Thursday, 14 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 13th December 2017

Joining in Julie's Advent Calendar.   See who else is participating  here

14  Christmas Crackers

This picture was taken a few years ago of our table ready for Christmas Eve dinner with all the family.

We always find that crackers are a bit of a disappointment, they look so pretty but don't have much in the way of exciting contents.  Over the past few years we have collected small little presents, pens, rubbers, chocolate Father Christmas sweets when the boys were younger, and then carefully opened the crackers and put extras inside. 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 13 December 2017

 See who else is joining in here

13  First Christmas Card arriving by post.

Our first card arriving by post is this one which arrived today............. a pretty little card with the address not quite right but as ever our fantastic postmen managed to deliver it correctly.

But when I opened it to see who is was from this is what I found........

nothing.....blank.....and what's more, neither of us or Hawthorn recognises the handwriting!!! 

Ah well, the thought was there.  It brought a smile to my face as it arrived just in time to make an interesting post!! 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Julile's Advent Calendar 12 December 2017

Joining in Julie's Advent Calendar.   See who else is participating  here

12  Christmas Angel

This pretty angel has not been in our collection for many years, perhaps about 6, but she has become part of our family tradition.  I love her old fashioned raggity look.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 11th December 2017

Not sure where I have been these last few days....well actually I had set up my posts ready to go and then left them to get on with it.  But I had not realised I'd only gone until the 7th.  Better do some catch up.

11  Snowman

In spite of all the snow falling in the last couple of days, our little village has had very little so there are no snowmen around here.  We usually see them in the school playgrounds next door but nothing this time.  So searching through my archives I have found this one taken many year ago of our next door neighbour's son and his snowman.  The young man is now over 6ft tall and left school.  How time flies.  Not the most glamorous snowman.  

My second snowman I did myself, or at least I decorated from a choice of clothing and accessorries from the wonderful Jacqui Lawson Advent Calendar that I share with family and friends each Christmas.  It's not too late if you want to join in and play catch up at  jacquielawson

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 7th December 2017

See who else is joining in   HERE    

7 Bells

I have used this picture and story before so apologise to those who remember it.  These bells have been in our family for many, many years.  The white ones are from a bunch my mother bought in 1959 when we lived in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, present day Harare, Zimbabwe but the yellow one is even older.  It is made of brittle plastic and is the only one left from a set of three that I remember from about 1955.  My mother bought them in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia, present day Zambia.  They are tied together with a rusty bit of tinsel which I keep for sentimental reasons.  Each year the little bunch are put on our tree.  A bit of family history! 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Julie's Photo Advent Calendar Photo Hunt December 6th 2017

      See who else is joining in   HERE

6. Robin

This is one of Kate's Christmas cards  so what better that this one to use for my Robin picture.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 5th December 2017

5. Stained Glass Window

I absolutely adore stained glass windows both traditional and modern.  Over the years I have taken quite a few photographs,  some more successful than others.  I love the beautiful rose window in York Minster but one of my favourites was taken in a little church in Newchurch in  Pendle, a village in Lancashire adjacent to Barley, at the foot of Pendle Hill.  Famous for the Demdike family of Pendle witches who lived there in the 17th century. This tiny village has this gorgeous little church  full of beautiful stained glass windows. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar 4th December

See who else is joining in   HERE

4. Christmas Book  

        I don't have any Christmas Books now grandchildren have grown up but what I do have is the Original Christmas Story. ................

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Julie's Photo Advent Calendar Photo Hunt December 3rd 2017


See who else is joining in the fun.  Link to Julie's Scrapbook HERE

December 3rd – Favourite Christmas Recipe 

We are a divided family.....some carnivores and others vegi wimps!  So I cook traditional turkey, stuffing, gammon and roasties, all the usual sauces and vegetables but try to make something special for Hawthorn and now eldest grandson too.  I loved making this Potato, Leek and Stilton Pie from a recipe I found in the Daily Mail some years ago.If anyone is interested in making it don't be put off by the rather long looking instructions, there are really only four main ingredients and bought puff pastry.  Even the method is simple but the whole thing looks so good served up.  It also cuts well either heated or cold the next day.

Deep Midwinter Stilton Pie tu
     By Annie Bell

Serves 6

600g maincrop potatoes                       500 g bought puff pastry
75g unsalted butter                                Flour for rolling out
sea salt and black pepper                     200 g stilton
500 g leeks (trimmed weight)              l egg yolk blended with 1 tbs water
2 garlic cloves                                         1 tsp thyme leaves.

Have ready a 20cm loose bottom cake tine at least 6 cm deep

Peel potatoes, cut into even chunks and cook in a large pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, leave for a few minutes to steam-dry, then coarsely mash.  Stir in a third of the butter and some seasoning, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

Whilst potatoes are cooking,  thinly slice the leeks and peel and finely chop the garlic. Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the leeks, garlic and thyme. Season and fry for about 10 minutes until softened, stir occasionally.  Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180Fan?Gas 6

Set aside a third of the pastry.  Roll out the remainder on a floured surface into a circle big enough to line the cake tin with 5cm overhang all round. Lay pastry in tin.

Spoon in the mash and gently press down without over-compressing.  Crumble the cheese on top, and then spoon in the leaks
Roll out the remaining pastry and using the tin as a guide cut out a pie lid to sit on top of the leeks. Tuck this in place and brush top with beaten egg.  If you wish decorate the top with stars made from  pastry trimmings.  Cut a few slits in top of pie. Bake for 45 mins until risen and golden. Serve hot or warm.

NOTE:  You can make the pie up to a day in advance. In which case cover and chill and adjust the cooking time accordingly, allowing a little longer if necessary.

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar Photo Hunt 2nd December 2017

   See who else is joining in the fun.  Link to Julie's Scrapbook here 

December 2nd  -  Something Handcrafted for Christmas

Some years ago now, Hawthorn made me this beautiful tree ornament out of felt and beads.  I love it so and it always has pride of place on our tree. Looking at the photograph I see that it was taken the  year one of the boys had made me a salt dough star.  

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Julie's Advent Calendar Picture Hunt December lst 2017

See who else is joining in the fun.  Link to Julie's Scrapbook here 

December 1st  -  Letter Box

I have searched my archives and I can't find a letter box anywhere so am having to cheat....
I love to see the original ideas our wild birds have when choosing a nesting site to safely rear their young.  

 Christmas Wishes ❅ 
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