Cake: The home made marzipan was delicious, just lemony and almondy enough to kill any oversweetness. I had intended the icing to be the classic rough snow version. Sadly it was just not thick enough and ran gently over the cake and settled into a mildly rumpled appearance like the creases on a baby's brow. Fortunately we have a month old baby right here so we can regard the cake as a tribute to Joseph. Tastes good too (the cake, not the baby).
Pudding: it was yummy, served with a choice of white sauce, with extra sherry, for the traditionalists or cream for me. A dark and rich chocolate log made by younger daughter was an alternative for those who don't like Christmas pudding, or an extra for the determined and enthusiastic eaters amongst us of whom there are plenty.
Turkey: I leave this one to older son who said "I think this must be the best Christmas dinner ever". How can this be? It is the same meal every year so should come out roughly the same, but he was right, it was a particularly good one. The turkey was succulent and tasty and the roasties were crunchy outside and fluffy within. I made a hames of the cranberry relish which was supposed to have a bit of chilli in it but ended up having a whole one. However after large amounts of wine and sugar and poking and messing about and tasting, it ended up spicy but yummy if you like a bit of heat. My favourite thing is a turkey and stuffing sandwich and I shall be having one just as soon as I finish this.
Other meals: Other meals all went swimmingly with loads of assistance from younger son and daughter in law before they went away on Christmas Eve and more help from the assembled others on Christmas Day, apart from the new parents who are excused kitchen duty this year. There has been debate of the "if you could only have one of the beef, the gammon or the turkey what would you choose?" variety. I have enjoyed feeding the hordes but also worked quite hard so last night I announced that Elizabeth would not be cooking for forty eight hours. The food preparation service will resume tomorrow. All food today must be foraged from the fridge by he or she who is hungry and self assembled.
Cards: well you know how it is. There are always the people you dithered about and didn't send to who get their card to you on Christmas Eve when there is no chance of you getting one to them. Sorry, those who got missed. Next year we will play the same trick on you.
Tree: We have had three sets of lights on the tree this year which has been a great attraction for the baby. He is also fascinated by the pattern of the beams against the kitchen ceiling.
Decorating the house: Daughter in law surprised me by coming back from a shopping trip with some coloured felt and stuffing material and sitting on the floor by the fire making Christmas decorations which are now hanging from the hooks in the ceiling which used to hold hams. They include a Christmas tree and a Santa Claus and the less well known Christmas Dog.
Presents: Everybody seemed very pleased with presents this year. I have had a great year with a new camera, some books which I am saving until everyone has gone but which are already gently calling to me, pajamas and a pair of slippers which are so stunningly cosy I forgive them for being a clear indication of my granny status. The baby had his first Christmas outfit, tiny little reindeer parading across his tiny little chest.
Wrapping: All the paper in the bin. Even the messy looking parcels wrapped by me. It all ends up the same place. No wonder I fail to commit myself to getting better at it.
Candles and wine: somehow we still haven't lit the candles but wine has been drunk and chocolate has been eaten and logs burnt.
We have had a lovely Christmas. I hope you have too.