(With apologies to Clement C. Moore) T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house… everyone was stirring, and running about! Jules wrapping presents, Flippurr’s yowling for pats – and there was young Winter, upon her treadmill (1.93km this evening!) then rushing in here to start on her blog (which she has no illusions of finishing before dinnertime, but at least she’s made a start!)
We’re having cold cuts again tonight, with commercial, supermarket bought salads, and some of that really nice flat-bread – Coles say that they make it fresh daily, and maybe for once they’re telling the truth, because it really is very nice and fresh, and more than 100% better than the dry, tasteless Pita bread you can buy in packets… We’re having the cold cuts tonight because it’s hot, and after all the rushing around he’s done today, Julian doesn’t really feel like slaving over a hot stove – and you know, I’m getting so much fitter and so much more mobile, that it probably won’t be all that long before I’m standing in for him at the pass! (for those of you who’ve never watched Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen”, by “pass”, I mean “the stove”!) But the main reason we’re having a cold dinner tonight is because it’s quicker and easier that way, especially when you have a tribe of stampeding daughters and their husbands descending on you anywhere between 7.30 and 8.00pm, to turn your kitchen upside down and inside-out, making the infamous Egg-Nog! Recipe follows:
Winter’s Official Eggnog Recipe
• 6 egg yolks
• ¾ of a cup of castor sugar
• 1 cup of brandy (250 ml)
• 1 cup of dark rum (250 ml)
• 2.5 cups of milk (625 ml)
• 1 cups of thick cream (250 ml)
• 6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
• Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks until they are light. Gradually add the sugar and beat the mixture until thick and pale. Chill. Slowly beat in the brandy and rum. Using a wire whisk beat in the milk and heavy cream, beating constantly. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the eggnog mixture and sprinkle the surface with nutmeg to taste. Serves 12.
We didn’t even bother looking for our ancient electric beaters – we know they’re somewhere around, but again, it was quicker and easier to just get a new one – the old ones should have been “retired” years ago! Anyway, Julian’s back in here, the presents all wrapped – except for one, which was busy hiding on my desk as it didn’t want to be suffocated under all that paper stuff! 🙂 (actually it was underneath my newest Country Style magazine and a printout of the eggnog recipe, but now that it’s been found, it’ll be rapped to be wrapped and stuck under the Christmas Tree! 😉 So… everything is all ready for tonight, and tomorrow – and there’s nary a thing to be done except wait, and scramble, at the last minute! I didn’t leave the house today – instead I had my first shower in my new bathroom! Oh, what bliss, to have a shower head that you don’t have to lie on the floor, where it immediately tries to impersonate a snake, and whip around spraying water everywhere except where you want it, just because the shower rail is broken – or an enormous squarish overhead shower head that rains down on you like a tropical monsoon, in a shower stall that’s too small for you to get out of the way of the torrential downpour – which rinses the soap off your body before you even get a chance to get a bit of a lather up! This morning’s shower was the bestest shower I’ve had since we left Doncaster – in fact, it was even better than the shower in Doncaster, because it’s bigger! Much more biggerer! 🙂 Unfortunately, there was one, small, teeny problem with the shower… Clarke and Paul both thought that the shower door wouldn’t need a strip of silicone underneath it, but as it turns out, they were wrong. Very wrong! Due to the size and shape of the room, plus the fact that the house is built on a concrete slab, it’s not easy to move the plumbing fixtures around too much – well I mean you can, but it’s fraught, messy, takes forever and ever to do, plus it costs the earth, and a Pope and an Emperor’s ransom – so if you’re doing any plumbing-type renovations to a house on a concrete block, it’s generally better to work with what you have, rather than try to work towards what you want. So we did. This meant that the shower rail, and consequentially the shower head, was going to be on the wall facing the shower door. Of course you can angle the shower head any which-way you like, including away from the shower door (only then it wanted to either point directly away from me, or directly at me – so I think it’s going to take a couple of days of experimentation to know exactly which way to angle it for the best (and driest floor!) results…) “So,” I hear you all muttering under your collective breaths… “what was this one, small, teeny problem with the oh-so-wonderful shower?” The problem was, that every time the shower head pointed even vaguely in the direction of the shower door, the water simply poured out underneath the door, flooding almost the entire bathroom floor! It was quite ironic, really… before we moved into our apartment at Doncaster, we had the whole place renovated, including the bathroom. The very first shower taken in that place after we moved in was by me… and the bathroom flooded… and the bedroom flooded (it was an en-suite bathroom) and the lounge room flooded… The tiler had washed excess grouting down the central bathroom drain, but some of it remained, and had set like rock, blocking the excess water flow… and now, my very first shower in my beautiful new bathroom, and what happens? It floods! I know my star-sign is Pisces, a Water sign, but isn’t that taking metaphors a bit to the extreme?
