the kids to possibly, maybe come over, whatever, is something we're never doing again. Done it, it will make us cry. The kids are torn two ways, we get it. So we're better off going out to our cabin, where we can ski through the forest, and have a little Christmas of our own. If others can come that's lovely. Wolves were howling last year at Xmas, and later at dusk we saw them pursuing a line of whitetailed deer across the lake. It made me think of sacrifice: the deer must die that the wolves shall live (and the magpies, and crows, and coyotes and foxes; the bears are asleep).
  • I don't think I'll have any sprouts this year - they've not formed buttons at all, just loose florets.

    AG
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Dilemma: invited to daughter’s ( + 2 grandchildren) for Christmas meal around 2.30. Four miles away, so not far. We will have to eat something before then after a morning service ( DH is diabetic). Also DH needs his food very well done, think almost mushy, for medical reasons, and daughter is quite the opposite.

    If he is happy to stay at home and snooze, I am happy to go on my own, after an early light lunch (= starter). How to manage this without anybody getting offended?
    Just pondering, not looking for answers!
  • Well, I have got 7.5 kg of chocolate in.

    Some should be open before Christmas for Brownies and some will be used in baking after but I still need to order a pack of specialised chocolate to finish Christmas.

    By the way, I am looking for inspiration for an eighth chocolate to go with:
    • Backslider cherries
    • Ginger creams (non-alcoholic)
    • Coffee and mint crisp truffles (non-alcoholic)
    • Whiskey truffles
    • Carribean coconut caramels (contains rum)
    • Amaretto Fudge
    • Cranberry and cashew clusters (cranberries soaked in Cointreau)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    How about tiffin?

    I'd use all milk chocolate for the topping, but use whatever you prefer.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited October 31
    Though I love tiffin, well especially Lazy Day Tiffin the size of the normal serving is much closer to that of a biscuit than a chocolate. Mind you I think that might be the chaplaincy biscuit next weekend rather than chocolate brownies.
  • Our Foodbank is suggesting a November Reverse Advent Calendar. Add one item a day throughout November and then hand the box to the foodbank at the start of December. This is to try to spread things out - they usually get a lot of donations just before Christmas, which are welcome but create logistical difficulties.
  • Our Foodbank is suggesting a November Reverse Advent Calendar. Add one item a day throughout November and then hand the box to the foodbank at the start of December. This is to try to spread things out - they usually get a lot of donations just before Christmas, which are welcome but create logistical difficulties.

    I've heard of this idea and like it -- but isn't is usually done during Advent?

    The next thing you know people will be singing Christmas carols in early December! :wink:
  • Well, I dunno about that ... when should we look for first sightings of Valentine's cards and Easter bunnies?
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited November 1
    Round about now...
    :angry:

    I've decided to dip out of most of the extra Christmas services, except for the Christmas morning Mass (which is surprisingly well-attended, for these heathen days).

    The other services leave me too tired to function efficiently (!), but I do look forward to Advent...

    I usually spend Christmas Day solo, but that's no problem. Roast Beef Of Olde England, with roast potatoes, gravy, and pickled cabbage, followed by a mini-pud (the Co-Op does one, which is just right).

    O, and a nice bottle of CLARET to wash it all down...
    :grin:

    Looking ahead a bit, Father NewPriest has arranged a 'bring-and-share' buffet lunch, to be held after Mass on the Sunday after Christmas. This should be a nice antidote to the secular post-Christmas blues!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    That sounds like a nice idea, BF.

    We started rehearsing for the Advent Lessons and Carols last night; D's predecessor (the chap who played for the funeral) is looking after things until after Christmas. It was a slightly odd experience singing for someone who isn't D., and who does things very differently.

    No harm to him - he's a lovely bloke - but I'm rather relieved I won't be singing for him for all that long: he takes things so slowly I get the feeling the services are going to last all day!

    As I'm hoping to be in the bosom of my family in Edinburgh for Christmas, I really have no idea what my plans will be. I can't really imagine Christmas without church - it's been a huge part of my Christmas for 40 years - but they're not regular churchgoers, so I don't know what, if any, services I'll be attending.

