Friday, 15 December 2006

Christmas visiting

I remember as a child how my mother's uncles used to come and visit us in the days around Christmas. In our busy-ness it is one of the things that has fallen into disuetude, and happens (if it happens at all) by accident. My parents never really kept alcohol in the home except at Christmas time when sherry and a couple of bottles of spirits would be bought and the great-uncles visited to get their annual dose.
Never any excess about it. Good wholesome sort of annual catch-up. My mother would make certain curious ethnic foods (we forget that we are all "ethnic" and our Christmas traditions embody much of our ethnicity). These would include Corned Beef pies...totally disgusting to anyone who wasn't brought up on them, my sister(s) duly make a batch for our annual get togethers (tomorrow). She would make cholesterol rich egg flip (what others call egg-nog) lots of egg yokes, creamy stuff and brandy or rum I think. And then there is rum butter, which is still made in Cumbria today but is butter and sugar creamed together and flavoured with rum. Totally unhealthy but delicious on what the English call 'cream' crackers but we call Sao.
It is all very reminiscent of the 50s...a time gone by. Which is why I picture my mother's cousin Jack (here) who was a quite famous football (soccer) player in his time and son of one of the many uncles.
We are developing our own "ethnic food". Last night S had the kitchen littered from end to end with shortbread which is a speciality with a (not so)secret recipe. Last year her sister convinced her workmates that she made them and so this year there are orders!!! But B(the sister) didn't manage to get it all together to actually learn how to do it. So S ended up doing it for her. There will be another batch tonight for the Clark family party tomorrow. It is almost as though the wheel is turning full circle.
We had a little visit on Monday (spontaneous) and it was nice. What a happy time it is if we give ourselves to the meaningful stuff.
Yes! I am writing this blog to avoid going outside to do my daily preparation of the garden for Christmas Day, and am certainly not hitting the shopping centre today. But I will have to some time.
As my dear friend and colleague G says...I wouldn't be dead for quids.

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