How’s everyone holding up? Here at Hotly Spiced Headquarters we (mostly me) feel we’re drowning. With just one sleep to go before Christmas Eve and about 10 days of preparation to do, I’m clutching my worry beads.
One of the things we had to fit into yesterday’s schedule was a trip to Terminal 2 at Sydney’s domestic airport. No, we weren’t going anywhere nor were we picking anyone up, but Carl’s parents were flying from the Sunshine Coast to Canberra with a three-hour pit-stop in Sydney. Totally ridiculous when the entire flight takes no more than an hour and a half but there you go, some people don’t mind taking all day to do something that can be done in a couple of hours.
We rushed from a Christmas Brunch which was really enjoyable and I made this fairly-bread Christmas tree for all the children to enjoy and they certainly did enjoy it as it disappeared in just a couple of minutes. I found the idea on my friend, Carolyn’s blog, Desire Empire. The day was as hot as Hades but Alfie was nice and cool as there was a swimming pool and that was where he spent most of the morning.
Anyway, rushing home from that we packed up the presents for those relatives living in Canberra that we won’t be seeing this Christmas and headed to the airport. As is fairly standard, when we arrived we tried to contact Carl’s parents to find out where, in that vast concrete chasm were they located only to have them not answer their phone, repeatedly. And repeatedly. ‘It will be switched off, Carl’, I said because his parents are very good at tipping me over the edge especially at this time of the year.
Finally, after minutes of wandering around the terminal looking for them they answered their phone saying it had somehow switched itself off and perhaps I could take a look at it and work out why. ‘I don’t have a Nokia’, I said. Then they told us they had arrived at Gate 33 so we changed course and headed to Gate 33 but of course, they weren’t there were they. They were sitting in the crowded food court eating McNuggets, a long way from Gate 33. Like I said, they want to tip me over the edge.
We found them. It was an effort but we got there. There they were sandwiched between McDonalds and Subway in the most crowded and noisy part of the food court and I’m sure there was vomit under the table beside us. It was almost impossible to hear anything that was said as the sound of the metal chairs being dragged and scratched across the tiled floor was deafening. And headache inducing.
My mother-in-law handed me a paper bag. It’s a present for you honey, it’s a book. I don’t mind a bit of mystery with a gift but no surprises this year. She then gave me the title of the book and spent 15 minutes giving me a summary of every chapter. Now I won’t even need to read it. I could have left it with her.
The first thing I did when I arrived home was pour myself a wine. A big one. Archie was home for dinner but not Arabella; she was working. Archie’s girlfriend came for a pre-Christmas dinner as she is about to fly to Perth to spend Christmas with her family. As we were seated out on the verandah under the shimmer of my multi-coloured icicle lights and hoping for any sign of a cool change, Archie said he won’t be home for the Christmas Eve dinner. ‘What do you mean you won’t be home? You’re already working Christmas Day’.
Yes, Archie has to work Christmas Day. Wouldn’t be so bad if he was doing something important like putting out fires or driving an ambulance to the nearest hospital but no, he can’t spend Christmas Day with us because he’s been rostered onto an eight-hour shift waiting tables in a local restaurant.
And yesterday they told him he has to work Christmas Eve. It’s another eight-hour shift starting at 8am. ‘But Archie, if you’re starting at 8am you’ll be home just after four’.
‘No mum; they’ve given me a split shift. I have to do 8am – 2pm then 6pm – 10pm’. He’s the only one rostered for a split shift. Call me bitter and twisted but I think the whole thing is grossly unfair.
On a happier note, I saw this Reindeer Poo on my good friend, Rebecca’s blog, The Intolerant Chef. I thought this was such a fun idea and quickly made it. And I mean ‘quickly’. This can be put together in less than 15 minutes and that’s not going at Jamie Oliver speed either. I made these for ‘Carols by the Sea’ that we went to on Saturday night. I do love Carols by Candlelight and we get together with a bunch of good friends and go every year. I even take my dogs; they love a sing-a-long.
The reindeer poo was a big hit with the children and the adults and the dogs didn’t mind a bit of poo either. If you’re looking for something festive that doesn’t take all day to put together, try this poo. I had a packet of pistachio nuts lying around so I added them to Rebecca’s recipe.
Reindeer Poo and it’s Gluten-Free
Makes: A tray of poo
Degree of Difficulty: 1/5
Cost: I think these can be put together with all the bits and pieces that are leftover from other baking so if that’s the case, they’re practically free!
- 200gms Lindt chocolate- 70% and over is lactose free
- 3/4 cup gf Mini Marshmallows
- 3/4 cup shredded Coconut
- 1/2 cup Glace Cherries, halved
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
- good pinch Salt
Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Place tablespoons on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge or a cool place to set.
I also wanted to show you my Christmas cake. I didn’t make the decorations and they’re not edible. It’s a haphazard collection of things that’s grown over the years and I’d be in all sorts of trouble if I didn’t, every year, bring out these decorations. You can see the little dog (same breed as my girls) has left footprints in the snow. Carl made the footprints with the blunt end of a pencil – whatever works!
Best wishes to everyone who’s celebrating Christmas with the last minute preparations – my you have God-speed!
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