Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas. Hannukah. New Year.

All tumbling over each other this year, which is why I have not posted for a while. Hannukah started on the Tuesday evening before Christmas and ended yesterday, neatly running through Christmas, and now it is December 29th and New Year is looming before I am ready to think about it!  I apologise for not wishing eveyone a Happy Christmas beforehand, but as we are still only on the fifth of the twelve days of Christmas I wish you one now. I hope you had a lovely Christmas day and are still enjoying the season!

We have had a good time here with friends and family. My mother and brother were with us for Christmas Day, then on Boxing Day we all went out for a meal. This was a change of tradition for us. For nearly twenty years our family routine has been to be all together here on Christmas Day, then to go to Mum's on Boxing Day. She used to cook a lavish lunch and provide a buffet tea, until the cooking got too much and we started just going for the afternoon and tea. For the last couple of years even this has been getting steadily harder for her and she has been relying heavily on my brother to help. This year we noticed that the local Harvester restaurant (one of the larger chains over here) was offering a two course meal plus salad buffet on Boxing Day for £10.99. We suggested this might be a good idea as everyone from the five year old to the eighty four year old likes their food and it would save Mum and my brother feeling they ought to be catering for everyone. They jumped at the idea and we all enjoyed ourselves, so I think it may become a new family tradition.

On Tuesday we switched back from Christmas to Hannukah and held our usual Hannakah party for ourselves and our neighbours. This year we also added in Cherub's Little Friend N (whose poor mother was also supposed to come, but couldn't as she wasn't well). I cooked a mountain of latkes (fried potato cakes) which disappeared rapidly) and bought a matching mountain of doughnuts from Tesco. Hannukah recalls lights of theTemple in Jerusalem continuing to burn miraculously for eight days despite being on the last dregs of oil, so is celebrated with food fried in oil. Jewish food does not do low calorie! After Hannukah food for twelve on Tuesday, Tevye's sister and family and a couple of family friends came for the day yesterday which meant providing lunch and tea for thirteen. I cooked a mountain of baked potatoes, chicken and mushroom casserole, cauliflower cheese for those who don't eat meat (or in the case of Tevye's nephew's fiancee, non-kosher meat), various veggies, and a couple of apple pies using the pastry recipe from Linds' mince pies (delicious!).

If I had any sense today would be a restful, chilling out sort of day, but no - I am heading off to London on the train with four teenagers to hit the post-Christmas sales at the Westfield Centre in Shepherd's Bush. Eek! Tomorrow, I chill!


Linds said...

I a so gld the pastry was delicious! I knew it would be of course, but still.....
You have had an incredibly busy week, but it sounds fantastic - feedign the ones we love is special, isn't it?!
Happy New Year to you and your family!

Like sunshine in the home said...

A busy week for you! Sounds like fun though.

I've vegged out so much yesterday I feel like I need a brisk walk or something or else I will stagnate.

ellie said...

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year! Lovely to read an update, so busy and such yummy sounding foods!