Sunday, December 20, 2020

It's Almost Christmas!

 


Sunday afternoon and dusk is falling. The tree lights cast a soft glow in the quickly darkening room. Soon it will be time to draw the curtains and turn on more lights. Then I'll think about a light supper. 

My husband is ostensibly on vacation until after Christmas. However, he's been on the phone dealing with some health facility staffing issues related to the pandemic, and the weekend has not been very restful. Hopefully the next few days will be easier. 

I love setting a tea tray and carrying it into the living room for my husband and I to enjoy in the afternoon or evening. I usually just serve the teacup and saucer, but a tray makes everything just a wee bit more special. 


I'm so enjoying all the lights and decorations around the house just now. The little scene above was created for our grandchildren a few years ago. Most of them won't be able to play with it this year, but over the weekend young Iris came over to give her parents a break. I had so much fun introducing her to the three little mice and one hedgehog and their houses and toys. I must look for one more woodland creature to represent Cora in this scene. I've not spent a lot of time in stores just looking at things. 


The birds visiting our garden are so plentiful just now. I watch them alight and lift off as I work in the kitchen. Over the days of Christmas I do want to eat well, but I don't want to spend much time preparing. It's different when there's a crew of us pulling a big dinner together and there's lots of visiting while working. So I've made the turkey dressing and a braised cabbage dish and have them ready in the freezer. This afternoon I made 7 half-pints of cranberry sauce. The sweet potato dish can be done ahead, leaving not much to prepare for our dinner for two. 

On Christmas Eve we traditionally have a dish from Ecuador - ceviche - a sort of shrimp cocktail. I've prepared the sauce for it, and will share some with our son, who also enjoys it. Our eldest daughter is making some on the other side of town and will share it with her sister there. The children-in-law are not as fond of the dish as we are. 


Our weather continues wet and mild, although there is a drying trend towards mid-week. Not really any chance of snow, which I always long for. Instead, we have roses forming buds. 

The baking is done, most of the presents are wrapped, and I'm enjoying the last bits and pieces of Christmas preparations. There will be a house-cleaning this week, some more babysitting, and some arranging of gifts and food. All lovely, puttery delights that I so enjoy. I've crossed some items off my list as unimportant at this stage. Such a freeing gesture!

I wish you gentle moments of joy these days before Christmas. If you're feeling frazzled, make a tray of tea and a treat, and cross something off your list, too!

Linking with No Place Like Home hosted by Sandi. 

PS

One commenter from my last post asked for the scone recipe. Here it is, an easy-to-make recipe from Jean Pare, who published an extensive series of books in the 1980s. This recipe is from Muffins and More.

Rich Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour (450 ml)

½ cup white sugar (125 ml)

1 Tablespoon baking powder (15 ml)

½ teaspoon salt (2 ml)

½ cup butter, cool (125 ml)

1 egg

2/3 cup milk (150 ml)

 

Additional milk or cream for brushing tops

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

 

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. 

Beat egg with fork in small bowl; add milk. Pour into dry ingredients and stir to make a soft dough. Do not overmix. Pat into two 6-inch (15cm) rounds. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. 

Brush tops with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Score each circle into 6 pie-shaped wedges. Bake at 425 F (220 C) for 15 minutes until golden brown. Split and butter, or serve with strawberry jam or preserves, and whipped cream. 



21 comments:

  1. i hope you get to enjoy these last few days leading up to Christmas . I feel like Christmas is over, as we celebrated today. i say we, as in my son and granddaughter and I.We all live together, so we can at least be together for Christmas .

