From Ngaire’s journal, 24th December — Christmas Eve
Carol and Warwick went to bed at 10pm after filling our pillow cases. Gerald and I have filled theirs and they are now fast asleep, for how long I wonder? They are greatly excited.
We have been very busy today preparing for the carol singers who are coming for supper. The table is set in the dining room with sandwiches, mince pies, lemon honey tarts, savoury biscuits with tomato and cheese, 3 pavlovas the size of large meat dishes, a Christmas cake etc.”
No partridges actually, just two frightened chickens. We lost the other five to a fox a week ago, and it has been with a very heavy heart that I’ve used the last of their eggs in the Christmas baking. They were very trusting and dependable (an egg each nearly every day), and I wish I’d been able to better protect them.
The Christmas baking has been a somewhat spasmodic affair this year, squeezed in between work and done mostly late at night, but the results are respectable (as evidenced by the pounds and pounds of butter we’ve gone through):
- One Christmas cake, iced and decorated
- Two batches of shortbread
- Two batches of mince tarts (thanks to Alex)
- One Christmas pudding
- Two batches of lemon curd
- One very elaborate ginger bread house made by Alex.
I love giving and receiving gifts of food at Christmas. My New Year resolutions are compromised every year by Mum’s macadamia shortbread and festive fruitcake, Mavis’s mince tarts and tomato relish and Nanette’s sugar-coated shortbread and zucchini pickles. May this year be no different.
Merry Christmas. Michelle x