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002Mum's kissing ring (640x480)

My mother’s Kissing Ring.  My mother’s family had no tradition of having a Christmas tree.  They had a kissing ring instead.  This one has a sprig of mistletoe for kissing under. 

We have had a very pleasant and quiet Christmas so far.  Christmas Day itself began at Midnight Mass held this year in St. Mary’s church in Flixton.  The Rector handed us all a slice of Christmas cake as we left and when we got home we had some hot mulled wine and a mince pie before going to bed.  I was a little late in going to bed as I still had a few presents to wrap which I did after quickly washing the kitchen floor.  Yes, I know what you are thinking, but it needed doing and that was the only chance I had to do it!

003Christmas tree (480x640)


In the morning we gathered together in the living room where the presents had been put under the Christmas tree and drank a cup of tea while we exchanged our gifts.  In recent years our breakfast has been Italian pannetone which is luxurious but light.

005Tree decorations (640x480)

For lunch this year instead of turkey we had rib of beef and it was gorgeous!  I had a lot of help from Alice who peeled and chopped all the vegetables for me and she also made a lovely lemon sorbet for a starter.  We had roast and mashed potatoes, mashed swede, roast parsnips with honey, carrots and brussels sprouts.  I had another attempt at making Yorkshire puddings and my usual failure.  Why I can’t make them I don’t know but this time they at least were light and in one piece but they were flat like pancakes!  I made some gravy which was rich and good and also some stuffing.  Why stuffing when we had no bird to stuff?  Because Elinor my youngest daughter loves it and it wouldn’t be Christmas for her without sage and onion stuffing.

007Tree decorations (480x640)


Richard went to collect my mother who always joins us for Christmas lunch and she brought with her the Christmas Pudding.  She has always made her own puddings and they are very good indeed.  She makes them in October and they are left to mature until Christmas when they are steamed for two hours.  She brings our pudding hot from the steamer and well wrapped and insulated.  I make thick custard to go with it and provide cream as well.

013Tree decorations (640x480)


The afternoon is spent quietly together, talking and drinking tea, coffee, wine or spirits and sleeping.  Richard spent quite a lot of time washing up and loading and re-loading the dish-washer – a seemingly thankless task but a necessary one and I am very grateful to him for doing it.

020Crib (640x480)


Mum had invited us to her house for a buffet evening meal the next day, Boxing Day, so Richard and I decided that it might be a good idea if we went for a walk during the afternoon.  Neither of the girls wanted to come with us.

015Christmas decoration (480x640)

We set off for Mum’s house just before 6.00 pm and it was just starting to rain as we got there.  She had provided a sumptuous spread for us and had worked very hard.  A gammon with orange, chicken pieces coated with sesame seeds, mixed roast vegetables, sausage rolls and a selection of crisps and savoury biscuits. She had also made an apfel strudel and a yule log with chocolate and chestnut filling.  The rain was pouring down when we left and continued all night and into the following morning.  Many of the roads and fields were flooded but we didn’t have the snow that fell just to the north of us.