Saturday, 19 December 2009
Small and simple gestures of love . . .
"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; it makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away."
Part of the wonder of this festive season is that it can be found in the smallest things and the most humble of people. It's in the small and simple gestures that bring a smile to the face and a song to the heart, not in big packages tied up in even bigger bows . . .
An evening spent with family, simply watching a Christmas Movie together with a big bowl of popcorn for sharing is a beautiful memory to build and doesn't cost a thing.
Dressing up warmly and wandering through the neighbourhood with family and friends early in the evening and sharing carols door to door is a gesture that costs nothing but your time, and is guaranteed to bring joy into other people's lives and a warmth to your own heart that is priceless.
Spending an afternoon baking Christmas cookies with your children, or husband, or even by yourself, that you can take around to the neighbours, or any elderly shut in's that you know. A wonderful gift of service and another special memory built together.
Piling into the car and driving around the neighbourhood to look at all the pretty Christmas Lights. Something else that costs nothing more than your petrol and your time and, yet again, another special memory built.
Taking a few hours one afternoon, and calling all the people that are special to you, and that you have not spoken to in a while on the telephone just to say hello and to wish them a Merry Christmas. This may cost a few pennies, but it is a gesture guaranteed to put a smile on quite a few faces, including your own!
Christmas is in the loving. It's in the selfless little gestures and thoughts that are so very easy to spread and to share. And it costs not a cent.
"The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay . . . . Love . . . . isn't Love, til you give it away."
I'm not sure where those words come from, but they sure ring with truth to my heart. How about yours?
Oh, but we did have a lovely time with the snow yesterday! We got about 8 inches or more all told and more is expected at some point. It seemed everyone was out and about walking around and enjoying it! The roads were a bit treacherous, but as long as you didn't have anywhere pressing to be that was not a problem. I am lucky in that I live where I work! My friend Jo's husband had to drive all the way up to Newcastle. It took him almost twice the time, but thankfully he got there safe and sound!
Today I'm sharing a lovely recipe that would be a great addition to your holiday menu, especially if you are having a roast beef, pork or ham instead of a turkey. A delicious gratin made with potato and celeriac. In truth, this tasty gratin is delicious made with any combination of vegetables. Try some sliced rutabaga in with the potato, or even a combination of sliced sweet and regular potatoes. They're all totally delicious! I have given quantities here for two servings, but this is quite easily multiplied to serve more!
*Celeriac and Potato Gratin*
I often make a potato gratin, but only recently discovered just how wonderful the delicious addition of celeriac is. I Love the wonderfully tasty combination of the two vegetables, meltingly soft and tender in a rich and creamily delicious sauce. What's not to love about this, and, it's special enough to be served at your holiday dinner as well. It goes wonderfully with roast beef and pork, and indeed turkey! This recipe is very easily multiplied to serve more.
2 ounces of butter
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 white onion, peeled and finely sliced
half of a celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large baking potato, peeled and thinly sliced
about 2 cups of cream
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter a shallow gratin dish and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic and onion. Fry gently for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften and become very fragrant, stirring them from time to time.
Add the potato and the celeriac. Stir gently. Mix in the cream, season generously with grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately and carefully transfer the boiling mixture to your prepared baking dish. Place the dish in a roasting tray. Pour in hot water so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the gratin dish. Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown, and the vegetables are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Over on The English Kitchen this morning, some delicious Christmas Morning Doughnut Muffins, spiced and filled with mincemeat, with a buttery cinnamon sugar coating. Scrummy!