Monday, 31 December 2012

This has been such a strange winter. A strange year altogether, really. Curious weather patterns, which have caused awful harvests. There have been native primroses flowering in the front garden since mid-November. Roses still struggling up a few blooms in the back garden, despite the petals being sodden and mildew covered.
Despite all this, human-kind does it's best to celebrate it's festivals.
Christmas / Winter Solstice / Yule, always brings with it the feast associated with Fest. Christmas cake, mince pies, Yule ( chocolate) log, Turkey, or possibly Goose, Brussels sprouts. Every family has it's own variation.
In our houshold, there are more vegetarians than carnivores. So, our Yule feast consists of Chestnut Pate en Croute ( a big, fancy pie), Roast Guinea Fowl, Roast potatoes, braised red cabbage (in the scandinavian fashion) and mashed parsnips. This year, I completely forgot the Christmas pudding, so at the last minute, made an orange and almond sponge, with a pinch of cardamom. Served with thick Jersey cream.
 The cake selection is also personalised. Christmas cake with marzipan, but no icing...none of us like it. There is a very rich, sticky ginger cake- very traditional in my side of the family. Mince pies, obviously. We also include spekulatious biscuits, gingerbread biscuits, and panforte. Many of these can be, and are, made in advance. They are then shared across the tea-times of the holiday.  If we have friends coming for tea, I will also make cheese scones, and maybe some sweet, bread-based cake.

Although it has become customary to celebrate the coming of New Year, it is not something that we have joined in with. Tonight will be a night much like any other. That does not stop me from wishing everyone


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