is it too soon to mention the 'christmas' word? i'm sorry i can't help myself. i love christmas. its been on my brain for the last two months and i can't hold it in anymore! i've been busy busy busy making ornaments, and planning all the food i can
eat make, and whipping up a few top secret present projects for certain small family members. i'm super annoyed at myself though, i made up a bunch of very sweet little felt gingerbread ornaments (available for you to buy at little sparrow - pop in and see all the beautiful other toys and treasures if you're in melbourne!) but forgot to take a proper picture before they went off to be sold! here is a low quality peek at my creations...
run, run, as fast as you can! you can buy me at little sparrow, north caulfield, for a limited time only!
christmas time when i was growing up entailed a lot of 'making'. my mum and grandma rowie would get together to make the christmas pudding months in advance. closer to christmas we'd have a little production line set up to make delicious gifts for teachers and friends. i remember still being in junior primary school and helping my mum construct a very elaborate chocolate truffle topiary tree for my teacher!! it was in a little terra cotta pot, with some cristmas ribbon tied around, and i was so proud i'd produced something straight out of the pages of 1991 gourmet magazine! haha
one christmas my mum sewed me an advent calendar of pockets. each day i woke up to find a sliver of paper in a different pocket with mysterious instructions: look in the microwave... or look behind the tv. and there would be a shiny new packet of hairclips, or a handmade voucher for 'late night supper at spats cafe'!
food played a huge part in our family all year. i still have my mum's recipe books, and my grandma rowie's... and even my great grandmother's! a lot of it i'll never cook (chilled tounge in aspic, anyone?), but each time i search through for some half-remembered dish it's like i'm back at my grandma rowie's kitchen table, with my mum copying out recipes from the woman's weekly and something delicious baking in the oven.
recipe lift out book from the australian women's weekly 1967
its amazing just how much personality can be found in a scrap book of cut-out recipes, label-backs, and scrawled notes on envelopes. recently i found a scrap of paper with a menu plan for my mum's christmas lunch, from probably 10 years ago. it was so moving, and just reminded me of what a super hostess my mum was. my grandma rowie's recipe book is as conflicted as she was - half filled with rich, french cuisine and dessert recipes and the other half with dieters recipes!
recipe lift out from the australian women's weekly, 1971
this year, as i do my own christmas planning, i get to revisit with my mum and grandma rowie. i wish it was in person, but they will be with me in spirit as i make rowie's hard sauce and christmas cake, and toast to the season with my mum's favourite cocktail, a pimm's and dry ginger ale. the traditions they created are what makes christmas for me. now that i have my own family the thought of passing on the silly and the meaningful things we used to do together, as well as inventing my own new "traditions" makes me hear sleigh bells from about october 1st! just 16 more sleeps til i can have that fresh pine smell in my house!
are you a christmas lover too? what christmas traditions does your family have?