Sunday, December 15, 2013

December days...

There have been a few extra chores on the to-do-list lately, it's our turn to host (is that what we should call it) the Christmas lunch this year (18 of us). Which I am kind of relieved about, this year we know what's happening, last year was a last minute affair. Little niece Miss H was in hospital for a week extra with serious treatment complications and everything was up in the air until a few days before. Trusting for a uneventful lead-up this year, trying to keep things as simple as possible and not biting off more than we can chew. Have had to finish painting the outdoor furniture as it was seriously gross and had turned into an outdoor workbench. I painted the table and one bench two months ago and have been dragging the heels on the last bench, as usual. Nothing like impending visitors to up the motivation to finish a few jobs.
 I have decided to attempt sewing mini bags as gifts for niece (2) and niece (soon to be 5). It is really hard gifting to children who already have everything! So I'm thinking little girls like bags with goodies inside. I found these delicious seersucker fabrics from Lincraft, their Tutti Frutti range, yes they are delicious (watermelon and strawberries) heaps more patterns to choose from, I had a hard time just picking three. Haven't started sewing yet, eeek! Being as good as a non-sewer, I need plenty of time.

Made the little girls some gingerbread playdough, the recipe below makes enough to wrap two rolls in ziplock bags and fit into a Pringles tin. The tag is just a square cut from a tissue box, quick and entertaining gift for little ones.
Cream of tartar playdough.
3/4 cup salt
1 1/2 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons of cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon oil 20ml

Mix dry ingredients together in a saucepan, add water and oil and mix.
Stir over low heat until mixture congeals, few minutes.
Tip onto bench and roll until smooth.
Store in airtight container in the fridge.

Daughter has been busy making paper chains for our Christmas lunch, three out of four kids will be in charge of decorating our alfresco eating space. This should be interesting as boys and girls have very different expectations when it come to d├ęcor. Let's see if they can agree what goes where.

 Can't help making a few decorations each year, this year just a few paper lanterns from double-sided paper...

 and a few quilled stars...

and some red (?) snowflakey looking things.

The mo is gone, think we are both relieved. I was having a hard time not laughing when he was being serious.

The December Super food ideas mag has these cute little reindeer chocolates instructions and I've decided the Mars bar cheesecake will be dessert no 3 (after pav and pudd,)

Semifreddo with summer fruits will be dessert no 4 as it might be hot a day. Had a practise to work out what fruits I wanted to use. If you like Weis bars, you'll like Semifreddo. I chose this one so I can make it ahead and forget about it. Used a Katie Q D recipe because it looked delicious of course, I used 700grams of fruit in mine, kept the skins on the nectarines, used 3 teaspoons of lime juice and whipped pure cream (without the gelatine) 

Took the easy road Birthday cake wise. For no 1 son's Birthday, a rich chocolate cake with homemade mallow icing and chopped honeycomb on top. Didn't want to use the fondant this time, nobody likes it much. December is a birthday month here, three of them.

Christmas decorations are up and boxes packed away. We always feel strange when everything is pulled down after Christmas, it looks so bare.

Hoping there will be a few flowers left blooming for the Christmas table.

 Mr CH made me a few boxes for a little table piece, only took him 20 minutes, now I just need the flowers. Should I paint and sand them or not? Crazy effort for one meal, this Christmas thing, bit of fun though.
 How are your preparations going?
I'm off lunchbox duty for a few weeks, woo hoo!!!
Have a wonderful week.


  1. A post packed full of lovely things! The lanterns, stars and snowflakes are beautiful & I've copied down the playdough recipe to make in the school hols, thank you!

  2. Your Christmas decorations and lovely ideas put me to shame Simmone. Those puddings and that birthday cake! Yum!
    I hope you all have a happy one x

  3. My Great Grandma taught my sister and I quilling. I haven't done any in years but it always brings back such wonderful memories. x


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