Sunday, 18 November 2007

Time flies

In the winter I’m usually busier and I seem to have less time. Before I know it the week has past and weekend is here. Only the weekend flies by as well. Time really flies in the winter!
Last week I was a busy bee, spent a lot of time working for my day job, met up with friends after work and did some quilting. The quilt top is nearly finished!! At least half of it is together. It is pretty big and I’m impressed with the result. It is all coming together.
Yesterday I met up with my mum and also got some Christmas shopping done.

Donna from Chookyblue wanted to know what I do for Christmas.
Christmas is pretty busy time for us.
24th of December
Christmas evening we go to mass. We go to the church where my FIL plays the organ and my MIL sings in the choir. It is a small picturesque church in a very small village down south from us. After mass we go and have a typical Dutch Christmas diner. This diner is pretty late; usually we don’t sit around the table till 11.30 pm. This is very much past my usual bedtime. We have hare, potatoes, potato croquets, kerststol (stollen = bread-like cake made in Germany and the Netherlands), peaches, ‘Preiselberen’ (=cranberries), stewed pear and applesauce. For starters we usually have salmon salad. With a filled belly we go back home to sleep.
25th of December
Christmas morning we drive up north to my mum’s place and meet up with the rest of the family. The first years in the Netherlands it was only us girls (mum, me and my sister). The family has grown with 2 SILs and 2 grandchildren. All the presents we have brought are put underneath the tree. In the afternoon we usually go for a walk or play a game (I hardly ever win). Around 5pm we usually start with the diner preparations. For starters we have shrimp/prawn salad. For the main meal we have fondue bourguignonne. The fondue pot is filled with oil and brought to simmer. Each person spears small cubes of beef, chicken veal or meatballs, with a special (long and narrow) fondue fork, and fries them in the pot. We have an assortment of sauces for dipping. My mum usually also provides some potato croquets, a fresh salad and some kind of vegetable, like long beans or broccoli.
In between fondue sessions we unpack the presents. This last tradition has changed a little because of my little nieces. Fondue and child safety don’t go together, so last year as Zoë was only 2, we unpacked our presents in the afternoon before diner. This year we have two little children walking around, so I think we will be unpacking the presents again in the afternoon, next to the log fire and Christmas tree.
Late in the evening we drive back down south to our home.
26th of December
On Boxing Day I make a Christmas diner with all the trimmings. My mum and PILs come over to our place. The main meal is stuffed turkey, baked potatoes and pumpkin, cranberry sauce, potato croquets, peas, and broccoli. As desert, I serve my now famous Pavlova.
I love Christmas. We put up our tree pretty early, as early as possible. JW hangs up all the lights. We now have two Christmas trees outside, one in the backyard and one in the front. It is nice coming home and the yard is lit up with all those little lights.

How I love that Christmas feeling
How I treasure its friendly glow
See the way a stranger greets you
Just as though you'd met him Christmases ago
Christmas helps you to remember
To do what other folks hold dear
What a blessed place the world would be
If we had that Christmas feeling all year

I couldn’t resist copying Bennie Benjamin and George Weiss little poem.

As you can see Christmas for us is being together with the family, travelling, giving presents, cooking and eating. If anyone wants a recipe for any of the above, just leave a little note and I will e-mail you it.


Chookyblue said...

Hey Helen thanks for sharing....
.... making Pavlova......such as Aussie dessert.........
.......and this Christmas make sure the lid is on the
Chritsmas is all about family and being thanksful for what we have.....

Sweet P said...

You celebrate for 3 days and enjoy lots of food and lots of company. Sounds like a wonderful time.