Category Archives: Christmas Jumpers

Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Time…

In the run up to Christmas, you will find everything here from recipes to trivia and traditions…I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…You think about can the packaging be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

Don’t forget… on the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

christmas-46335_640

 

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Christmas is approaching, and to us, that means one thing: Stir-up Sunday.

My mum always used to put a silver sixpence in the pudding ...what are your family’s traditions past or present?

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it. In the UK the coin traditionally used was a silver ‘sixpence’. The closest coin to that now is a five pence piece!

silver sixpence

Photo credit: seriykotik1970 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

The tradition seems to date back to the Twelfth Night Cake which was eaten during the festivities on the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas (the official end of the Christmas celebrations). Originally a dried pea or bean was baked in the cake and whoever got it, was ‘king or queen’ for the night. There are records of this practice going back to the court of Edward II (the early 1300s). The bean was also sometimes a silver ring of a small crown. The first coins used were a Silver Farthing or penny. After WW1 it became a threepenny bit and then a sixpence.

My mother stopped when my dad chipped one of his teeth and I suspect there were many a chipped tooth from those customs…

You might also get other items (sometimes called ‘tokens’ or ‘favours’) placed in the Christmas Pudding which also meant to have special meanings:

  • Bachelor’s Button: If a single man found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • Spinster’s/Old Maid’s Thimble: If a single woman found it, they would stay single for the following year.
  • A Ring: If a single person found this, it meant you will get married in the following year! It can also mean you will be rich for the following year

A bit of history…

Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was originally like!

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th-century porridge called ‘frumenty’ that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines, and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. That sounds like a good idea as I can remember feeling extraordinarily bloated after our Christmas dinner and never wanting to move again.

Christmas Pudding

By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom as they could find no justification in the bible to celebrate and indulge in gluttony, drinking, and other such frivolous occupations… 

advert for plum pudding

 

Photo credit: Boston Public Library on Visualhunt / CC BY

 

In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today.

Christmas is also the time of many lists…I have lists everywhere or I did… I must admit as I have gotten older I have condensed them somewhat and of course, now we have the internet lists can be kept online accessible from your phone…Rather than digging down the bag for that elusive list, you know you had…

It was my dear blogging friend Dolly who reminded me of this she also has goodies like blueberry pie and other such yummies so please pay her a visit…So I found this one for you to download if you are a list person…Thank you, Carmia it is a pretty list and very functional…

Christmas Decorations…Pool Noodles…A great way to upcycle…

3-Holiday-DIYs-From-Pool-Noodles-14

Easy to make with lots of images even the kids could help…

https://chascrazycreations.com/3-holiday-diys-from-pool-noodles/

How many sleeps? 42 days, 11 hours and 42 minutes at the time of writing this…

Now my lucky American family and friends get to eat two Christmas dinners…First comes Thanksgiving …which had been celebrated on the last Thursday of November since the time of Abraham Lincoln. That was until as 1941 ended, when Roosevelt made the final permanent change, as he signed a bill making Thanksgiving Day fall on the fourth Thursday of November, regardless of whether it is the last Thursday of the month or not.

I like that Thanksgiving is before our Christmas as sometimes I find some yummy recipes which I haven’t tried before…as a cook I am always looking for new recipes…

happy-thanksgiving-4567939_640

I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x

That’s all for today …I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy..Share…x

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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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!

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

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Chocolate, Health, Recipes …Week ending 10th Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world first it was Halloween …I also have some Halloween pictures for you…Then Guy Fawkes, The election in the UK which I am following but will not be commenting on I will leave that to everyone else…Back to Haloween and let’s have a mop-up of the photos…

I don’t really know many people in the UK who are big on Halloween but Tori waves the flag for Halloween and her pumpkin pie looks very nice…This one is her very prettily decorated window and the rest you will find by clicking the link… there are photos of her fur babies and a recipe for the pie inc a vegan version of pumpkin pie…Enjoy!

Halloween window display with hanging bat, ghost, beware sign, maple leaf, frankenstein, candle, and pumpkins

I managed to find some Gingko nuts so I will be experimenting with some recipes…If anyone already has some tried and tested recipes with Gingko nuts please share…The rice was harvested last week down on the farm and it was a bumper crop this year…The taste of fresh new rice is very nice better than any that you buy…

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?

