Category Archives: Christmas Drinks

Christmas Traditions, Treats and a little Trivia…

 

Welcome to this week’s additions of Christmas treats and traditions…Not long now and I have sprouts and parsnips bought over from the UK so I am a happy bunny…

How are your preparations going are your presents all wrapped? Shopping is done? Tree decorated? If so well done…

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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…

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

In India however, Instead of having traditional Christmas Trees they do 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’.

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Did you know? Christmas was illegal in England between 1647 and 1660 as Puritan Oliver Cromwell deemed it to be immoral to hold a celebration on one of the churches holiest days.

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Did you know? “The Night of the Radishes” is one of the annual Christmas customs in Oaxaca, Mexico. On December 23rd, The Night of the Radishes (Noche de Los Rábanos in Spanish) is an annual event in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, dedicated to the carving of oversized radishes. The event has its origins in the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Oaxaca has a long wood carving tradition and farmers began carving radishes into figures as a way to attract customers’ attention at the Christmas market, which was held in the main square on December 23. In 1897, the city created the formal competition. As the city has grown, the city has had to dedicate land to the growing of the radishes as the event has become very popular attracting over 100 contestants and thousands of visitors. However, since the radishes wilt soon after cutting the works can only be displayed for a number of hours, which has led to very long lines for those wishing to see the works.

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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 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.

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Christmas Jumper Corner:

Empty!

No one sent me any pictures…Boo Hoo…Sob…

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Turkey…In the Uk approx 76% of homes serve up a turkey in the US it is a staggering 46 million turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving and 22 million at Christmas but at least you can just put the turkey in the oven and enjoy your celebrations…Not so easy for some  The Puerto Rican national dish is the roast suckling pig known as lechón, and this almighty beast needs the more-or-less constant attention of at least two people as it slowly turns on an outdoor spit from as early as two in the morning.

To while away the long hours cranking the handle with a coconut shell full of coquito, a festive Puerto Rican spin on eggnog made with coconut milk, condensed milk and a hearty dash of rum is somewhat of a consolation…

Who remembers eggnog? Who still drinks eggnog…I haven’t had it for years… I remember my nana giving me a sneaky sip of hers sneaky because I think it may have had a little something added…lol

For the recipe courtesy of Sally @ Smorgasbord…
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Just in case you missed it my traditional Christmas Menu was published on Wednesday…
If you are like me  I always like to have at least one new dish on the Christmas Dinner table I hope you find at least one new dish here to try…Enjoy!

 

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

My Weekly Roundup…Kiviak and Chrismas Jumpers…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…They are all together here for your enjoyment. It is also a very busy time buying pressies, wrapping pressies and decking the house inside and out if you are one of those people who put up all those lovely lights…Then thank you as I used to enjoy getting in the car and driving around it is so lovely seeing some of the house so very festive and pretty…If you are one of those then please send in your pictures we would love to see them…

Time to sit down take a well-earned rest and enjoy!Carbon Footprints

Deforestation...Started as a plea to raise awareness of the plight of the Orangutan…But the picture which is evolving is showing that the problem is so much bigger than that… The response has been both enlightening and pleasing …

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/26/deforestation-and-our-carbon-footprint/

Eat Smart Eat Healthily is my last post on this subject this side of Christmas as many of you have done so well and eating is to be enjoyed so I left you with just a few hints and tips on how you can both enjoy guilt-free festivities and still enjoy that Christmas pudding x See you in the New Year.

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/27/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets/

It was over to Sally’s for health tips and recipes …The Lovely Cranberry…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cranberries-bittersweet/

Waste Not, Want Not! Is proving to be a popular topic and the response has been awesome…I am loving what I am learning and much more about what is going on in the world…

fresh compost green wastehttps://blondieaka.com/2018/11/29/waste-not-want-not-part-7/

Likewise with my monthly posts and my serial on the Culinary Alphabet over at Esme’s Salon…This month it was the letter K and I tried to find some festive dishes and failed but I hope I found some interesting little snippets for you.

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-k/

Friday’s Christmas treats and traditions is proving to be popular and I wish to thank everyone for their contributions and there are more unknown facts coming up this week… They just keep coming xxx Isn’t he cute?

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/30/christmas-traditionstreats-and-festive-fun/

Lastly, with all that rich food… no one likes a dodgy tummy…Do we? So pop over to Sally’s and see how you can avoid it…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-dairy-leaky-gut/

Thank you so much for reading these posts I do hope you have enjoyed them…Until next time Take care, have fun and enjoy the festive season xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

Christmas Recipes…Drink anyone???

christmas-1695531_1920

Day 8 of my Christmas recipes and today I thought I would you some liquid refreshments to make ….they would make a lovely gift in a nice bottle with a bow or some other decoration… make 2 and keep 1 without leaving home a lovely way to beat the  Christmas rush…

I hope you enjoy and if you have a favourite homemade Christmas tipple then please let me know…

Irish Cream:

Ingredients:

10 oz Irish Whiskey

1/2 pt whipping cream

1 can condensed milk.

2 eggs.

11/2 tbsp Chocolate syrup.

1/2 tbsp each of, Vanilla Extract, Coconut Extract, and Chocolate Extract.Home made Baileys

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice.

Now isn’t that easy? and …you can get about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Baileys…yay……

Homemade tonic for your gin???

gin-2126375_1920

 

My favourite Tanqueray Gin no less and a tonic recipe ..you will never ever pull that metal ring and pour it over your gin again…This is sublime, the ultimate in a mixer and just what gin deserves and no I am not including the recipe for you…you will have to pop over to Chez’s blog and find it…haha…….Now you can all guess what I will be making this weekend 😉 If I can get Cinchona bark which gives the quinine flavour of tonic…..but Chez has it covered if you can’t she has given us the link to a man who can!

Limoncello.

vodka-49412_1920

Ingredients:

  • I litre bottle of your favourite vodka
  • 10 Lemons
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 cups of granulated sugar

Let’s Brew!

Well, lets cook wasn’t really appropriate …Was it???

First, wash and peel those lemons and put the peels in a glass container ( big) enough to also hold the litre of vodka.

Leave to soak for at least 10 days. then drain off the liquid and dispose of the peels.

Make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water, cool and add to the lemon/vodka mixture. using a clean coffee filter strain the liquid…Voila!

You now have your own homemade Limoncello…

This last one is a lovely non-alcoholic apple-based drink.

  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 mace blade
  • 2 whole cloves
  • small strip fresh ginger
  • 1 clementine with the peel very finely zested.
  •  100 gm golden castor sugar

Let’s Cook!

Heat the apple juice with the whole spices, ginger, clementine zest and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then strain the syrup into small bottles.

Refrigerate until required and serve in a glass with some apple slices and ice or warm with a stick of cinnamon it is also lovely drizzled over ice cream.

All of these could be given as a lovely Christmas present and everyone loves a gift which is made by your own fair hands much nicer isn’t it????

 

Until tomorrow when I will be back with some more Christmas treats…