    Even if I do, it's going to feel very peculiar not singing in the choir.
  • O, and a nice bottle of CLARET to wash it all down...
    :grin:
    Ze 'hole bottle, Sir?

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited November 1
    Piglet wrote: »
    As I'm hoping to be in the bosom of my family in Edinburgh for Christmas, I really have no idea what my plans will be. I can't really imagine Christmas without church.
    Of course, not all that many years ago, you'd have been hard-pressed to find a Christmas service in Scotland. (Probably not true for Your Lot, i.e. the Piskies; or the Catholics).

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    If he takes it slowly, over the course of the day - some with the Roast Beef, and some a little later with a nice CHEESE* or two - he'll be fine!

    * Claret goes very nicely with a decent Cheddar.
  • I've heard of this idea and like it -- but isn't is usually done during Advent?

    It's been brought forward so that the food can be distributed during Advent. A large influx of food on 24 Dec, too late to distribute for Christmas, has proved problematic in previous years.

    They have specified an item for each day. Today is a tin of potatoes. These are particularly useful in our ‘kettle’ or ‘cold’ packs when people are unable to cook or heat their food due to reasons such as not enough money for electricity or gas, or choosing to heat rather than eat, or being homeless or accommodation that doesn’t have full cooking facilities.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... not all that many years ago, you'd have been hard-pressed to find a Christmas service in Scotland. (Probably not true for Your Lot, i.e. the Piskies; or the Catholics).
    Fair point indeed: I don't think there's ever a service on Christmas Day at St. Magnus - it would get in the way of the Ba'.

    Unless of course, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, in which case the Ba' is postponed ... :mrgreen:


  • Right now I am thinking Thanksgiving. Last two years we have shared it with our neighbors. It worked out well. I cook a turkey so we have left overs, then on Thanksgiving day the husbands drive five minutes and pick up two vegetarian Thanksgiving dinners to go from our local restaurant. They are very good and big enough that one dinner easily feeds two. They cost less then it would for us to buy and cook it all and we have none of the work. And clean up is easy. Oh yes and the neighbors bring a pie.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Unless of course, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, in which case the Ba' is postponed ... :mrgreen:
    Couldn't it be done gently ... or is even that Too Much Like Fun?

  • Piglet wrote: »
    If he takes it slowly, over the course of the day - some with the Roast Beef, and some a little later with a nice CHEESE* or two - he'll be fine!

    * Claret goes very nicely with a decent Cheddar.

    Yes, that's the idea!
    :wink:

  • Piglet wrote: »
    Claret goes very nicely with a decent Cheddar.
    So does a fine ruby Port, although it mustn't be sickly sweet as some are. Although sweet and white, a fine Tokaji Aszu is also surprisingly good.

  • Piglet wrote: »
    Unless of course, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, in which case the Ba' is postponed ... :mrgreen:
    Couldn't it be done gently ... or is even that Too Much Like Fun?

    I think it is not the fun that is at issue but the danger to life, limb and property. Also, it can last a long time.
  • I was thinking of it not happening on The Sabbath.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    O, and a nice bottle of CLARET to wash it all down...
    :grin:
    Ze 'hole bottle, Sir?

    Hey, for some the WHOLE bottle is just the FIRST bottle.
    :smiley:

  • And from what book was I quoting (well, very nearly)?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I was thinking of it not happening on The Sabbath.
    Nail hit squarely on head* - with the corollary that the CofS is rather "inverse Sabbatarian" as well - people tend not to go to services that aren't on a Sunday (with the exception of the Christmas Eve midnight service, which in St. Magnus is packed to the doors).

    * remember the scene in Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell told a wee boy off for playing football on a Sunday?
  • DormouseDormouse Shipmate
    I have bought, wrapped and delivered almost all my presents. We're over in the UK and it seemed like too good an opportunity to avoid extortionate postal charges. I used the Eden Project shop and got some nice gifts. I feel virtuous.
  • And so you should! An example to the Rest of Us... :wink:
    And from what book was I quoting (well, very nearly)?

