Monday, 31 December 2012

Kin collection....

Yesterday was the gathering of the tribe at my house.....
Have to say this isn't all of us, there could have been five more!

We did spread out a bit round the house after the secret santa. We got through a mountain of food and there still seemed to be a mountain of leftovers hahaha.
We all had a great day, I love it when we all get together.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Family gathering prep...

Now Christmas day and boxing day have been and gone and the fridge is still groaning it was time to sort the leftovers. Most years my family gathering is on the 27th so 'leftovers' is not usually a problem but this year they are all coming here on the 30th.

Well after all that food prep and cooking before I didn't really feel like lots of cooking afterwards too so I kept it really simple. The turkey got stripped down and the white meat got sliced for sandwiches the rest got boxed into meal portions for the freezer and the cooked veg got diced mixed and boxed in portions too. What I plan to do sometime in the future is to take a box of turkey and a box of veg mix with gravy and top with mash or pastry, voila!

There were lots of cold roast potatoes, which I grated and added a mixture of cheeses, seasoning, good squirt of ketchup, big teaspoon of mustard powder, a couple of beaten eggs and about a dozen cream crackers ground to a powder (not as stodgy as breadcrumbs). This lot was formed into about 30 little patties and frozen on trays then bagged.

On Sunday we are hosting my family gathering, not everyone can make it but there will be 32 of us this year with a good mix of adults and children! Daughter is coming today to sort out our contributions for the buffet table. I've already got lots in the fridge and freezer and of course the cheese and potato patties will go in the oven then go on the table too.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The post festive post....

Just wanted to share some photos I couldn't show earlier...

The girls made their secret santa presents.

I made decorative pockets to put money presents in.

Hallway hat hooks for our collection of santa hats.

O improvised with cushion earmuffs when his sister used her new snare drum.

Of course two days were spent preparing the one meal and we all ate too much. And another very merry Christmas day has come to an end which I've enjoyed and I think everyone else did too.

Hope you had a very merry Christmas day too.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Nothing here....

I'm wrapping stuff I can't mention and I've finished sewing stuff I can't show you and I've ticked off lists I dare not tell you about.

But I can show you a picture of my wonderful grandchildren decorating the tree and someone seems to be hiding a santa hat :-)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Early present....

You already know that we've been holding a monthly coffee morning here for our neighbours, well I can't believe that it has been going for almost a year, we thought about it in January and invites went through doors and everyone gathered on the first Monday of February and the first Monday of every month since.

Yesterday one of our neighbours rang the doorbell and gave me this lovely basket and some beers for Hubby and said it was from all the neighbours as they so appreciate us opening our home to them all. How lovely eh?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Taking stock....

I'm now getting to the point of needing to check through what I've got so far to see what is left to get. Christmas happens every year of course so it should all be routine and easy and mostly mine is but there is always the nagging doubt that I'm not going to get it all done in time.....of course I will and it's only the 9th of December so no need to panic yet anyway!

There are no decorations up yet as mine are always done by the grandchildren who are not free just yet, so we have that in our diaries for the 14th. We have artificial trees (yes plural, the big one in the lounge goes at the back of the house so I also like my little one in the dining room window so it shows at the front). The tinsel and baubles have been collected all our married life plus added to by children's and grandchildren's home made and gifts from friends, the memories and stories are always repeated as they are favourite bit :-)  So nothing new to buy there.

A couple of main presents are money by request so I've juggled my accounts to make sure there's sufficient in the one attached to the cheque book. Actually this then highlighted the fact that a matured bond went into an instant access account that doesn't appear to be as instant access as I thought, so a lot more juggling and an email to the bank than should have been necessary.

All my cards have been written and posted, just a few left on the hall shelf that need hand delivering. Nearly all my presents have been bought, just have two special people to buy for and I'm sincerely hoping for inspiration to guide me on what to get them because so far they are big fat question marks on my list!

Of course I can't just wrap now and plonk under the tree because there's no tree yet so I'm hiding stuff upstairs but even that has needed extra thought as the children really love playing hide and seek EVERYWHERE hahaha

Lastly will be the menus and shopping list. Although I have to confess to having bought my turkey already. I would like to order a fresh bird for delivery the day before but I know I'd stress about it not arriving so frozen compromise is worth it to this stress free cook.

Today I'm leisurely sewing festive packaging for the money presents.

Of course the most reassuring thing is knowing that everyone else is planning, shopping and stock taking too. How's your Christmas prep going?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Grumpy grandma.....

No not me, how could you think that?

Granddaughter R had her end of term performance for drama group and she had the lead role. She was a fed up older lady worried about having a lonely Christmas because her young family had just emigrated to Australia.  At the end of the play, with help from her friends she received a laptop and was able to skype her family and watch her grandchildren unwrap their presents :-)

The day before Daughter and I were sorting out her costume. She was told to "wear something suitable" and to her as both her grandmothers wear normal jeans and jumpers she couldn't cope with us dressing her up. We tried hard to explain that it's necessary to exaggerate when you're on stage, so she reluctantly put on the floppy skirt, my slippers, an apron and turban tied headscarf and of course the two rows of beads.....then came down and announced to her sister "just look what they've made me wear!"

Well as we took our seats in the audience her drama teacher whispered to Daughter "great costume". The performance was excellent, everyone spoke clearly and remembered all their words and R was brilliant with her tray and making lots of tea and showing all her changing moods.

I'm a very proud grandma :-)