Saturday Snippets…12th December 2020

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I engage my whimsey and kitsch well it is that time of year…Christmas is not celebrated here and there are even fewer nods to Christmas here in the North of Thailand …I do believe Christmas is for kiddies and try to keep the magic going although this year methinks Covid has highjacked any hopes of buying anything the least bit festive …

Of course, I will bring out the Christmas kitsch and decorations when Lily arrives for Christmas…in the meantime I haven’t dispensed with the making of the cake, puddings, sweet mincemeat and pickles because we love all of those…and just in case you haven’t it is not too late…

I have decided I will make some sweeties aka Coconut ice and fudge as gifts for the neighbours alongside some mince pies and sausage rolls…

Here many of the bars and restaurants have published their Chrismas menus from the traditional as I know it… to the Italian and Indian Christmas fare…something for everyone…

My turkeys have been given a reprieve this year and I have decided that given we have hardly been out at all this year… we will opt for a traditional Britsh Christmas Dinner cooked by a lady who I will say makes Christmas dinner as close to mine as I have eaten in a restaurant…She is a great cook.

I am opting for the crab cakes and the traditional fare shared with Lily as I know there will be far too much for me although the men and Aston always help me out they love their roast tatties…

Today is National Ambrosia Day…Yes, I know …a day for everything…What immediately sprang to my mind was Ambrosia Creamed Rice which I used to love…That creamy rice loaded with sugars and preservatives …

What I didn’t know is that I couldn’t have been further from the truth it is a type of Apple…originating from British Columbia, Canada it was one of those chance seedlings that popped up on the Mennell family’s orchard…The Ambrosia Apple…

As it is low in acid it is a good apple for both the kids and the elderly…easier to digest…to retain its crispness it also is better kept in the fridge…

In Greek mythology, Ambrosia is also known as the “Food of the Gods”

What I also discovered was that in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink there is a dessert made from fruits, sugar and grated coconut which is very popular in the Southern states…

It reminds me of Eton Mess type kind of dessert…Do you have memories of eating Ambrosia Salad?

Let’s have some music…A tune or two…

Silent Night is one of my all-time favourite Christmas Carol’s  The song has been recorded by many singers across many music genres… “Silent Night” has been recorded at least 733 times over the past 36 years alone.

This weeks rendition is from Rod Stewart…

I could listen to Rod Stewart all day long I have been a fan of him since forever…Silent Night is one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s…Enjoy!

Christmas Corner:

The Christmas tree …I have seen a few magazine headings saying real or artificial? I have always had a real tree and that was that… Like many things Christmas…You don’t get a real tree here and somehow a palm or banana tree although they look very nice with lights on are a tad too big to bring inside…So it is now artificial I am also the only one for miles around who has a decorated tree in the window…

I know but I reckon that if I keep trotting it out each Christmas for the next 20 plus years that advances will be made to recycling and my tree can be safely recycled.

For me, however,, there is nothing as pretty as a tree covered in the snow such a beautiful sight.

In India however, Instead of having traditional Christmas Trees, they decorate banana or mango trees.

In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbours that Jesus is the light of the world.

Christians in Mumbai use many Christmas traditions from Goa including the star lanterns and the stable manger scenes.

In India, Father Christmas or Santa Claus delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. He’s known as ‘Christmas Baba’ in Hindi, ‘Baba Christmas’ in Urdu (Father Christmas); ‘Christmas Thaathaa’ in Tamil and ‘Christmas Thatha’ in Telugu ( Christmas old man); and ‘Natal Bua’ (Christmas Elder Man) in Marathi. In Kerala state, he’s known as ‘Christmas Papa’.

Did you know? The Advent wreath began in Germany as a Lutheran tradition but eventually spread to other Christian denominations, including the Catholic and Episcopalian Churches. The evergreen wreath traditionally has four candles around the edge to mark the four weeks before Christmas and a white candle in the centre (to be lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day). It may also be adorned with berries or pinecones.

The weekly lighting of each candle may be accompanied by prayer, Christmas carols, and/or snacks such as stollen or mulled wine of which I have some fond memories of sipping while I walked around the Christmas Market a lovely tradition.

Mulled Wine.

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle/750 mL red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)
  • 1 orange (peeled and sliced; keep peel to add zest to taste into a cooking pot)
  • 1/4 cup brandy ish…lol
  • 8 to 10 cloves or 5-star anise
  • 1/3 cup honey (or sugar)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger

Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has dissolved completely. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended it is ready to serve.

♦♦♦♦♦

Christmas Adverts:

One of the highlights of Christmas for me …

A recap of John Lewis ad’s over the years…

Conservation and recycling:

Christmas is one of the worst times for waste and the amount of packaging we need to recycle…Please think hard before you buy as much of it is either non-recyclable and will end up in landfill…

With just a little extra effort and imagination and as many of you are writers that should come extra easy this means we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season.

How can we do that? we can buy less, buy smart, think green, choose a live tree and replant it after Christmas, A homemade card will always be treasured, alternative ways of wrapping(last) weeks post, reuse and recycle.

