Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas 1-2013









    Well here we are on the weekend between Christmas Day and the start of a new calendar year!

   This past week has whizzed by with many visitors, much shovelling, feeding of cats and a bit of time for extra knitting and baking! I finished a darling "Gnomey" hat for a little girl’s birthday gift and have started a baby jacket which is going fast, being in bulky Alpaca yarn.

   The Christmas  tree only fell over twice! and is now held with a guy rope to the nearest radiator.

  I have watched several of the Kings College Cambridge Nine Lessons and Carols Services and a few fairly ghastly Christmas movies.

   My dearest friend, living in the UK, has tried, unsuccessfully to connect with me on G-Chat so I am still waiting to see her new baby, Maria, in real-time and to be serenaded on the trumpet by her eldest daughter!

      Giving up on the possibility of finding a small portion of organic turkey for Christmas Dinner I made a batch of Danish Meatballs, which were extremely tasty, and thus enjoyed a humble Christmas Feast, figuring it was  a far nicer dinner than that of the Holy Family that first Christmas Day.

     Wil seemed to enjoy my reading aloud of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, a family tradition, but even after 13 Christmases without my Mum I could not bring myself to read Christmas at Dingly Dell from “Pickwick Papers” since she was the only one who did all the different voices so superbly.

     A second batch of Stöllen was baked to serve to friends on Christmas morning as the first 4 loaves had already been consumed; some other breads and my annual batch of Porcupines have also been produced.

    Unfortunately making mincemeat was out of the question so no mince pies this year. However, all in all, I feel very richly blessed at this Season.
    Many kind friends have been in touch; sending cards and dropping by with thoughtful gifts, which has kept me busy writing Thank You notes and sending off "e-notes" of thanks over the past 2 days!

   This morning experiments were made with various paper stars (found here) in preparation for Children@ St. Stephen’s tomorrow, having been promised a ride to church I actually expect to get there after missing 2 Sundays.

       As well as making stars we will share in a retelling of the Christmas story using our special giant felt board.

       It is lovely and mild today, although the weather is supposed to turn very cold again at New Year, which is pretty typical in this part of the world. It will not affect me as we have never been a family to do much at secular New Year, preferring to be quietly at home.

        Plans are now underway for another catering event, which will be taking place next weekend so my first Post of 2014 may be a day late! The coming few days look as if they will include a fresh whirl of cooking and baking for this occasion… more news in our next.

       So which recipe to share in the midst of Christmas Feasting? Well, these are my Nana’s Porcupines. A note:- when one takes them out of the oven they frequently need a bit of reshaping, use a couple of large spoons to do this or you will surely burn your fingers!



                                             Porcupines

1 cup chopped,pitted dates

1 egg

2 Tbsp butter or margarine

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup shredded coconut



Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients, except the coconut, in a mixing bowl and blend together, by hand. Place coconut in another shallow dish. With wet hands, form date mixture into oblong ovals,roll in coconut and pace on prepared sheet. Bake in 350F. oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch that they do not burn! Makes 10-12.

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