Monday, December 28, 2009

It's the thought that counts right?

Caught up with the family yesterday and debriefed on the holly jolly family occasion, of which I wasn't there for, because I was actually having a holly jolly time.
Did I miss having Christmas with them? No not at all, I'm not going to pretend or lie that it was anything other than what it was.

Read Miss Stash's copy of Jamie's America, cover to cover, truly his best book yet. I'd like to try just about everything in it. I have just enough in gift cards to go stores that had him well below the RRP and try to secure a copy for myself if there are any left.

But talking of cookbooks, one branch of family gave gifts that were addressed to me or Miss Stash, apparently if we'd both been there we would have had to flip a coin or fight over them. Since I wasn't there Miss Stash got to open both and pick.

Price you pay for not doing the family thing? You get the Masterchef cookbook.
Can't blame Miss Stash really I would have picked the giant board and pizza cutter as well, the cutter is like the one they use in the pizza shops, the wide half circle so you rock and cut across the whole pizza. We are so going to have make pizza now, especially since I've already been delegated the fun job of using the cutter. Other members of the family think it looks scary, sometimes I wonder how it is we're related.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have you been naughty or nice?

I spent the hours between midnight and 6am this morning, alternatively shoosing the cat, turning the light on and getting up and looking for him to shoosh or being jumped on by the cat before he ricochet off to charge through the house. Somehow despite only being a cat when he runs through the house you'd think it was an elephant.

Clearly he missed the memo about the night before Christmas and no creatures stirring in houses. Of course now, now, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, he's curled up sound asleep.

My wake up call came at about quarter to eleven when Miss Stash rang me to wish me a Merry Christmas, they'd had the family present opening at 9:30. Too early in my book, I just want to be sitting down to breakfast at that time of day. They were now all doing the waiting to go to lunch at 1pm.
We had live present opening over the phone, or at least it was live opening at my end, Miss Stash just had to listen to me telling her what everything was when I opened it. All I know of what she got was a Terry Pratchett book (although I know I gave her the latest Star Trek movie and made her fave Peanut Butter and M&M Cookies as well as a no-cook caramel slice), I'm guessing the latest one and she was hoping now everyone had drifted off after present opening to be able to start reading it without looking rude.

Then spoke with the rest of the family, and was faced with the complex problem of answering the question, "What are you going to do by yourself?".
Eat green Thai chicken curry washed down with a mocktail called a Mistletoe all while comfortably ensconced on my couch watching back to back Christmas movies? Apparently this is not as exciting to other people as it is to me.

After that I wrestled with Apple/iTunes, it doesn't like my code for iTunes gift card. So no download of Twisted Sister's Twisted Christmas yet. Need to check in with family when they next ring in to get them to double check the code on their receipt.

Which brings me to 12 noon, sat down to watch Jamie Cooks Christmas while eating baked beans on toast, I was starving I needed something substantial and didn't have the patience to prepare and cook the curry. Curry's been moved to tea time, plenty of time to prepare for it.

I had vague memories of a Christmas episode Jamie did years ago and he was in New York, and that's what I thought this would be. But it turned out to be a much more recent episode he'd obviously made, I don't even like ham, but I liked the look of the Jerk Ham he made.
Then watched fascinated at the end while he fried leftover Christmas pudding to put into a sundae he was making. I've often heard of frying Xmas pud, but I've always associated it as being something very British and if I'm honest slightly bewildering.
I like my pudding sliced thick, served cold and slathered with thick whipped cream. Yum! Although I must confess my most favourite bit of the pudding is it's "skin" around the outside edges, really tasty.

Anyway Santa brought me a packet of Baci, oh how I lurrve them! Clearly I'm not on everyone's naughty list. I may have some now with some of the leftover Gingerbread latte from yesterday.

I remembered why I don't normally buy chicken from the supermarket where I did to make my curry today, I unwrapped the package. And oh my were they fatty, I started to trim them but just lost patience. They've gone into the freezer for the day when I am less of a hurry. While there was some chicken, the curry has mostly been bulked out with the frozen green veg mix I normally add to it.
However, the Mistletoe is delicious and perfect for our climate Christmas time. Very refreshing!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's begining to feel a lot like something?

It dosen't really feel like Christmas is approaching. It's what now 6 days away? I still have not put my tree up, worn my decorations or made a interestingly named cocktail.
I do appreciate for some people Christmas is very exciting and they thoroughly enjoy it, but this dosen't give them the right to turn into those people who turn up on your doorstep and want to tell you about their religion.

