Monday, 24 December 2012

Preparations

Bloody Hell! If it rains much more I am going to apply my recently tested carpentry skills to building a boat. This morning the sky was a leaden grey and the rain was torrential. It was a good job that I was up early as Kathy H-R came knocking at the door shortly after eight to deliver the turkey.

First job of the day was to re-engineer the Christmas Tree stand following last year's regular fellings by the cats.* TP and I then climbed in to the Defender and headed over to the local Nursery to take advantage of the lousy weather and impending deadline. We came away with a lovely 7' Nordic Spruce at a knock down price and after letting it dry it was erected, placed in the living room and TP was left to decorate it.

I then braved the elements again and took T&M for a very soggy walk/wade around the Three Miler. After getting dry and having lunch I dragged a huge gammon joint from the fridge and put it in the jam kettle to simmer for a good three hours.

Whilst it was bubbling away 30% and I nipped in to the supermarket for a few last minute items and to see if there were any last minute deals to be had. We came away with another whole salmon for under £7 and a few other meaty bargains. The net result of this trip is that I then spent a further hour or so filleting fish and cubing beef steak. There were a couple of joints of pork too, but they were refrigerated and a cure will be started after Boxing Day. The Gammon joint was extracted from the pan, studded with cloves and liberally coated with honey and brown sugar. It was then glazed in the oven for twenty five minutes and came out looking gorgeous.

In the evening we were joined by 30%'s Mum, Dad and sister for the Village Carol Concert and supper. The former was relocated from a sodden Village Green to the firmer footing of the Doctor's surgery car park and whilst it may have been better underfoot I felt the setting did tend to take away some of the festive nature of the event.

With Dinner over our Guests departed and we settled down for a quiet evening. A couple of last minute presents were wrapped and that was it ... we were all ready for Christmas.
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* the tripod is now drilled and bolted to a 2' square board. There is no way the little sod will bring it down now unless he has worked out how to use a chainsaw.

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