Thursday 22 December 2011

Winter Solstice

We celebrated the Winter Solstice yesterday evening with lots of candles, good food and gifts.
Frank was allowed to stay up late to play his new game and then we all went to bed at the same time, chatting quietly until we fell asleep, Frank first followed by myself and then Andrew.
These dark winter days are special to me as I love this season of introspection after such busy times outside all summer and autumn.

More knitting, reading and planning! Hooray!
In the next few days we will visit people and have people to us, exchange gifts and watch Frank's pantomime that he has been planning for a few days now.

Then it's head down and into the full-on festivities with family and friends.
I enjoy the Winter Solstice more than Christmas for its quiet sense of wonder at nature and peaceful family celebration.
I will be enjoying some screen free days this Yuletide and will be back in the middle of next week.
Peace and blessings to you all, and may the D-fairy behave itself this festive season!

Thursday 15 December 2011

In these days of long shadows

We are busy busy, busy preparing for a season of gift giving: making cards, writing gift tags, making Christmas treasure hunts, knitting, reading recipes and making choices, baking and general elving.
A few days ago Frank and I went to Frinton for fresh air and a race on the beach (he always wins, but only because I cry less at losing!) followed by fish & chips and a great score of a Scooby Doo puzzle in a charity shop.
It was blissful.
Blue, blue sky and just me and my boy on that beach.

It makes me happy, this stretch of coast. Always.

And then we stay home a lot too; making things, crafting, elving and baking.

I took this picture as a way of telling the tale of how I reached without looking for my coffee and nearly took a swig of a bowl of beads today!
They actually had to touch my lips before I realised it wasn't my drink.
Must use my eyes next time.
And more elving, preceded by a fun afternoon decorating the ginger biscuits we made in the morning.
Oh yes, we had fun with that one!

Hope you are enjoying your winter too!

And take note: these biscuits are NOT BURNT.
Neither are they strangely blue!

Thursday 8 December 2011

Recipe for charcoal cookies

Yup, I made them and they take merely four hours to bake.
Here's how you do it.
Take all your usual ingredients for really good quality chocolate chip cookies: organic butter, soft brown muscovado sugar, spelt flour, Green & Blacks dark chocolate, organic eggs and so on.
Make two batches of these cookies and then let them cool on wire racks in the kitchen whilst popping the last batch in the oven for a quick ten minutes.
And here is where you raise your game from cook to kitchen genius.
Forget this last batch and sweep yourself and your family off into Colchester for lunch.
Meet D-Mamas and friends with D for lunch as part of the support group you help run and chat merrily away.
Order coffee, order falafel and salad, have more coffee. Stroll back to the van and drive home feeling great about knowing such lovely people.
Open the front door, smell the burnt fat and think "Oh, damn, I left the oven on".
Walk slowly to the oven and look inside, still expecting to see nothing in there, because really, what kind of fool leaves cookies for four hours!?!
Find this:
Slap your forehead and know for a fact that you are the biggest muppet of a cook since the Swedish chef on the Muppet Show and spend three days trying to get the dark stains off the tiles and the smell out of the house.
Put the cookies in the bin outside, because even the compost would surely be poisoned by this travesty.

Happy eating!