Actually that's not true people who come to your door to tell you about religion give you a pamphlet and go away. It's not like their actually expecting me to turn up and pretend to be personable.

My mother and I have had some doozey's of a Christmases over the years. There was the year she thought I was wearing too much black, I always wear a lot of black. Many mornings "we will all be late" because I am slow to get up/ready and I then have to go with out breakfast or a shower so we can be there on time for present opening because my aunt has demanded we all be there by 9am for it.
We arrive after 9, usually about half past, cousin is never out of bed when we arrive, then she has an hour in the bathroom followed by breakfast so we all sit and wait for her to be ready.
This time is usually spent with me making snarky remarks, I don't do well when I'm hungary.

Last year we were very late arriving for presents, because I was making breakfast which they'd all been told about. But all the family had opened their presents, bar my other aunt who'd kept the present from Mum aside to open when she arrived.
To my mum the fault lies with us for all "being extremly late".

About 9 years I had my first Christmas away from home I did Christmas dinner, I've seen the photos somewhere recently I took at the time of the tree and the table setting. I'm still not sure who that woman was that year but I wish she'd come back, I had lists, I had shopping lists, I had menus, I had recpies picked out. I was totally organised, I had shooping lists made up for each shop as I got closer to Christmas for what I could buy in advance and those lists of things that would have to be bought almost last day.
Then there was the Christmas I was too sick to eat anything let alone cook anything we had to stay home "in case I gave anybody else my germs" my mother informed everyone. The Chrsitmas Miss Stash and I had by ourselves, now that was fun! Alhtough I ate way too many of Nigella's Gingerbred Muffins for breakfast and was to Miss Stash's annoyance far too full to cook anything for lunch.
However I did have Prawns with Tequila Mayonaise for tea, Miss Stash dosen't eat prawns or mayo. She did however polish off the turkey which I don't eat. This was followed by Nigella's Massacre in a Snowstorm only we used fresh raspberries instead of pomegrante seeds.

I decided in July what I was going to do this Christmas, I like to plan early gives me time to decided what exactly I want to eat. I'm old, 31 and keep noticing white hairs while I brush my hair each day, further proof that I am getting old I am sure.
That's who I am, a grumpy old baggage who's had enough with white hairs, I don't want to sit around other people's houses waiting for the appointed time to go and sit at some one else's house and eat what someone else has decided to cook.

While I'm old enough to organise and do a Christmas lunch, I'm not yet old enough to appreciate going to someone ese's house and let them do all the work. Maybe in another 9 years I may feel differently.

In case I don't blog again before that fateful day that's looming ahead, look after yourselves and I want to say don't do anything I wouldn't do, but perhaps I should phrase that as don't do anything my mother wouldn't do. My mother is the height of respectability, she dosen't drink cocktails or eat cake at breakfast, she dosen't think dancing aorund your living room taking your clothes is actually a legit exercise and she certainly wouldn't be leaving Austin Powers style comments on the blog of a certain pro-wrestler who likes to talk about being in his hot tub naked, she wouldn't even be reading it in the first place.

And those my lovelies are just some of my lesser bad habits which I fully plan to not only keep in the new year but add too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Knitty...

The new Knitty is up and I am utterly fascinated at the construction and design of Spoke and Four Corners in Tokoyo.

Although I think something like Zora might be better suited for me to actually wear. But it's the accessories or small projects which will most likely be going onto a set of my needles in the near future.
Because I really really really like hats, neck warmers and penguins the very lovely Shroom, Duet, Burning Embers and Mr Popper are my top picks from this issue.

While the socks were lovely, I just don;t like knitting them, I find them quite tedious and boring. This amuses Miss Stash because I love knitting arm/wrist/hand warmers, but as I point out to her these things are exciting to knit!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Truer words have never been spoken...

I have become a fast and firm fan of Maven and her blog A Fabulously Good Life. And what can I say but the latest post is very true, I have so been behind that person on the phone at the checkout.

And given that everyone knows everyone in my home town and just about the whole state, not always a wise move!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Welcome to the Darkside!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Alright maybe not quite what it's all about, but sometimes I wonder, do those of who you don't dwell on the Darkside wonder what it's all about? Do you harbour secret thoughts that maybe the grass is greener, er, blacker, over here?

I read so many blogs and trawl various forums, as well as talking to people in that thing called real life and I must say I know fellow Darkside residents are out there I even occasionally see them in the streets of my own town.
While I know they exist I don't actually know them.

