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.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Gift of Peace

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


  1. Merry Christmas hope you have a wonderful day. Think I'm doing dinner this year my wife is incapacitated.

  2. Kala christouyenna and kronia polla. Many happy returns. Sounds as though you are having a perfect christmas day. Happy and warm, full of love and family.....a Nd a little quieter than usual. All the best

  3. Bill, just make sure that you don't hit the cooking sherry too early then! Best of luck with the cooking. I hope your wife is quickly restored to full health. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you.

    Linda, I may have spoken a little too soon - daughter has come out in a very bad all-over rash, so she has had to go to hospital. We are now baby-sitting the (very excited) children until goodness knows when. Thank goodness they know that Father Christmas will be taking note of their activities tonight.
    I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with all your family. I hope to catch up properly soon.x

  4. Merry Christmas! Have a lovely day tomorrow, I hope your daughter recovers quickly. Love Sol xx

  5. Thanks, Sol. She has just come home with some new medication, fingers crossed that this lot does the trick. The grandchildren are tucked up in bed fast asleep. Carrots, mince pies and milk laid out for Father Christmas. All is well!
    Merry Christmas!xx

  6. I do hope your throat problem won't affect your enjoyment of the feast.

    Very best wishes, Cro xx

  7. p.s. I recently saw Nigella Lawson making her Mince Pie pastry with Orange juice. It's obviously a trend.

  8. Merry Christmas, Cro! Silence is still golden around here, unfortunately. I don't think I'll be eating much of the feast, I'll sit quietly in the corner and smile while the others make merry. No doubt I'll make up for it in days to come, I've always enjoyed the leftovers more than the main meal anyway.

    The orange juice addition definitely works - I'm pretty sure Nigella got the tip from my friend Diana. ;)

    Merry Christmas to you, Lady M, lovely Bok and the handsome Freddie.xx

  9. oh Felicity,
    an Error ate up my message.
    I just wanted to make sure you know I am thinking of you.
    Here's to a long Winter of learning new things.


  10. Hello Nancy, How lovely to hear from you! I have spent several days ill in bed since I wrote this post; no festive feasting for me as I still feel too poorly. Onward to 2017 and a new year - good wishes for Health, Wealth and Happiness for you.

  11. I hope you fully recover and enjoy good health through 2017. I really look forward to reading more of your posts. Keep warm and let others do the work!! A good way to start the New Year....spoilt (or spoiled?) by others.

    Happy new year, joy and the company of those you love

  12. Hello Linda, Happy New Year to you and your family!

    The effects of the flu, which I had over Christmas, are still lingering. I feel like an old dish rag. I'm taking things slowly, but it is frustrating. I am usually a bundle of energy, out and about and enjoying our local countryside.

    I need to be patient (difficult) it will be better when I feel able to indulge in some craft work, or give the dog a decent walk. Meanwhile, sofa snoozes and a bit of book reading are what fills my day. Roll on some decent weather and the energy to enjoy it!


  13. Hi Elaine,

    Trying to contact you, but can't find an email address on your page.

    We're on info@blogospheremagazine.com

    If you see this would it be possible to send us an email?

    Best wishes,

    Alice Audley
    Blogosphere Magazine