The magic which is Christmas...I try although it is hard when it is sunny and no one else celebrates it…But Chrismas is in my soul and I hope that I can share some of the magic I have always felt with you and of course make you remember and smile…
It made me so happy to know I did just that for Joy…who said…What a great, warm ‘hug’ of a rich Christmas post to keep out the chill. Bravo, Carol. Jingle Bells…Being in my 80’s, those early Christmases were really memorable as we all visited each other a lot more. I always helped my mother decorate the Christmas cake with silver balls, little fir trees and the like and, of course, we made our own paper-chain decorations. Happy, memorable times.
Thank you so much Joy for that lovely comment please pop over and have a read of Joy’s lovely… Letters from Spain where she merges the now with the past…xx
Like Joy, I remember the cake decorations coming out year after year those same silver balls, fir trees, the snowman, and a Father Chrismas…
Last week I explored Father Christmas and the traditions which surrounded him around the world…I was struck by how in Britain we don’t have such lovely tales surrounding Father Christmas to tell our children and grandchildren… we left the customary carrot and mince pie which was always gone in the morning leaving just a few pastry crumbs on the plate.
This week I will be telling you about the Russian Father Christmas courtesy of Dear Dolly from koolkosherkitchen ...The tale of Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snegurochka (the Snow Girl)…A beautiful ice sculpture with Snegurochka.
Dolly said that… Historically, it was Peter the Great who brought this holiday into Russia, the tree and all. However, in Russian tradition, Nicholas is the patron saint of thieves and smugglers, so Peter arbitrarily called him Grandfather Frost. The Snow Girl was added a bit later, to keep him company. Also, instead of deer, his sled is driven by a “troika” of snow-white horses.
Dolly also went on to tell me that ...Peter literally “dragged Russia into Europe by the beard,” i.e. he would ride around with a pair of scissors, swoop into houses of high aristocrats, grab their beards and cut them off, then stuff them into their own pockets. They had no choice but to become clean-shaven, as the European fashion demanded. Grandfather Frost was the only one allowed to have a beard.
How exciting was all that?… Thank you, Dolly xxx
Egg Nog… I really didn’t realise how popular egg nog still was…I am loving how many Christmas traditions are still being upheld…It got me thinking…dangerous I know…haha…
But as a young girl, I was taken with my friend to visit her grandmother who lived in London…in one of the old terraced houses with a parlour…While thinking about past Christmases and what I can bring to this post in the way of memories I remember Julie’s nan giving us a tincy wincy in a shot glass taster of Green Goddess…I can just remember the vibrant green colour and the bottle so off I go to Mr. Google…
As soon as I saw the images I recognised the bottle but nothing else…Can you guys remember drinking Green Goddess or still drink it…It seems to be a type of Absinthe and with fennel seeds which are also an aniseedy taste …I have also come across the French translation which means Green Fairy…Established at Pontarlier in eastern France by Henri-Louis Pernod, the first distillery produced Pernod Absinthe, a liqueur made from anise, fennel, mint, and wormwood. The drink quickly caught on in Paris and became a favourite among artists and painters.
This guy has an interesting piece of equipment…I love pieces like this I find them interesting..there are proper glasses and spoons…so cool…
Do you remember Green Goddess or Green Fairy?
Stuck for what to give for a Christmas Present...Home Made Chutney is always well received and this one is very popular among my friends…
Chilli and Tomato Chutney is a wonderful thing.
This lovely vibrant chilli and tomato chutney gets hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…Lovely with your cold meats on Boxing Day…
- 500 gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
- 4 large red chilli..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chillies.
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
- An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 300 gm of sugar golden or brown.
- 100 ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce.
Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chilli and ginger.
Blitz…I love that word…
Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.
Pour into warm sterilised jars with secure lids.
I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.
This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They normally return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol
Did you know? Today is National Ding-a-Ling Day…I know what you are thinking…haha…
National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.
Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while. It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbour from years ago. Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer. How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. What was their name? There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me. Sometimes it is those who are near and dear to us who maybe we don’t call as often as we should… Why don’t you join the Ding-a-ling club and call?
HOW TO OBSERVE
Call someone you haven’t heard from in a long time and use #NationalDingALingDay to post on social media.
Come on make someone happy…xxx
That’s all for today…See you tomorrow at my house for some more Christmas recipes and titbits…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…
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