Where do I start? I suppose here is the most obvious spot – as good a place as any - seeing I’ve already begun.
In case you’re not yet aware, Christmas is, as I write, one sleep away. One sleep away! It seems less than a week ago I was saying similar about Christmas 2017.
Time certainly does fly whether you’re having fun or not; and when you find yourself still finishing off the dregs of last Christmas’ fruit mince tarts and pud! It’s not quite as bad as that, but it sometimes seems so.
With the year flying by so quickly, I don’t know how Santa and his helpers find time to make the massive variety of toys for the kiddies, while also squeezing in time to go shopping for those articles out of their creative expertise. Mrs. Claus must be a very patient lady. She must be exhausted keeping the coffee supply up to them.
What we need for Christmas are myriad sleigh loads overflowing with goodwill, respect, love, happiness, positivity and peace. Sadly, throughout 2018 we’ve been infiltrated by negativity, stupidity, hypocrisy and ignorance. Far too much of each weighs heavily upon us.
If Santa’s letters or emails have not yet been written and sent – it’s not too late to get cracking - perhaps, instead of asking for items really not needed; things that will be used once or twice, then forever sit on a shelf, taking up space, gathering dust, we should ask for the above.
Certainly here, with the high temperatures we’ve experienced lately, a new dress or shirt isn’t needed; socks definitely aren’t. It’s been too hot for clothes.
Naturally, I’m not suggesting we go au naturale when out shopping. I, for one, don’t want to create pandemonium, causing shop owners/assistants and general public alike, to run off screaming in terror. Anyway, they already do when they see me approaching. Our police have enough on their hands without having to worry about you or me scaring the living daylights out of each other – and them.
My Christmas wishes are for kindness, compassion, humility and consciousness to envelop the earth – to become a pandemic - and then become second nature.
For hate, abuse, greed and thoughtlessness to disappear into the ether; to allow peace, decency, harmony and commonsense to reign supreme; for everyone to take responsibility for his/her actions; to hold fast and true to worthy values and high principles; to not be consumed by violence and ugliness. For each of us to be a better person - me included.
Am I asking for too much?
Thank you everyone who, during this past year, shared with me fun, laughter and kind words - to those who good-humouredly put up with me and my nonsense.
I’ve everything I need for Christmas...my two furry mates, and my stash of Liquorice Allsorts. It takes all sorts to make the world go ‘round. My cupboards, fridge and freezer, as per normal, are full.
Always be aware - many are worse off than you or I.
Feast on goodness, kindness and love; dispose of nastiness, malevolence and hostility.
To once again repeat myself, I say - the gift of giving is the best gift of all.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! HUG YOUR LOVED ONES - HOLD THEM CLOSE; MAY THEY REMAIN DEAR IN YOUR HEART...
Christmas Salad: Put 1kg peeled king prawns, 2 avos, cut into large pieces, 130g toasted, sliced almonds and 2tbs diced red onion in salad bowl. Dressing: combine 1/4c x-virgin olive oil, 1/4c red wine vinegar, 1 large garlic clove, minced, 1tsp chopped parsley, 1tsp Dijon mustard; season. Add desired amount of dressing to salad; serve extra dressing on the side.
Smoked Salmon Salad: In pan on low heat add 1/2tsp each black and white sesame seeds and sunflower seeds; heat 2-3 mins until aroma rises. In bowl combine a handful of rocket, 1 sliced avocado, 1 punnet halved cherry tomatoes, 1tbs olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper; toss together. Add 100g smoked salmon slices; garnish with coriander and seeds. Serve with lemon wedges.
Christmas-New Year Nibbles: Place 20 plump dried apricots on serving platter. Spread spreadable blue cheese on each apricot and top with a walnut, a sprig of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of honey. If you can't find spreadable blue cheese - mix 1/2 room temp cream cheese with 1/2 blue cheese in processor until smooth; or use goat cheese. Make ahead, preparing without the honey, store in fridge. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature and drizzle with honey; serve.
Merry Blue Balls: Beat until combined 240g cream cheese, 2tbs butter, 1tsp lemon zest, 1/4tsp Worcestershire sauce, dash of Tabasco and 1/4tsp salt. Stir the mixture together with 120g blue cheese and 2tbs red currant jam. Chill 10mins; form into balls; roll in chopped currants. Serve with crackers and/or thin gingersnaps.