I am not a religious person, but I love the way the Christmas period enables us to merge families and friends together to celebrate and share each others company. I am a chronic lover of certain traditions of which Christmas is one. I love seeing the sparkly lights on the tree, the smell of once a year foods being prepared and the planning to make sure everyone is sated and comfortable.
Sadly as families grow and develop into their own independent units we find ourselves at a turning point where we must compromise to make sure we catch up with as many as possible and not necessarily all be together for the ‘BIG’ bash on Christmas day.
As we welcome new family members and say farewell to others, some things will stay the same. These are and as long as I’m able to are:
- Make a Christmas Pudding using only Australian grown dried fruit.
- Make a gingerbread house, which I have done since 1982 before the ghastly things that now appear everywhere were available! The ‘smashing’ of the house is now a much loved tradition.
- Ensure as many of us that are able, will spend some time together
- Only have a real tree-Ours is quite bare of decorations these days because I made sure every year, we had the kids pick an ornament at our annual Christmas trek to the city, so that when they left home they could decorate their own trees! Lovely idea, but a little sad when we pull out the old dud ones remaining that no one else claimed as theirs when they left!
- Attempt to refrain from the commercial hype that is so often the case.
- Endeavour to encourage people to keep it small (gift wise), and to not spend money on ‘stuff’ that just gets thrown into the garbage after the event.
This weekend I made the Christmas puddings, one to eat at home, one to take to my sister-in-laws and one because I just love ‘pud’ and wanted to be able to have more for me to eat! I really feel let down when we celebrate Christmas elsewhere and I don’t have any leftovers to indulge in for days after.
My mum was a fussy pudding maker so I use her recipe, soak the fruit in alcohol in the basin/bowl she used for many years, mix the pudding with Great Grandma‘s beautiful old, worn down by years of stirring, wooden spoon, and use my MIL’s pudding bowls.
I always reminisce about these people while preparing the ‘pud’ and it is a lovely time.
I always get very nervous that the ‘pud’ will be a failure because you cant see the final product, but so far so good!
With my daughters birthday this weekend we had an easy lunch of warm chicken salad and enjoyed a few glasses of bubbly with my ‘new best friend’ Wild Hibiscus added to the glasses. This product is just beautiful, the most glorious cheery colour of a hibiscus flower in syrup added to your glass and it not only tasted great it just looks sensational.
Didn’t get to do too much done in the garden but spent a fair amount of time moving the old greenhouse to the ‘new old house’ to use as a temporary shed under the mulberry tree.
This old greenhouse served my sister and her husband well for many years and us for many more. It may even have another life as a shade house in the future!