Monday… Recycling and environmental News…

I don’t think I will ever run out of anything to say on this topic for a long time…The chocolate industry is still having problems and using child labour now if that isn’t a reason to give chocolate I don’t know…

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

I talked about making your own recyclable and reusable Christmas decorations and also about the plastic waste of which there is lots of great news but also lots we can still do…Steve Tanham the man who is flying the flag for eco-bricks here has written a very good post with lots more information so don’t miss tomorrow’s post where all will be revealed…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/04/recycling-and-environmental-news-4th-nov-2019homemade-advent-calendar/

Tuesday…Christmas Crafts…

This was the first post in my Christmas run-up…gently easing you in…haha…Some more ideas for Christmas crafts and my recipe for Sweet Mincemeat just in case you missed it…I have just found a yummy looking recipe for mince pies with cinnamon swirls… it looks like I will be busy in the kitchen for the next few weeks… well until after Christmas now I would say…

lady reading recipe book with wooden spoon in hand

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

I have had a little lull what with my laptop woes which just threw me a little and various other little hiccups but I am now back on track…I have my cooking head firmly in place again…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/05/christmas-crafts-d-i-y-crackers-advent-calendars-sweet-mincemeat/

Wednesday…one of my favourite posts where I can indulge myself and anything goes…

This week was no different there was stone soup…Have you heard of that? I hadn’t, pantomime, Simon & Garfunkle…I mentioned the Spice Girls and Harry Potter…The Charade…A short story…It was also National Fig week with recipes…Pop over and have a read you may find something of interest or which will make you smile and remember…

figs-2662883_1920

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/06/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-17/

Thursday…Frozen Shoulder…

Not something thankfully I have experienced but I know many who have and it is by all accounts extremely painful…Sally from Smorgasbord Health has herself suffered from a frozen shoulder…In this post, she explains …

Why do so many people in their 50s suffer from a frozen shoulder?

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/smorgasbord-health-column-why-do-so-many-people-in-their-50s-suffer-from-a-frozen-shoulder-by-sally-cronin/

Friday…The final part of Store Cupboard Basics…Dried herbs and stock ( Bouillon) cubes…

Although I use mainly fresh herbs and make my own stock…There is always a time when dried is best especially in baking and sometimes we need some stock quickly and maybe we haven’t time to defrost some or have run out hence it is always a good idea to have a small stock.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/08/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-dried-herbs-and-stock-bouilloncubes/

Saturday…Loy( Loi) Krathong…

A Thai Festival which dates back 6,000 years…It is a beautiful festival I mean water, candles, flowers and beautiful girls however as ancient as it is I am pleased that certain things as in the making of the Krathong are being changed.

This is our little grandaughter with her Krathong made from banana leaves and fresh flowers…Isn’t it pretty?

 

I am certain all those years ago natural products were used and then with the invention of styrofoam things changed and now it is changing again as styrofoam does not decompose and neither do the steel nails used. The bases are being made now from either bread or banana tree stems and if wooden nails or little stakes were used to fix them together that would be a real step in the right direction but the signs are positive…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/09/thailand-loyloi-krathong/

Thank you for reading have a great weekend xx

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 well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a relaxing weekend xx

 

Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

Welcome …The big day is nearly here so I guess this will be the last Christmas Traditions and Treats for this year…I would like to thank everyone who has commented and contributed to these posts it has mad the time spent writing them very worthwhile and I have also got to know some of you that little bit better.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Christmas Jumper Corner

This week is a bumper week I have two photos of my great nieces in their jumpers and are they, not the cutest little people just gorgeous and of course my nearly resident guest ( he featured) most weeks the lovely Hugh… 

………………

 

♦♦♦♦♦

 

My two Christmas menus have been a great hit over at Sally’s and Sally herself in her 12 days of Christmas has pulled out a few nice dishes…This one has a lovely recipe for eggnog and Jacquie Biggar who is featured also today posted her recipe for eggnog french toast...Yummy is not the word it looks awesome…How about that for a Christmas Morning breakfast?