As soon as Julian went out this morning, I high-tailed it to my Secret Hiding Place, grabbed his presents, and went and wrapped them and put them under the Christmas Tree. I did have one small “wrapping paper malfunction”, where the stupid paper (never the stupid person doing the wrapping, of course! 😉 ) decided to tear, all the way around the end that I was just in the middle of taping up! So I wasted quite a bit of paper on that as what was left of the wrapping was unsalvagable After I’d deposited the presents under the Christmas tree, I played a bit of WoW until Julian got home and we had lunch (another delicious home-made wrap, with ham, tomato, and low-fat plain Greek yoghurt! Very yummy and slurpy!) and then I went and did my afternoon treadmilling (we had a late-ish lunch!) Once that was done, there really wasn’t much time for anything else – we wanted to have an early dinner so as to be well and truly clear by the time the kids came over. They arrived at around 8 o’clock – poor Terry was in a bit of a funk – his mother’s back in hospital again (she has extremely severe emphysema) and things are looking pretty grim. Still, we had a chatter and a laugh, and the girls made the annual Christmas Eggnog – which didn’t seem to lose any of its richness or potency from being made with skinny milk and light cream, some mince tarts were eaten (and two of them were left out on a plate for Mr. & Mrs Claus, along with a half a glass of skinny milk, for Mrs. Claus, who’s on a diet!) Kate did an excellent job of reading aloud “The Night Before Christmas” (when all through the house, etc.! 😉 ) we “hung” our stockings (leaning them against the back of the couch!) with great expectations for the morrow, there was a bit more chatter, then Lee and Kate and their respective spouses departed, we cleared up what remained of the mess, and now… here I am! 🙂
Food: you really don’t want to know! Today, tomorrow, and Boxing Day are exceptions to the rule! If I wanna eat it, I’m gunna eat it! (though I do wish I’d had a much smaller glass of eggnog! I think it’s a wee bit too rich for my elderly stomach )
Weigh-in this morning. Was very interesting, considering that large sausage roll that I consumed yesterday… I went from 64.3kg yesterday, to 64.1kg today! Down two points, despite the large sausage roll with tomato sauce, and half a giant raspberry muffin! Which is very good, because I know my weight is going to go up a lot – probably well over a kilo – in the next couple of days! *sigh* Thank goodness that Christmas only comes once a year!
So what else can I say? Tomorrow is Christmas Day! Julian and I will be busy unwrapping expected and unexpected parcels tomorrow morning, whilst eating a slice of Panettone each, then we’ll be getting ready for Christmas Dinner. I have a feeling that we may not be seeing Terry tomorrow, but I can completely understand where he’s coming from, with his mother so ill in hospital (she only has the one lung left, and it’s only operating at 40%, so…) he’ll probably want to be able to dash off in a hurry if he has to, without upsetting things. The kids should be arriving sometime between noon and 12.30pm, to get all the present exchanging and jollifications over in time for dinner to be on the table at about 1.00pm – but really, from about 11.30am onward, the way the day unfolds is pretty much anyone’s guess. And once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! 🙂 Please drop in again tomorrow night to find out how our Christmas went, what my weight is up to (or down to!) and what we got for Christmas! I can tell you that I don’t have the foggiest idea what Julian has for me – and I hope that he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what I’ve got him! 🙂 But until tomorrow night, please bee good (just for tonight, you can bee naughty again tomorrow night, OK? 🙂 ) remember not to go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail – and don’t forget to drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on our slightly unpredictable weather – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