Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Masterpiece! and a Meme..

This is the wreath that I made for the front of the house - total cost £2.50 for the moss base, the yew, ivy and variegated holly came from the garden and the berried holly is from my secret holly bush! The berries are all real which is why they aren't evenly spread. I've never ever seen so many berries on a holly before.

The ribbon and the fake Christmas roses have been going for years, whatever they cost originally I have more than had my money's worth.

The ingredients for chocolate truffle torte a la Delia Smith.

This is how it goes into the freezer, when it's served it is turned out so that the crushed amaretti biscuits are on the top - it's incredibly rich and incredibly good.

Just out of the oven, this will eventually be...

..this - a chocolate log. Even the recipe says that it will crack as it is rolled up and in all the years I've made it I've never managed to roll it up without this happening!

Cabbage au gratin ready to freeze for Christmas Eve dinner - the boef bourguignon is still on the 'to do' list.

These are yesterday's effort, first of all I made the marzipan and put it on the cake to dry out for several days before it is iced.

This is one of the boys' old sledges, I pile it with holly - green, variegated and on top berried branches, then it has a red ribbon and small white lights. Photo doesn't do it justice. It's my favourite thing.

This wreath is on the back door now but I had to take the picture indoors because the porch is too small for me to get far enough away. I prefer this to the other one, it's simpler, I use whips from my willow tree wired together to form a circle then add just holly and ivy with the bells and the big red ribbon.

Now for the Meme which Cate from Beyond The Fields We Know tagged me for, it's a list of favourite Christmas carols but like Cate, I've expanded it to include Christmas songs as well.

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

In the Bleak Midwinter - mostly because it was my mum's favourite.

Three Kings From Persian Lands Afar - this isn't all that well known but has a lovely tune.

The Holly and The Ivy - top of my list really with its strong connection to the Winter Solstice.

The theme song from the animated film The Snowman sung by Aled Jones

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.

Actually, I like most carols, I grew up singing them every year and what I really like is to hear the familiar tunes played by a brass band and not sung at all.One of the traditional English things of this time of year is hearing the Salvation Army bands playing in pretty well every town centre. The Sally Army do a lot of good work and I always contribute to their collection. No tags but do it if you want to.


Anonymous said...

You've been a busy girl!
Between you and my D. I'm dizzied by your accomplishments.
I can imagine The holiday is celebrated with much gusto in your household! The pictures really bring us right into your home, letting us share in your festive preperations. Thank-you.

Anonymous said...

Your wreath is lovely and I expect it smells wonderful.
You are a busy lady, Christmas at your home must be a big celebration.
In the Bleak Midwinter is my favourite carol.The Holly and the Ivy brings back memories of school carol concerts..along with Away in a Manger.

Anonymous said...

All of your decorations are beautiful, Rowan! I have a small holly that I say prayers over LOL every day that it will grow big and strong and have lots of berries! LOL Your sled with greens and lights is just delightful! And I smell all of those delicious aromas in your kitchen all the way over the big pond to here!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Your decorations are so pretty. The wreaths are my favorites although I like the sled, too. And all those goodies....I'm getting hungry just looking at them. You are a busy woman!

Granny K said...

It's all looking wonderful, Rowan!

simmyb said...

Your wreath looks lovely and I'm planning to do mine tomorrow so thanks for the inspiration. Also marzipan'd my cake and I may go for royal icing this year instead of fondant - not sure. I love the way you're so organized with all the food. I guess as I'm not doing christmas this year I'm leaving all the food prep to my sister.

By the way my favourite carol has always been Oh little Town of Bethlehem and here's a bit of trivia - I too love the snowman song and I've always liked the one in the film sung by a chorister. well I discovered last week that it wasn't Aled but a boy called Peter Auty. Aled recorded the song in 1985 and shot to fame with it and everyone thinks it was him in the original. Peter Auty's voice just makes me feel tingly all over. here's a link to him if you want to listen: sorry to go on so Rowan!

Anonymous said...

Oh it all looks so good.

Anonymous said...

The wreath is lovely Rowan.
As for that chocolate does it look tasty :-)
I also grew up singing Christmas music. Thank you for sharing you favorite music with us.
You certainly have been keeping yourself busy my friend!

Nadine said...

Hey, Rowan ! Wouldn't you like to come and cook at home for me ? And in the meantime, you would also do my Christmas wreath .... LOL You're an artist, Rowan !


Daisy Lupin said...

Your wreath is amazing an so pretty, you wouldn't imagine it cost so little. Loved your sled too. The food looks pretty good, that cabbage au gratin looks really tasty.

Anonymous said...

Oh! Now you`ve made me hungry Rowan :) With all these lovely sweets. Love both those wreaths! And it`s so warm and cozy here at your blog with you in some of your pictures.


Anonymous said...

Wow Rowan, you are talented. So much beautiful things,and cadbury always rembers me at the holidays in Britain.


Naturegirl said...

You certainly have the
~*holiday spirit*~ with the wonderful wreaths and embellishments you've made! I love the natural greenery you chose!My holly bushes also have an abundance of berries! The song *Holly an the Ivy* I have NOT heard for years!
Your baking.mmmmmm!
~*Wishing you and your family a Merry

VintagePretty said...

Oh it all looks so good! All of your cooking, how wonderful. Can I come 'round for tea? hehe! The chocolate torte sounds amazing.

Take care and Merry christmas!

Deb said...

Your wreath is lovely - and your baking looks delicious. We have one of our children's old sleighs decorated as well with holly and a pair of my husbands childhood skates - yours looks charming with the white lights.