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  2. I like the display with the little hedgehog and mice. It's so cute. And the teacups on the tray are so pretty. The few sprigs of greenery in what might be a sugar dish is giving me the idea of taking a secateurs along on my walk in the park tomorrow.
    I hope these last days before Christmas will be more pleasant and restful.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  3. Your puttering sounds the perfect sort. Lovely that you can introduce Iris to all the Christmas traditions. Hopefully your husband gets time to relax. Enjoy your week. B x

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  4. These last few days are slowing down days for us. There is no need to rush to shops, we have everything we need. Mince pies are made, a cake is iced, and all I need to do is pick up fresh vegetables from the farm shop tomorrow. In a way it is a relief not to be planning anything else.
    Have a lovely peaceful Christmas, Lorrie.

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  5. Merry Christmas! I love your tea and tray! Very sweet special. We are basically ready here. I am going to be baking this week, to gift to friends and neighbors.

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  6. Your days and evenings sound wonderful. Just perfect for this time of year.

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  7. I'm in complete agreement that a tray--especially a silver one--elevates the tea time experience!

    Today is the first day of my 2-week vacation. YAY!!!

    Merry Christmas, Lorrie!

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  8. I do so hate it when I come to the bottom of my tablet and your posts have ended. They are such lovely posts!!
    Merry Christmas!
    Linda

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  9. Such lovely photos! The tea looks wonderful. So iconic.
    I love the mice!!!!

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  10. Oh Oh , thank you for the scone recipe!!!

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  11. Love the tea tray and cups...
    scones would be a lovely treat.

    Merry Christmas Lorrie

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  12. Lorrie, I was just thinking last night that I might enjoy baking some scones and here you are with a recipe. I pasted and copied it to Publisher and added your profile photo and your blog info as well as your scone photo. It is going straight into my three ring recipe file. Thank you. I know that they are going to be delicious. We are all having small cozy Christmas' this year. You with your hubby and me with my two dogs. Hopefully we can all gather with family next year.
    Merry Christmas, be safe and stay healthy.
    Connie :)

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  13. I know you enjoyed your time with little Iris, Lorrie. Your woodland scene is so sweet. Yes, I agree, tea on a tray does make it more special. I do that every single morning for myself. Thank you for the scone recipe, which I’m sure is a wonderful one. Merry Christmas blessings are sent to you and your family.

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  14. Your post is lovely!Merry Christmas!Thanks for the recipe,looks great!

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  15. Thinking more these days about cementing some traditions with our two grands. How sweet you had some time with Iris this past weekend. Enjoyed your post. Merry Christmas to your and yours!

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  16. Lorrie, your tea tray is lovely! The little jar of greenery makes it very inviting! I know I would enjoy it. The little hedgehog scene is as cute as a button and I imagine the little ones love playing with it. Those little things make such fond memories for our grandchildren. I'm so glad you had little Iris around your house on the weekend. I miss having the little ones around. At the moment, my littlest grandchildren live out your way but in the new year they will be moving closer to us. I can't wait! Thank you for your lovely post and for joining my party the past few weeks. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Lorrie! Christmas hugs...Sandi

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  17. Lovely post. Merry Christmas!

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  18. Lorrie, I love the idea of crossing a few things off the list! I have a tree, my nativity, my scented wax warmer and the yule log DVD in the player. The first time in 45 years I will not be with family for Christmas. Certainly different. Being alone is worth it if it means we can get a hold on the spread. Merry Christmas! Sylvia D.

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  19. Lorrie, your picture up top is so elegant, warm, and inviting. Yes, please to great recipes for scones ... one of my favorite things to create in the kitchen!

    May comfort and joy be yours this Christmas ...

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  20. I would love to play with the little mice and trees! I love little vignettes like that. And the scones sound wonderful. Enjoy your week. holiday hugs!

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  21. Lorrie, this was a lovely post and I thank you for the scone recipe. I don't think there is anything prettier than a lovely tray set for tea. Those little things always make my heart sing.
    When we lived in Virginia, my husband taught senior government classes. He had an exchange student from Ecuador and she taught the class and my husband about ceviche. My husband loved it and the young student gave Mike the recipe. We have made it often, mostly in the summer for some reason.

    Wishing you and your family a beautiful Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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