This Christmas Max has been given a wonderful gift - peace - for when I woke up this morning I found that some nasty robbers (according to my granddaughter) had stolen my voice.
Instead I have been left with two others; one is merely a whisper and the other is so deep that it could give Paul Robeson a run for his money. Both take a lot of effort.
Silence is the best option.
Otherwise it has been a lovely day. The telephones and skype have been busy, busy, busy as we catch up with family and friends. Other friends have stopped by for a visit and in between times I have supervised my granddaughter (4 years old) as she made and decorated Christmas biscuits.
The house is warm and welcoming, lots of twinkling lights and big Christmas candles. Freshly cut holly, ivy, and rosemary scent the rooms and the old place looks very cosy.
Tomorrow morning will start fairly early as two of our grandchildren just live on the other side of the garden, they will be across before 8am to open presents. They, their parents and Miles and Poppy will gather at Parsonage Cottage for my special Christmas Day breakfast - scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, croissants, bacon butties, according to taste.
We'll attend the morning service at our tiny, local church, walking home across the fields.
My son-in-law is chef for the day and he'll be doing Christmas Dinner for ten. I'll simply provide a few of the side dishes and an alternative to Christmas pudding. I love having all these talented cooks in the family, I am so happy to hand over the cooking crown!
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. xxx
This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.