Sunday, December 20, 2015

Getting to look a lot. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . like CHRISTMAS!

When today's date - the 20th - popped up as I opened 
the laptop, I realized I need to get moving with the remaining 
holiday baking for the Christmas Eve open house. 
Shopping is done, cards mailed, wrapping is completed, 
decorating done - although I'm always titivating the holiday
 vignettes, and added a lot more candles yesterday.
I'll be using fresh greenery on the mantel soon - it's ready
 on the porch, in water, because it's just really warm and sunny
 and needs to quench its thirst before coming into the cottage!

Brilliant sunshine this morning - the beautiful light meant
 'take more photos' of course.
 I'll soon be heading to the kitchen to make traditional little English mince pies.
 My filling of rich dried fruits sat overnight soaking up a nice swig of rum - so
 I'll be off soon to make pastry and get those little gems into the oven to bake.

I also baked most of Friday and then again yesterday afternoon.
This afternoon I'm hoping to grab one of these mugs (CALM looks perfect)
 of hot chocolate, a cookie, and just sit outside in the sunshine for a while.
 Knowing the baking is done, only the house cleaning is left to keep me
busy during the next day or so.
Are things are ready around your home? 
These next few days will definitely fly by fast. 
I'm just waiting for the 25th to arrive. 
For us it will be that lovely quiet and peaceful day -------- time to enjoy
 the true meaning of Christmas without all the commercial clutter.


  1. Dear Mary,

    I regocnise the book by Delia Smith on your table. It's a favourite of mine too. What I like about her recipes is that they are always fool proof and really good to the taste! Good luck on your mince pies.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!

    Madelief x

    1. . . . . . and a wonderful, peaceful, happy Christmas to you and your beautiful family Madelief.

      Yes, I have several of Delia's cookbooks - all gifts from English friends who know I love to keep up the cooking traditions I grew up with in England. . .even though I've lived here so long! I like the way she writes, explaining things in easy language, and she was quite innovative with her recipes before many other cooks. For Christmas Eve I always do her tiny Cheese & Olive Scones (made 4 doz. this week!), the 3 doz. mince pies going in the oven today, and some years make her traditional fruitcake - but not this year as we're watching our waistlines and I always eat far too much of that particular cake! I will also do several of her veggie side for Christmas Day dinner as I don't eat meat.

      Enjoy everything dear friend.
      Love, Mary

      P.S. Have you heard from our Budapest friends by chance? I'm concerned - it's been so long since we've heard anything!

  2. It sounds like you are all ready for Christmas, Mary. I have a couple things to wrap yet, baking is done, and we're not expecting company so the cleaning will be done last minute. :) We are planning on 2 different day trips to visit family at Christmas and the 27th which lets me off the hook. Have a wonderful Christmas week. Merry Christmas to you and Bob.
    xx Pamela

  3. Merry Christmas to you and Bob, Mary, and may the New Year bring you much health and happiness! Mmmmm, your mince pies sound wonderful. I've never had a mince pie, but I always love those little mini ones they make in England, with a pastry star crust. One of these days I might find a recipe and give them a try. They sound so delicious, and they look so festive. Enjoy the holidays. Much love, Sara

  4. Aw...your home looks lovely, Mary.I had to smile when I saw the fox. :) Your baking sounds wonderful. I love mince pies, too. Enjoy your Christmas Eve get together and I wish you and Bob a Very Merry Christmas from our mouse-house to your home. Hugs, Deb

  5. Oh, I bet the cottage smells heavenly with your baking and the fresh greens. Enjoy the week, Mary.
    We wish you a joyous Christmas!

  6. Packages wrapped - packages mailed - plum pudding is done - cookie dough is mixed up - house is decorated. Just a few last minute things around the house to tend to - then chrismtas eve open house and christmas with two of our grandsons and their families. Fun fun fun.

  7. Your home looks beautiful, Mary, and I wish I were in your kitchen with you learning a little bit about English cooking. It all sounds heavenly.

    I hope you have a wonderful open house and peaceful Christmas Day. Your simple and pretty holiday decoration are just perfect.

    Much, much love to you and Bob. I can't say enough how much Alan and I are so grateful for our friendship. :)

    Jane x

  8. All is looking peaceful and lovely at your place this morning, Mary. Hope you were able to fill up that "calm" mug and enjoy time outdoors. Looks like we will be having a mild Christmas this year. I hope to get out and cut some greens today before the predicted rain arrives.
    Merry Christmas to you and Bob.

  9. Yes Mary ..... the 20th came around when we weren't looking !!!!
    Lovely images ....... so Christmassy.
    ..... and, I LOVE your mugs.
    Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours. XXXX


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