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On the thirteenth day of Christmas - News from Nowhere [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
shewhomust

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On the thirteenth day of Christmas [Jan. 7th, 2016|09:29 pm]
shewhomust
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Christmas isn't over until Phantoms at the Phil on Twelfth Night. So last night we went to the Lit & Phil, and were regaled with ghost stories by Gail-Nina Anderson, Sean O'Brien and Ann Cleeves: unusually, at least two of these were literally ghost stories, featuring actual ghosts, and if Gail's bogeyman wasn't a ghost as such, I think it would qualify as a phantom, a spectre - and it was very creepy. After which we had to go to Mario's and restore ourselves with black pudding.

And now it's over, and we have taken down the Christmas cards, which is pretty well all we do in the way of decorating. No tree, this year - I'd like to have a real tree, but going away just before Christmas makes it difficult to buy one at the right time.

The leftovers are mostly disposed of: there's chicken stock in the freezer, and duck fat in the fridge, but that's resources, not leftovers. Not to mention a large amount of blue Stilton, and a rather peculiar Christmas cake - I'm sure I baked it for as long as usual, but it is very soft and sticky: tastes good, if you like that kind of cake, and I do, but I'm nervous about offering it to other people.

It's been a very destructive Christmas. Not just the car (the garage tell us it will be repaired and returned to us on January 28th; until then we are to make do the the toy Citroën 'courtesy car' which doesn't like going up our hill); I have also - a real catastrophe - broken the coffee pot. It was empty, so I didn't get coffee everywhere, it just slipped between my hands, hit the side of the sink and a large piece detached itself. My pre-caffeinated state may have had something to do with this. Luckily we have a spare, an elegant glass pot given to us by weegoddess, and I am getting the hang of using the right quantities of coffee and water for me breakfast brew, but its slender neck can only accommodate the smaller filter, so it isn't ideal. I've started ccouring the charity shops.

I broke a wooden spoon, too (I think the pieces went on the fire).

There's also some leftover television to watch - time to go and work on that now.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-08 11:49 am (UTC)
Both Christmas cake and Christmas pudding are traditionally made the year before - the secret is to add enough alcohol.

There was duck confit (purchased in France) for New Year's Eve - hence the duck fat.
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2016-01-08 11:03 am (UTC)
My Christmas cake was a bit squidgy this year, too. I'm not sure whether I didn't bake it quite long enough (although it felt OK when tested) or was a bit too liberal with the brandy afterwards, but anyway, it tastes good.

Do you make a round or a square one? I switched to square a while ago when I realised it was easier to cut, but have never felt I've managed to bake it entirely evenly since, despite various papery devices to protect the corners.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-08 11:50 am (UTC)
I make a square cake - practically cubic! But next year I think I shall reduce quantities and use a loaf tin (or two) - not traditional, but easier to manage.
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[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2016-01-09 01:30 am (UTC)
We didn't have a Christmas pudding this year, since we went to Idaho, so that means no fried Christmas pudding the week after, alas. That's one tradition I've embraced completely.

I wish I hadn't taken Chaz away from Phantoms at the Phil. The one time I got to go was delightful (not to mention the dinner afterwards, which was the first time he told me he loved me).
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-10 11:43 am (UTC)
Phantoms without Chaz seemed very strange at first, and we weren't sure it would survive. But it seems to have taken on a life of its own - as phantoms do, I suppose...
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