It’s way too late for a Christmas post, but I thought as I only went back to work yesterday (and my brain is pretty convinced it is still on holiday) it would be ok to write a couple of highlights. So here they are:
1) I decided to make 90% of my gifts, and then decided to make hats for charity in the middle of that. I made 48 hats, 3 bottles of raspberry vinegar, 3 scarves and a dragon. I finished at lunch time on Christmas Eve. Could someone remind me of this in about July? October was not quite early enough to start…
(I used this fantabulous pattern as a basis but changed the stitches in the body and changed the wings quite a bit)
2) Norman Cat believes in Christmas. I know this because he left me this gift in the conservatory on Christmas morning:
Yes, that is an entire fresh salmon fillet. I am now considering what disguise I can crochet for him as I assume the neighbour who has unwittingly donated sausages, gammon, fish and an entire steak is probably not best pleased that they were a dinner short on Christmas day, and may now be on the lookout for the thief…
3) I am even less cultured than I thought. I took mum to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for her Christmas present. I’d been warned that this was a different story to the real Swan Lake but it was so VERY different. That was when I thought to ask Mum on the way home about the real story. It turns out, it’s not, as I’d thought:
There once was an ugly duckling
With feathers all stubby and brown
And the other birds said in so many words said
Get out of town….
You can listen to it here if you don’t know it. To be fair, there is a swan in it!
4) Little Mummy’s look even smaller next to a giant Christmas tree:
5) Boxing Day walks are always beautiful:
6) And with some of my Christmas money I bought a slow cooker. I think it may revolutionise my life. Or at least my diet (which until now has been mainly toast). It is so easy to use that even I haven’t managed to screw up a meal – you just throw everything on the pot, leave it to do its thing, and food comes out that is actually edible! A couple of people asked for my first recipe so I’ve popped that below. Since then I have also done meat’lls (they were supposed to be meat balls, but I didn’t like squishing them together and they fell apart quite a bit), celery and stilton soup and pork in cider. If I carry on like this I will be the size of a house my March, but hey ho. I’ll be the size of a house and own bay leaves and a bit of root ginger…both are a first for me :o)
Potato, Apple and Bacon hotpot (from 200 slow cooker recipes by Sara Lewis)
Love this, Pog. I remember having bacon, potato and onion hotpots when I’d visit friends in the UK, but the apples are an interesting touch. I don’t own a slow cooker, but you make it sound indispensable. Perhaps I’ll reconsider :)
I have a feeling that a ‘crockpot’ is the US alternative. And having thrown away so many meals I have lost count because they were just so awful, I REALLY recommend them. If I can’t go wrong, nobody can!
I think so, too – but I still don’t own one! I cook with my old-fashioned All-Clad pots and pans. :-)
oooh, go crockpot! And now I know that is the translation I can start using the recipes I’ve seen online (but wasn’t sure if they were entirely the same thing) :o)
Happy New Year, dearest Pog! I studied that photo of the salmon fillet for quite a while (before seeing the caption), thinking ‘it can’t be salmon … where would he have retrieved that from?!’ Norman clearly has an in with your neighbors, and refined tastes. The best gifts my cats ever brought were dead squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks, complete with fur … live mice set loose in the house, and a bird skilfully de-feathered on the carpet. Love, love, love my crockpot. Happy to share recipes when you’re looking for new ones xx
CHIPMUNKS?! That’s…different! My ‘favourite’ was the live frog I was once brought…trying to catch that was even worse than the live mouse that I dismantled my bedroom to get to and in the end had to hair dryer him into a bowl. I am so pleased none of my cats have upgraded to the level yours have!
Recipe sharing would be great – I am determined not to go back to toast.
And happy new year to you too. I’m missing waking up to 100s of mails to you. I hope you’re not having to do that anymore :o) x