Last Sunday we had the boys godparents down for their annual visit and I swear we ended up having a Christmas meal rehearsal. Amber did the majority of the cooking and I was doing 'sides' as she put it. On the menu was partridge with blackberries and apples. The sides being sprouts and chestnuts in a mustard butter sort of sauce. Baby carrots cooked in orange juice and ginger and roasted parsnips/potatoes with bits of pancetta. Are you groaning already? Well hold on to your seats because I haven't mentioned the pudding(s) yet. Firstly we had Mont Blancs (and I'm sorry that's the only photo I remembered to take):
this is basically a layer of chestnut puree, chantilly cream with meringue on the top. Divine and decadent. Then there was chocolate mousse made with about 6 eggs and I was well and truly groaning and holding onto my stomach. I've never had partridge before and I have to say that it was really very nice with a very subtle flavour. Oh I do wish I'd taken some photos to show you everything.
Holding onto our stomachs we managed a short walk and then down to the church to sing carols. I love the festival of nine lessons and carols especially when the church is candle lit. This time I found myself imaging former occupants of our house going to the church a hundred or more years ago. I did manage to belt out the carols though in between day dreaming.
There was exchanging of presents in the evening and I was amazed the next day how a simple present like plasticine kept the boys occupied for hours last night. At about three o'clock in the afternoon they decided to make 'creature comforts' as they put it. So they produced Jeremy the monkey (seen here with a bandage on his head), Claude the snail, Arnold the pig, Percy the tortoise, Peter the pigeon and PC Growler:
and then they decided to make a film with the video camera:
It was amazing to watch as they painstakingly moved each figure and did the voices AND argued constantly. Finally, at about 9 o'clock Tom edited it and put it on a CD and we all watched it. It really was very good considering and the boys were dead chuffed. I'm going to try and show you later in the week (it's only about three minutes long) but I don't know how to put a film in a post. Have to wait till Tom gets back from London I guess.
Yesterday was also spent at the huge shopping mall in Bristol. I knew I had to go to real shops just once this Christmas despite doing all my shopping on line. So we got up at half eight and went for it. Can you believe how packed it was for a Monday morning? We lasted about three hours and managed to get most of our bits and bobs and I found this really cute set of Christmas plates for myself:
My dad gave me £100 way back in September and I decided to spend some of it on these plates. I love the shape and the design and they can become a family heirloom (if anyone wants them).
Tomorrow we're decorating the gingerbread house and making snowflakes and kite paper stars. A couple of people have asked how to make these so I will remember to take pics and measurements as we go along.
Tonight I plan to sit by the fire and watch A Christmas Carol (called Scrooge on the video box!) with the oldest two if I can keep my eyes open that is ..................