Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wednesday this and that . . .


It is not outside the realms of possibility for us to have a White Christmas here where I live in the UK, but it is a very rare occasion that it happens.  My friend Tina and I were saying how very un-Christmassy we feel this year.  We have both had a year filled with occurances and I suppose that is very natural.  Tina is off to South Africa today to visit with family and won't be back until just before Christmas.  I am off to the hospital today with Todd for his first appointment with his Cancer Doctor, and in just over a month, Christmas will be here and so I thought I would be a little bit festive this morning and pop out some Christmas ideas for you all.  

I don't know about you, but I like to plan ahead when it comes to getting in food for the big day.


Shopping is already becoming a nightmare and it will only get more so and as for online shopping, forget it.  All those choice Christmas spots have already been snapped up.  Now is the time to take a look at your freezer and free up some space so that you can get some things in ahead.  Is there some leftover stew that you optimistically froze two years ago?  A few loose chicken nuggets or fish fingers shedding breadcrumbs?   Its time for a banquet night where you cook up all of these bits and pieces to make room for  some fabulously festive food instead.  I already have my turkey, but I have a long way to go.  There is so much we can be cooking ahead and popping into the freezer for the big day if we only have the room.  Lets make room.

Uncooked stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, mince pies, shortcrust pastry.   I found an excellent site to help with all of those Christmas/Freezer make aheads.  You can find it here on the BBC Goodfood Freezer Guide Christmas.


Did you know that for a small donation of £5 to the NSPCC  Santa Claus will send a personalised note back?  You have the pleasure of making a charitable donation and then putting a smile on the kiddies faces.  You can find out more by visiting the NSPCC website: 


Christmas Cards.  Are you like me?  Do you find yourself hunting down addresses each year for the people on your Christmas Card List?  Draw up your Christmas Card list early and then (adding addresses underneath each name) add them to a label template ready to print out and pop onto the cards.   You can find plenty of information about how to do this here.   Better yet, after Christmas this year I am going to buy some cards on sale and have them all labeled and ready to go for next year.  This could be an annual thing.  Lets see how organised I can be.

I also buy a membership to Jaquie Lawson every year.  She makes beautifully animated cards.   I don't know anyone who doesn't like to receive one of those and many of them are interactive as well.  Also if you join or renew now you get a free advent calendar.  I love her advent calendars.


If your Christmas puddings and cakes are not already made, do it now.  These things keep for yonks and yonks without refrigeration.  Why spend a fortune on an already made one when a homemade one tastes ultimately better.  I always make This Christmas Cake.  It turns out beautifully.   And I make a Steamed Carrot Pudding.  This pudding freezes beautifully and is much lighter than the traditional Christmas Pudding.  Todd does love Christmas Pudding, but I think with an already terrifically fruity cake this lighter pudding goes nicer.  It has been a tradition in my family for years and years and everyone loves it.  You can simply re-steam from frozen on the day and you are ready to go.   If you are wanting a classic one however Sunday the 20th of November is known as Stir Up Sunday, the last Sunday before advent.  Traditionally the whole family takes turn to mix the ingredients making wishes for the year ahead while they do so.  You can find an amazing foolproof recipe here.  Its a real cracker!


Now is the time you can have a clear out in the kitchen cupboards and make room as well, and organize so that your holiday/baking cooking runs as smoothly as possible.    I always have a lot of unwanted  (AND INDATE this is important) things in my cupboards which have been sent or even a surplus of things which I can donate to the local foodbank.  A bit of a clear out and an organization is a really big help both to me and to the foodbank/homeless shelter.

Wrap those gifts early.  I tend to wrap them as soon as I buy them.  Of course I need to do a lot of my shopping/wrapping extra early because  I have a lot that goes to North America.

Anyways, this is just a few things you can be getting on with as we run into the last half of November.


Happy Birthday today to my Grandson Jacob!  He is growing up so fast.  I hope his Birthday present got to him in time.   He is a sweet little character.  Such an interesting little boy.  I love him to bits.  But then I could say that about all my grandchildren.

Love, Love, LOVE the grands!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Go easy on yourself.
Whatever you do today,
let it be enough.

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Cinnamon Roll Scones.

Have a great Wednesday.  Be happy and be safe.  Don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!


  1. Good morning Marie.

    I have yet to write an address, sign a card, made a cake or pudding. I do have gifts put aside in boxes and I know exactly where they are. Every year I feel less and less like doing anything Christmas. The last two Christmases have been visits to the nursing home to be with dad and that is it. The kids then go off and do their own thing.

    Anyway I will try and make Christmas as I do every year, We do a version of Stir Up Sunday. Anyone who is in the house is required to stir the cake or pud and make their wish. Then we get onto proxy turns. Our Christmas pudding contains carrot but no potato and long ago we worked out how to substitute butter for suet.

    Happy birthday Jacob.

    Enjoy your day. God bless you now and always.

  2. Small children really do make Christmas Suzan. Once they get older it just isn't the same. No lies there! Gld bless your evening also. Love and hugs, xoxo

  3. Stir up Sunday, what a wonderful idea. Christmas still seems so far away. No sign of it here. We have half a dozen birthdays and name days first. Love all your ideas and shall look at the recipes

  4. Happy Birthday to your grandson today ! Yes, just after Thanksgiving we begin to get ready for Christmas. It is a busy busy but most wonderful time of year. I'm going to check out that Stir Up Sunday link. Sounds like something good to do. Have a wonderful Wednesday !

  5. Jacob doe look so sweet!
    Great tips and pointers for the holiday season Marie.

  6. We have Birthdays aplenty looming here also Linda! And on into January! Its a very busy time! xoxo

    Thanks Pam! Thanksgiving to me helps to usher in the holidays! Happy Wednesday! xoxo

    Thanks Monique! He has personality plus! xoxo

  7. Some good reminders today Marie...I won't be doing very much at all. I feel that all the running around is just daft, after all it is only another day.....albeit an extra special one.....this year there will only be Mary and me and my brother in law Mitch. Peter is away on holiday over Christmas, lucky him. I would just love to be away but can't leave Masy with anyone over Christmas everyone seems so busy it just wouldn't be fair to even ask, so I don't........It's all so different now without my sisters and the family.....even present list gets less and less and the Christmas Card book has so many addresses deleted every year the list gets shorter and I just adore sending cards......I wonder how Todd got on with his appointment today. I worry that it's going to be too much for him to drive every day for his treatment, how far away is the hospital Marie ? you get free bus passes ? Down here we can exchange them for taxi vouchers instead...I don't think they last long as taxis are expensive but on bad days it might be worth a try....take care. Night night, God Bless. Xxx

  8. Love to Todd and to you too. I hope you are sleeping sweetly. I finally have fruit soaking.

  9. Thanks Summer! xoxo

    I don't have a free bus pass Sybil, Todd does, but not sure how it would work. I think McMillan give you a one time grant for it but you have to apply. The hospital is half an hour away according to Google, but that is without traffic. It is in a heavily trafficked and populated area so it will likely take at the very least forty five minutes or longer. We will have to see what happens. I will post about his appointment separately. I did make space for our tree yesterday, but my heart is not really into Christmas just yet! oxox

    Yay Suzan, fruit is soaking! xoxo


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