I've met a lot of people in my life at various times, in many various places, for many various reasons and even those I may have met once and never again they've all left an imprint on my life. The ones I consider myself most priveledged to have met, even if it was only the once, are those who are themselves, they dwell on their side much as I dwell on mine. And like me are probably interested in those who do dwell on the many other sides!
But their quite happy to dwell on their side, they are there being who they are, there's no posturing or pretense with them.

And while I look forward to the day when I meet one of my fellow residents and we can nod sagely at one another, because we know you understand so we don't have to tell each other. I am also very pleased to know (yes actually know, I've met you in real life!) a bunch of very cool people who continue to inspire me everyday, you make life well worth not just living but enjoying.

On that note my closing remarks today are, if you do decide to come visit on the Darkside and check it out for yourself, remember to B.Y.O torch! Oh and if you could, maybe also a spare bulb????

Monday, December 07, 2009

Nom nom nom nom....

Thanks to Martha and her Thanksgiving Hotline recipe booklet I am stoked to have found a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie. I love Pecan Pie and I love chocolate, this has to be win win here.
I'm also quite taken with the Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash with Praline Topping. Sounds delish.

Now I know following up on my last blog post, that I said I had another 2 magazines that I couldn't immediately put my hands on. Well, it turned out to be 5! Add to that another 2 I acquired on Friday and well that would be another 7 on top of the 13 I already had.
I still need Donna Hay, but then I am officially done.

Also inspirign me forward for Christmas and beyond in the cooking department is the very funny Maven over at A Fabulousy Good Life! and her accompanying blog on cooking The Kitchen Witch, I forget how I stumbled upon her blog someone linked to it somewhere. Mostly I am psyched about her Double Layer Pumpkin Cheescake.

Alright between an unexpected visitor and a demanding feline I am going to have to cut my blogging short for the moment.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

You'd better watch out!

It's officially December so I feel it is time to talk about my one of my other obsessions, which one I hear you cry? You have so many!

Which is all too very true so I thought I would take a picture to give you some idea of which one it is.

To be honest this is not all the bounty from this year, I know I have at least another 2 magazines I can not immediately put my hands on for this photo opportunity.
And I think I'd need to organize some sort of paparazzi style grainy distance shot to fit all the previous years collections in to show you how much this madness means to me.

My long time readers, provided they haven't passed away from old age, will know my lack of passion for the festive season. Bah humbug I say!

But in these glossy pages are a small bit of heaven, I am deep down secretly a bit of a Mrs Bucket. Alas real world poses those difficult things called "people".
"People" tend to fiddle with your stylish but not quite as slick as the magazine photo centerpieces, touch things, ask annoying questions like "What is it?" or my other favourite "What's in it?" or their late so your baked veg is cold and your salad warm.

As I flick through the glossy pages looking at the photos so many photos of the food and beautiful table settings, a common theme appears.
A lack of "people" in the photos, and do you know what I think it is?

Out there in magazine buying land are secretly more of you, more of you who are also looking at those peopleless photos all glassy eyed imagining getting your good china out of hibernation from the last ice age. Eyeing off floral centerpieces thinking yes, yes I could do that easy enough....
Come on! Admit it you know you love it.

In closing I will share with you my ultimate 10 steps to prepping for Christmas.
Step 1. Secure time alone with the decorations.
Step 2. Once alone with the decorations, adorn yourself with them, multiple strands of tinsel in varying thickness and colour slung non-chantly around your neck is an absolute must.
Step 3. Pop a CD of one-hit-wonder pop stars doing jaunty covers of carols into the CD player.
Step 4. Retrieve your plastic tree with lights still on from the corner where you popped it after last time. (Hint: Leaving your plastic Christmas tree up with lights still attached will save time next Christmas!)
Step 5. Be thrilled with self as you don't need to untangle lights like other poor fools.
Step 6. Pity the other fools.
Step 7. Artfully and carefully place decorations on tree, evenly spaced around unless one side will face a wall. In which case load everything on the front.
Step 8. Put lights on and cheer!
Step 9. Put a ridiculous Christmas hat on while you are still adorned with tinsel and make a cocktail.
Step 10. Sit down put your feet up, sip your cocktail and flick through your Christmas porn while debating if 18 side dishes is enough for your fantasy lunch or if you should squeeze in just one more....

Here's to a happy something for you all from the Darkside.