Christmas Village

Christmas Village

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Wine O'Clock

Many wine bottles are now screwtop, but not all of course so a good corkscrew is still vital!

For many years the only type of corkscrew I could use was the counter type where you first turned the main section one way into the cork and then turned the top section the other way bring the cork out of the bottle.  I had a wooden one.

Then I discovered this type

and found that these were even easier.  Happily my brother-out-law - my sister's b-i-l - gave me one for Christmas a number of years ago (thank you, Ian!) and have used it ever since.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Guest post

A guest posting from my mother today -

This is my suggestion for a very useful piece of equipment

Bending down to switch things on is difficult for me these days and I don't move around so well either.

For some time now I have used a couple of these remotes to switch on lamps and things around my house.  At Christmas we plug the tree lights into the socket controlled by this one.

This means that I can switch on the tree lights from my chair in the sitting room and then switch them off again at the end of the day.

Happy Christmas,

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A good pairing

The next time and effort saving item is my vegetable chopping board.  It is another of the things I take around with me as it is so useful.

The downward curved lip fits over the edge of the worktop and the little feet hold it in place.  It is a good size and cleans easily.  Moveover it is simple to slide whatever I've chopped (or the peelings) off and into the appropriate container.

Teamed with a good knife, it is invaluable!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Simple planning

The simplest of things can be the most effective when it comes to planning.

Two things I wouldn't be without for any sort of planning are my diary and a notebook.

The notebook is small enough to fit into a bag (or pocket) when shopping.  Large enough contain all the lists I make and notes of my ideas, but not so many pages that some are wasted.

The diary is quite chunky and will take take all the information I need on a day to day basis throughout the year and with a pocket at the back to take loose papers, tickets, etc.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

St Stephen's Zest

I was making a sauce yesterday and adding citrus zest, which is a cue for the day's gadget -

It is possible to make do with a knife or peeler but using a zester is so much quicker, easier and safer for my fingers!

I have had mine for a very long time; it was a gift from a dinner party guest when they first became popular.  It is one of the pieces of equipment that I take with me if I'm cooking out of my own kitchen.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Saving time and energy at Christmas

As we all know, Christmas can be a very busy time and anything that helps is welcome. This might be a labour saving device, a favourite knife or clever gadget.  I have a variety of equipment, gadgets etc., which make life easier.  Some are relatively new, while others I have had for many years.  Some are/were expensive, some amazingly cheap; and some a complex while others very simple.

This year I plan to post one of these for each of the days of Christmas.

On Christmas Day one of the things I find invaluable is the old hostess trolley I had many years ago when I held regular dinner parties.  

You do have to be a bit careful how you use these, as some things don't do well being kept warm like this but plates, sauces and covered plates of carved meat are fine.  It is also useful once the meal has been served as a way of keeping second helpings warm and not taking up too much space on the table.

It can be used in the same way as a warming drawer on a range or the residual heat in the oven.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve

Time has run away this year but everything that has to be done is now in place with a few things to wait for tomorrow morning.

Our Sleigh Run family celebration took place on Saturday and in keeping with the tree theme, my nephew made this pudding:

Sunday, 13 December 2015

3rd Sunday

It is the third Sunday in Advent.  The rose coloured candle has been lit and the village is now out in the hall.

Cards have been written and the first batch of present have been wrapped.

The coming week will be full of Christmas preparations in readiness for next weekend's family celebration.  The first stage of the office Christmas competition takes place tomorrow and I have one Christmas lunch and one dinner dance this week, plus a special anniversary.