Did you know? I didn’t until recently and I think it is so lovely…

NORAD’s “Santa Tracker” was started quite by accident due to a misprint in the newspaper. A 1955 Sears advert was supposed to print the number of a store where children could call and tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

The number printed was to the hotline of the Director of Operations for the U.S. Continental Air Defense. Colonel Harry Shoup ordered his staff to give the children updates on the flight coordinates of Santa.

That was how this tradition began and continues until this day. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) continues to provide flight updates on local news, the Internet, and even a special iPhone application every Christmas.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Father Christmas or Santa Claus is what I have always known the man in the red suit as…Not so in the rest of the world, Santa goes under a few different guises…

Today I am going to take you on a little trip around the world just to give you a flavour of the foods served and how some of the customs vary from what we know..all very interesting, some delicious foods and the different names our beloved Father Christmas is called…

Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person ( or was he?) who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas.

Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.

Two of his names — Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas — both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago.

The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honoured this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time.

England, of course, knows him as Father Christmas… Turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, mince pies, Christmas pudding and trifle being favourite foods at Christmas.

In Brazil, he is called Papai Noel… or Bom Velhinho (Good Old Man).

The Christmas meal is also served on the evening of the 24th rather than the 25th and consists of a Chester( chicken)  Salted cod balls, no roast potatoes but cold potato salad and instead of gravy farofa, a mix of fried cassava flour and chopped bits of crispy bacon. Cabbage is replaced by kale heavily flavoured with salt and garlic.

A custom in Brazil which I am sure that many would love to have that same custom where they live is that it is common in Brazil to get a ’13th salary’ at the end of the year – i.e. in December you get twice the normal amount of pay for that month!

The idea is to help boost the economy around Christmas. This has been going on for decades and most people don’t even question that other countries might not do it!

Favourite Christmas foods in Brazil include pork, turkey, pork, ham, salads and fresh and dried fruits. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoon of “farofa” (seasoned manioc flour.) Popular Christmas desserts include tropical and ice cream.

Hawaii the jolly, white-bearded man is called  Kanakaloka he, however, does not wear the traditional red suit we all know and love but flowery Hawaiian clothing…

And on the Christmas menu here it is a traditional lu’au, complete with a pig roasted in an underground pit, chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon accompanied by the traditional Hawaiian music and Santa arrives in a red canoe…

How cool is that???

In Hungary, the  Winter grandfather( Mikulas) comes on the 25th and only to good children and there is no jolly Mrs Christmas but a scary assistant called “Krampusz”…

Christmas fare in Hungary is Fish soup, stuffed cabbage, fried fish and rice, other meats(Pork, Chicken) an elaborate fruit topped Christmas cake, gingerbread cookies, Bejgli with walnut or poppy seeds( which is the traditional Hungarian Christmas cake)

India Baba delivers presents from a horse and cart and of course, the menus are spicy with spicy dumplings and curries, Biryani, poda, mathri and lots of other yummy sweet dishes.

 

Lastly, in Italy, he is called  Babbo Natale… Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue???

There is no Christmas like an Italian Christmas…Christmas Eve sees the feast of the seven fishes swordfish, tuna, salmon, octopus salad, smelts, calamari, spaghetti with clam sa

Christmas Eve sees the feast of the seven fishes swordfish, tuna, salmon, octopus salad, smelts, calamari, spaghetti with clam sauce and the famous Italian classic—salted cod, known as baccalaFollowed by the sweet treats galore biscotti, pandoro, torrone (nougat candy) and almost always a candied loaf of panettone…

The Christmas day lunch lasts for hours..those Italians can certainly eat…

I think I will stop there… Because after Christmas there is Boxing day..phew that is some eating fest…

I hope you enjoyed this little trip around the world…

What are your Christmas traditions????

Over at John Reibers House, it is going to be his delicious potato dish and one I am definitely going to try as it looks just awesome…

Cooking An Iconic Paris “Potato Cake!” Yes, I Tackled The Chez L’Ami Louis “Gateau de Pommes de Terre” Recipe!

Did you know?

You can thank Prince Albert for your Christmas tree.

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