Thank goodness for online Christmas shopping, as I knew that I wouldn't be up to it otherwise (all the packaging gets reused or recycled).
I'm back on my feet now, but could only watch as the tree was trimmed. Last year I merrily bought a living tree, with great plans to use it every year - clever eh, but no - it's still alive, but not looking good enough to bring inside. So back to the beautiful shaped St John's Ambulance charity trees.
This year we decided to decorate with a marine theme in white and gold. A little gold spray paint brought these shells up beautifully - better than store bought if you ask me!
The gift wrap followed the theme with gold starfish that I stamped on salvaged white and brown papers, making little gift tags to match, and decorating with decorations that I have bought by the bag from a charity shop, and gold crepe paper - also from a charity shop.
We are having a very quiet Christmas day - mostly just Derek and me - so we're planning a picnic lunch at this spot. The forecast is for sunshine and the Pohutukawa trees are a mass of crimson. This is the estuary - the surf beach is on the other side of the houses.
Then Boxing day we are off to see the rest of the family.
I've managed to make some of the Christmas presents to go in their gift hampers - quite safe saying that here - no family will read this.
|Christmas Bark with pistachios and cranberries|
This White Chocolate, Pistachios and Cranberry Bark is so easy and so festive looking - you can find the recipe here.
I've had a great crop of beetroot already so found a recipe for Beetroot Chutney. I saw it only scored 3 stars out of 5, so I made so many changes to it that I think I can call it my own recipe. It's supposed to sit for 3 weeks to develop, but it tastes great already.
6 medium fresh beetroot
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
4 large green-skinned apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
10g fresh ginger - grated
1 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of malt vinegar (I used half malt, half white vinegar)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coarse cooking salt
8 peppercorns and 8 cloves in a mesh bag.
Boil, steam or bake the beetroot until tender, cool a little and peel off the skins. Chop, some finely, some a little bigger.
Combine apple, spices, onion, garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring at times.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add the beetroot and continue to simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes, or until the chutney is thick. Remove the bag of spices.
Spoon into hot sterilized jars, seal.
Refrigerate after opening
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. May 2017 bring a cleaner, greener, more peaceful world.