Well, here I am, back to work after a four day weekend. We’ve just had Thanksgiving, so now the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. And would you believe there wasn’t s single scrap of crafting over the last four days? Fraid it’s true! Instead I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm, I made stuff every single day apart from yesterday! It started last Wednesday evening when I made the pastry for a Pecan Pie, and then decided to go ahead and make the pie too. On Thanksgiving Day I cooked our lovely roast dinner with all the trimmings, and then decided to use up the pastry I had left from making the pie and so knocked up a batch of Almond Slices. Earlier in the day I had asked Andrew to see how much Christmas Mincemeat we had left on the shelf in the basement, it was only a small jar and he brought it upstairs…. I had some pastry trimmings still left and a little jar of mincemeat staring me in the face! Inevitable really! I had really good intentions of freezing the little pies to save precious time nearer the big day… but I didn’t, and now they’re half gone! Oh well, I had good intentions I really did!


The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the year, the day when the stores open at 5am (or earlier!), and people get killed in the stampede for a cheap TV or something utterly pointless. Us? We had ourselves a nice leisurely breakfast at home and then popped into a couple of shops that weren’t usually part of the bedlam and got through all of the items on our list in relatively quick order, and then finished up by stocking up on a long list of required groceries, mainly for more baking! My baking for Friday consisted of Almond Shortbread (can you tell we like Almonds in this house??), and my so called Christmas Cookies which I blogged about earlier, click the link for photos and the recipe. We did get one excellent bargain though, I always place three Poinsettia’s in the hall, and the Black Friday special at Home Depot was wonderful, dark red Poinsettias on sale for 99cents each, instead of $3.99.


Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, but cold, much colder than of late. About time really, it’s been so mild here that it’s been hard to convince ourselves that Christmas really is just around the corner, but the lovely frost and blue sky looked so seasonal, so we bundled up and had a nice stroll through the woods behind where we live. After a quick coffee to warm up I got on with the days events in the kitchen, I really think I only took my pinny off this past weekend to go to sleep! I was a regular little Delia! My creations for Saturday was a good batch of mincemeat, now sitting in sterilised Kilner jars in the basement to mature for a couple of weeks. Of course, the fact that I topped up the jars with brandy is going to go a long way to help with that maturity, hic! Next on the list was the Christmas Cake. I haven’t made one in years, but felt like reviving the old tradition again this year. It’s a bit late, should have made it a couple of weeks ago, but we’re only just decided to stay in America again for Christmas, completely due to the greed of the airlines who’ve jacked their ticket prices up to $1200 a person, that’s 900 quid each! Absolute daylight robbery! Add to that he cost of hiring a car, petrol to drive all over England to see people, the cost of a guesthouse in two places, plus the inevitable eating out here and there along with spending money soon makes it a very expensive trip. So bah humbug to Northwest Airlines and we’ll be spending Christmas at home this year! At least we’ll have a lovely Christmas cake to tuck in to!


Sunday I had a rest from baking (but not from eating!) and we headed out to Home Depot and picked up our lovely tree for the season. It’s now sitting in our open dining “nook” between the kitchen and family room, where it will soon be looking all sparkly and glittery. Orange slices for decoration are slowly drying in front of the fire, and I’ve been eyeing up the potential tree trimmings to use in displays around the house. But not for a few days though as I really like to let it settle before I start to decorate it. We also put up some Christmas lights outside, and will do the two conifers by the front door tonight.


So, a lot of things were achieved this weekend, just a pity I didn’t have any time for card making, but I hope to remedy that this week!  I did receive some lovely news though from the sweet people who run the Penny Black Challenge Blog that I’ve been making cards for lately.  Well I’ve only been picked as one of last weeks winners and have won a really sweet PB stamp to add to my small, but growing, collection.  I was tickled pink I can tell you!   Hopefully I’ll be back later in the week with some more festive posts.