Table #8 – New Years Eve

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I’m up first in the house for the first time in a long while (6:50am), the house is still dark with storm Dylan rattling the cupula like crazy.  Normally it’s a clear sign to dig in deep under the duvet.  However there was a niggle in my head about work and despite the holidays, it also being a Sunday I couldn’t quite shake it.  I’m wondering though if I’ve finally caught up on my sleep after the whole hullabaloo that is December.

The blog has had a bit of a break through December, I decided it was time to move the house on a little bit as all the builders had let me down this year….desperate to see some progress I took on the main bedroom and in amongst the work nights out, the school performances and trips to relatives I managed to finish the week before Christmas. Amazingly how a nice gentle cream and the removal of a large MDF wardrobe can make a difference to the calm of a room.

As you can imagine Food has been big on the agenda throughout December….and I’m struggling with a belt notch, the routine bike into work hasn’t happened with ice wind and rain being the main detractors.  I have managed the odd run and a walk where there has been a calm and dry moment….it gives me hope that I can pick up in the new year without having to create wildly unrealistic new years fitness resolution.

I like to think everyday you can start again, or a new journal, the end of summer, the start of a new season….however 31st December is the biggy….huge expectation. For me as a child growing up it was my dads big earning night as a DJ so great was the demand to have a good time.  In reality the world keeps spinning with all its good and bad.  It’s a state of mind thing.   Tonight will be really low key….Just the four of us and a gradual ease into the new year.  Yesterday I proposed a family quiz at tea, 10 questions each….which prompted a discussion on teams and format…..We’ll slip it in between main and dessert.

For main I’m going to break myself into a book my brother in-law bought me for Christmas (One Knife, One Pot, One Dish)…. Beef Stroganoff, followed by a chocolate fudge cake I spotted in the January edition of Olive.   The cake I can prepare this morning and the beef a short stand by the stove affair with a glass of wine in hand obviously for the sauce!  Add to this I’m going to tackle the Cavolo Nero recipe from the Art of the Larder.

In order to adhere with the #DSFWeeklyRewind guidelines: I’m really grateful for the food and warmth over the festive period.   My music contribution has to be taken from the CD (Short Stories Vol 1) that I asked my mum to get me for Christmas.  It was released in September and I could easily have plugged into Spotify…..I decided to pleasure delay, every now and again I want to listen to an album old school way on a Hi-Fi rather than streamed in pieces scattered amongst the busy moments in life…..I wanted to drink it in and I was really pleased I had,  Mr Ricky Ross didn’t disappoint.

The Table #7 – Advent

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Happy December! This has crept up on us in terms of time and how we came to be starting advent. On the other hand it’s not a surprise, Edinburgh has been gearing up since mid October.   At least now the lights and the glitz has a place and I can reconcile with the fact that we need to do something to send the dark days packing. The boys get to start the daily tea time ritual of lighting a candle, and we slowly count the days down.

A welcoming red is served this Friday alongside a curry, we have pals round for tea.   My friend who I’ve been going to the Indian cookery class with and we’ve both picked a dish that we picked up. He’s cooked for the kids, Chicken Tikka Masala and myself I doctored a recipe for the adults to cover fish for the lady who doesn’t eat meat.   The same recipe for the Tikka sauce which worked really well.   Served with a sweet potato, butternut squash and a chickpea number.  Breaking away from a traditional Indian dessert we followed by a pear and chocolate crumble.

A great evening kicked off with the Brandy nectar of the Apricots that have been soaking for a while introduced to us by Nigel’s Christmas Chronicles.

It’s a short table this week and my cooking exploits are cut to a minimum, I’ve started the winter DIY, some wall paper stripping and just as I was coming to the end I’ve put my back into spasm!  I’m reaching for the Ibuprofen and hoping that a good nights sleep will put me to rights.

Music wise this week I’ve really gone back catalogue and found myself listening to Nik Kershaw.  Takes me right back to Daly’s records……long since gone in the high street of Kendal.  My mum took me for a birthday treat to spend a record token and I listened to the album before I bought it just to make sure it was what I wanted.  My dad going mental because I’d bought a tape rather than LP… would I have played it without a record player and a strict no touch policy on my dads stereo.  I did however have my mono tape player used for loading computer games.   Not hi fidelity….it didn’t matter it was mine!

I leave you with ‘I won’t let the sun go down on me!’ Apt for these short days.

My nod to the Daisy Smile face who hosts the weekly rewind and helps add some blogging motivation to a crazy week.