I know that as our shopping trips have been curtailed year it has made many of us rethink and come up with alternative ways to shop and make … I think we are becoming a nation of bakers again like our ancestors…I have never really been a baker more of a savoury cook …

However, I have learnt so much this year about baking and flours, how oven temps can make an incredible difference to the end bake as does accurate measuring of ingredients and don’t get me started on the humidity.

However, a homemade Christmas gift is always the best one to receive…

But all this is great as we are now in the position to become far greener… healthier by cooking from scratch and supporting local businesses.

We waste less so the statistics tell us due to Covid...Christmas however can set us back as we naturally buy more and waste more…

Some of the statistics surrounding Christmas waste are astonishing. According to Wildlife and Countryside, around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK over the Christmas holiday…over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas.

Worse still, a small percentage of those (around 5%) will be thrown away – they won’t even be regifted, sold or given to charity!

And what about the food? Well over four million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year – that’s equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 11.3 million roast potatoes.

Fun Fact:

France is widely known for its food and delicacies. People in the Provence region even go so far as to serve a sumptuous feast of seven main courses and 13 desserts at Christmas! Among the most popular festive dishes are Fougasse (pancakes), nougat with honey and pistachios, pumpkin pie and dried fruits.

Time for a nap after all that…methinks..x

Bloggers Corner:

Hot of the press…New Book Release…Life is like a bowl of cherries…sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet…A book of short stories by Sally Cronin…

It would make a wonderful stocking filler or just because …Make sure you get your copy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/12/12/new-book-release-shortstories-life-is-like-a-bowl-of-cherries-sometimes-bitter-sometimes-sweet-by-sally-cronin/

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippets…I hope you have enjoyed this Christmasy post … so please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us xxx

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe …xx

 

 

47 thoughts on “Saturday Snippets…12th December 2020

  1. Jennie

    The tall pine trees with snow are gorgeous. Love the John Lewis ads, especially the one with the bear and the rabbit. How wonderful that you can be with Lily this Christmas. Merry Christmas to you, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I agree ,Jennie pine trees and snow are glorious…John Lewis for a big retailer does it best for me and Lils such a joy to be with we are so lucky …Merry Christmas Jennie Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…6th December-12th December…Recipes, Whimsy and Christmas…Oh Yeah! … | Retired? No one told me!

  3. koolkosherkitchen

    Lovely post, der Carol! We have a lady in our community who loves to entertain and always serves Ambrosia fruit salad for dessert , but she layers fruit with whipped cream and shredded coconut is a topping – delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        I love your logic…That is one thing I have learnt here in Thailand instead of being recipe driven I have adopted the Thai way…Thais always look for alternatives if they haven’t got a particular ingredient the best way to cook…sometimes it works and others it doesn’t but it opens up possibilities and improves your palate…x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Smith

    The video for Ambrosia salad didn’t work on my computer, Carol. Maybe I can find it on YouTube. I’m going to miss wandering around a Christmas Market with a glass of mulled wine this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I for one have never tasted or heard of it but it seems many of you have Liz, just based on ingredients I am guessing it would not be something I would like very much too sweet but interesting how popular it is 🙂 Have a great weekend 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. OIKOS™-Editorial

    National Ambrosia Day?? Lol I hope you dont mean the herb with this name. Our farmers will kill you. Lol This herb has the behaviour of nettles on human skin. 😉 They definitely dont like it, here. Funny Christmas, yes, at least for children fun. So true, its never to late to bake, buteven not to eat. 😉 Thank you for another great posting, Carol! Enjoy your weekend,and i am sorry for missing Christmas in Northern Thailand. Would you not establish this there? 😉 Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      In my own little world I have created Christmas here…in all honesty I quite like the understated low key Christmas it is less frantic… we call that herb hogweed and it is not liked wherever it grows and can cause bad reactions to the skin …I agree with your farmers…Enjoy your weekend, Michael x

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      Reply
  6. Jim Borden

    nice to see you keeping the Christmas tradition alive, even though no one around you is.

    The Rod Stewart video would not work for me, I am sure it is a good one.

    Thanks for the video of all the John Lewis adverts – they aere so good.

    And that French meal -with 13 desserts – wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I’ll check the Rod stewart video …I also liked the John Lewis adverts some I had forgotten it was nice to recap…I know Italy is about the same so many courses I struggle with just two courses …

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Darlene

    Mom always made Ambrosia Salad at Christmas and so did grandma. It is very popular on the Canadian prairies. My brother in Chiang Mai always has a Christmas tree too. So you are not the only one! I just bought Sally´s new book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That’s good to hear, Darlene I’m pleased someone else puts one up…Do you like Ambrosia Salad? is it really sweet …I saw one recipe which used fresh fruit rather than tinned which I guess would cut the sweetness …I’m sure Sally’s book will do well …Thanks Darlene 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Darlene

        As kids we loved it. I may find it a bit sweet now. Fresh fruit would be better but that was hard to find in the winter on the prairies at that time. It was a nice treat and comes with good memories.

        Liked by 2 people

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