    I'll hazard a feeble guess - Whisky Galore ? An echo of the unfortunate schoolmaster's Aweful Mother... :grimace:

  • Nope. You need to come about 400 or so miles further south.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    * remember the scene in Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell told a wee boy off for playing football on a Sunday?
    Raasay: https://tinyurl.com/y4l6plsc

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited November 2
    Nope. You need to come about 400 or so miles further south.

    Under Milk Wood ?

    Though that's not really a book, is it? Originally written as a radio drama, IIRC...

  • Still too far north ... you need to travel ?180 miles south-east.
  • But...but...that would bring me close to Mine Own Fair City!

    Something from Dickens? Given the subject of this thread - A Christmas Carol ?
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Claret goes very nicely with a decent Cheddar.
    So does a fine ruby Port, although it mustn't be sickly sweet as some are. Although sweet and white, a fine Tokaji Aszu is also surprisingly good.

    We find a decent Late Bottled Vintage is often OK. Dow's is our favourite. It usually has enough flavour, body and sweetness,, with being cloying and claggy.

    Otima tawny OTOH is something else!
  • I've not tried Dow's, but I agree that LBVs are often good.
  • I have given myself a deadline of 15th November to get the envelopes addressed for the cards. Have this morning made a start on wrapping presents that need to be posted.
  • I have 2 presents wrapped Christmasly waiting for my annual note to be written before getting their overcoat of brown paper ready for posting to the other side of the world. Only 2 people get this letter - they aren’t on Facebook so I do a very very brief summary (I write one version then remove about two thirds of it) with a few photos. This one will include last Christmas when I was watching Etna erupt, but nothing about what the cat or relatives have been doing.
    Last year I ran out of time with Christmas cards so experimented with most being e-cards from charities, something I’ll do again this year. Although there is something special about hanging greetings up.
  • Tree BeeTree Bee Shipmate
    I’ve told my family that I can’t face doing Christmas this year so I won’t be giving or receiving presents. My decision has been greeted with equanimity, indeed relief by one unwell relative. Don’t know why I haven’t done this before.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    With a mother in a care home and a brother likely to be in hospital over Christmas things will be different this year as for the last three the whole family have descended on my brother's place. Ideally I'd like to stay home as this will be the eight Christmas in this house, and I've never spent one here, but we may need to be either with my mother in law or my sister in law and nephew. My son is home this weekend and we'll discuss possible food either for eating here or wherever we end up
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    For several years the only Christmas card I received was from my pension fund. Last 2 years not even that. Such a relief not to have to reciprocate. I'll have lunch out with my son somewhere quiet on Christmas Eve, but my real celebration of the Nativity will be with my church on 7th January. I can ignore everyone else's festivities and benefit from reduced prices in the aftermath.
  • bassobasso Shipmate
    No hits on the geography question?
    How about Cider With Rosie?
  • I have purchased monthly children's magazines for each of the six "greats" - my brothers' grandchildren. With the exception of one other gift which is usually something I make by hand, that phone call to order the magazines makes up the extent of my Christmas shopping. Thankful to have had a good brainwave and not have to think about it anymore.
  • I saw my first Christmas lights last night! Christmas shopping so far has been researching and gathering ideas, apart from a few stocking fillers that I have picked up when I saw them and a couple of new ornaments for the tree.
  • As I was returning from a meeting this evening, I encountered my first decorated house - blue icicle lights dangling from the guttering, and a laser projector throwing moving images of Christmas trees onto the front wall. Mrs BA is in charge of Christmas shopping, so I am unaware of the status of that project. We have copious quantities of Robertson's fruit mince in the pantry in readiness for baking.
  • basso wrote: »
    No hits on the geography question?
    How about Cider With Rosie?
    No: it's from ch.7 in "Keep the Aspidistra Flying", when Gordon and Julia take a day out in Burnham Beeches and go to a rather seedy hotel by the Thames. The supercilious waiter senses at once that they are skint and sneers when they order a bottle of the cheapest plonk on the wine-list.

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