Dec 18, 2017

Life This Week 18/12/2017: Christmas Plans.

I'm excited, in case you couldn't tell.  It's going to be Christmas Day this time next week and I've been big kid enthusiastic about this since December the first....


I've decided to keep things relatively simple for Christmas lunch this year but I've also gotten it into my head that I'd like to make some of the key things from scratch.  I'm usually packet and premade all the way for Christmas lunch but this year I'm going to challenge myself.  I have a gravy recipe in mind for later but I've already made my fruit mince for pies.  


My spendy but rarely used cast iron roasting tray has been unearthed, washed and is sitting out on my bench for making the gravy.  I hope this is gas cooker stove top safe.  Would be an expensive and potentially explosive error to make if it wasn't.  Can you shed some light?

It was Sammy over at The Annoyed Thyroid who inspired me with her recent post and recipe for Easy Mince Puff Pies.


What attracted me to her recipe was that it didn't require peel or suet.  Instead, the citrus taste comes from a combination of marmalade and Cointreau.


In another Christmas first, I sterilized a large preserving jar in the oven to store the mince.


All my favourites - glace cherries, dates, apricots and craisins.


It was not hard work at all chopping and mixing the fruit,  Especially when I had the scent of brandy and Cointreau wafting up towards me as I stirred.


Then it was off to find a hidey hole for both my jar of mince and the Cointreau.


It's become a little evening routine to take the jar down from its shelf to give it a stir and a deep inhale. I can't wait to see how it tastes in my pies this week.


Our advent calendars have been diligently opened first thing each morning by Preschooler SSG and his very capable hands.  He's even attempted to streamline the process by rearranging the boxes in my Body Shop calendar into numerical order to make each day easier to find in the morning.


It was actually I who let the team down when I got a but flustered about how to assemble the Lego advent plane with two minutes to spare before we had to be out the door for work and preschool.  I googled for the answer


when all I had to do was just look behind the door of that particular date for detailed instructions.  Better late than never, I suppose.


Preschooler SSG's gifts are mostly wrapped and hidden in my wardrobe.  


I've been self gifting on the regular and I've also been dropping hints about what Santa might like to have put out for a snack on Christmas Eve.  So far I've got a jar of marmalade, a couple of melting moment biscuits and a carrot for tradition.



In the fridge, Santa can expect to find a bottle of Chandon with Orange Bitters chilled and ready to go with a tray of ice in the freezer...


Speaking of Santa, here he is at work.  All over my office door, in fact.  It was the nicest surprise to greet me when I arrived at work on Friday.  We take Christmas very seriously at work.  Our clinical support officer assures me that she'll make sure that Santa stays where he is all through next.  Preschooler SSG has been invited to Christmas lunch this week and I've promised him a tour of the Christmas decorations on each ward.


I don't know if you can call it a plan but I have already actioned one of my favourite Christmas must-dos already.  The eating of various leftovers as snacks.  Cheesecake for afternoon tea, trifle for morning tea, fruit mince pies for that meal between breakfast and morning tea....

How are you plans going for Christmas?  Do yours involve braving the fish market or the shopping centres in that last minute rush this week where the all open for close to 24 hours a day?  Best of luck if you are.

23 comments:

  1. I've never had a homemade mince pie. What am I like? We normally have seafood but this year was an early bbq because other extended family are going away. Self gifting is a BRILLIANT idea. Have a great one x

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    1. I will report back on the mince pies. Ness. They're going to be only semi home made though because the pastry will be store bought!

      SSG xxx

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  2. I'm firmly in favour of self-gifting. I wrap them up and write on the card that they're from Kali, the dog.

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    1. That is genius, Jo! Might declare mine as gifts from the preschooler.

      SSG xxx

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  3. I'm excited too SSG! We had our blended family get together yesterday and the grandkids just loved their Santa Sacks full of goodies. Mike made some Sangria and we had too much food - as usual. No one wanted to leave we were having such a good time. Have a wonderful Christmas SSG and it has been lovely getting to know you this year. I might pop around for some mince pies if you don't mind? Also, my grandson has an advent calendar and that is the highlight of each day!
    Sue
    www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au

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    1. I'm a bit sad that the advent calendars we have are now mostly opened. It's all happened so fast! Yes, will save you a couple of the mince pies.

      SSG xxx

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  4. That work door has really raised the bar!! Wow. HaPPY XMAS TO YOU.

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    1. I know! I'm bringing the preschooler in to work this week so he can have a look at it and all the other amazing decorations.

      Merry Christmas!

      SSG xxx

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    2. I know! I'm bringing the preschooler into work this week so he can have a look at the door Santa and all the other amazing decorations.

      Merry Christmas!

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  5. Oh I like the watermelon Christmas trees, what a cool simple thing to do.

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    1. Looking forward to lots more summer fruit on Christmas day too. To balance all the rich stuff.

      SSG xxx

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  6. Wow, you are super organised. With the big downsize and move last week, our Christmas prep has been very much on the back burner and without a little person in the house, the sparkle of Christmas has faded somewhat. In Saying that, the 18 yr old has insisted on putting up the tree and his coloured lights on the balcony.

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    1. Merry Christmas, Jenni! I do like the idea of coloured lights on the balcony. Will have to make that happen one year.

      SSG xxx

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  7. That Santa door is the coolest thing ever! I love that hospitals get into the spirit. A friend of mine is an Neonatal ICU ward nurse at CHW and she shared all of the Christmas Party decorations on every ward. A mazing! I love your Christmas enthusiasm as it mirrors what mine was..it still lingers but with no little kids any more at Christmas it is a bit missing. Thank you for linking up for the LAST #lifethisweek in 2017. I look forward to seeing you back linking up when you can, and 2018 prompts kick off on 1.1.18 and are already on the home page. Sending all festive wishes to you, Denyse xx

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    1. Merry Christmas, Denyse!

      Already working on 1/1/18!!

      SSG xxx

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  8. The Christmas Tree watermelon is pretty cute! And is the Body Shop Advent Calendar worth getting? I don't usually get the beauty ones, just the Cadbury one for my son (need to treat myself I reckon!). Have a great Christmas! x

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    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed the calendar. Quite a few things I love as well as new things I was keen to try.

      SSG xxx

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  9. I am thrilled that we will be with both sets of parents for Christmas so I don't have to lift a finger - I've attempted to do Chrsitmas when my mum has been on holidays but it's nowhere near as good as hers, I'm really looking forward to it this year! I did get gifted a 'christmas tree' brownie mix at my ABA mother's group so that might be the only baking I do for Christmas, haha!

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    1. What a luxurious way to celebrate Christmas, Mica! Make the most of it!!

      SSG xxx

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  10. My Mom is going to the grocery tomorrow to pick up a few last minute things for Christmas Eve and Christmas. We have oyster stew along with little goodies (that we are currently baking) at our house on Christmas Eve. The little ones will get one present to hold them over till Christmas Day, so all will be happy. Mom at one point in time baked fruit cakes, but now that her vision is declining she bakes fruit cookies. My grandmother gives them rave reviews every year.
    Hope you and Preschool SSG have a wonderful holiday.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Tracie! Happy baking!

      SSG xxx

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  11. Hi,
    I’m feeling pretty well prepared at last. Wrapped all the gifts and have asked a few guests to bring a food item on Christmas Day which makes a big difference.

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    1. Merry Christmas, Sarah! Everyone bringing a plate really makes it less of a stress. I'm presently baking a cheesecake to bring in for our work Christmas morning tea.

      SSG xxx

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