The Rush before Christmas.

The shops have been displaying Christmas since September and all of a sudden it’s next week.

No, I’m not ready at all. Time is running short and I feel like running in the other direction from all the rushing around that we seem to end up doing at this time of year. I’m visiting family in Derbyshire later in the week and hear snow might be on the way. Mind you, that does mean my sledge will be making an appearance.

I long for an old fashioned Christmas where simple presents are made and given to friends and family. To this end, we made pickles and chutneys last year and gave them in a hamper to our family. I wrote a poem to go with them and asked for feed back. The response was so touching that we decided to do it again this year.

This time we have used home grown sweetcorn that my Daughter grew and have made pickled eggs from our chickens. So next year I plan to use the red onions to make red onion and chilli marmalade.

I will share some of these recipes with you.

Escaping to the garden is a great tonic to escaping the stress of Christmas. Even if it’s with a cup of tea and just have a walk round the garden to see what’s happening. Bulbs will be coming up and snow drops starting to make a show.

I think it calms the mind and helps you to take stock of what your priorities are. You might also find some greenery to make a table decoration. I use some ivy, holly and a candle in the middle of an oasis ring. A couple of red roses and even a Clementine or three will make a pretty impressive arrangement for Christmas Day.

Anyway back to this snow that’s coming! I want to put the other cloche on my raised bed to help protect the cabbages and broad beans from the snow. They are looking so lovely I don’t want them to get damaged. The frame will be snug and warm and I have my tea lights at the ready just in case it really does happen. Then it will be off to the hills around Crick and some sledging and après sledge – Gluhwein!

6 Comments

  1. Michael
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anne, loving the blog! I went to Wisley in September and in their vegetable garden they have long runs of Access Garden Products frames. They were full of peppers and chillies when I saw them, so you could have a chilli plant as well as the onions from your garden!
    I’m glad I got my onions and garlic in before the freeze!
    Michael.

  2. Anne Barker
    Posted December 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michael. Thats a great idea. I think I might try a variety of chillies to test their heat. There is such a huge choice in Marshall’s catalogue. Would like to visit Wisley to see what they have done with their Access Frames. Thank you for your message.

  3. Tessa
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I’m one of the lucky recipients of a Anne’s Christmas Hamper, which was really exciting opening the basket and unwrapping each jar to see what it contained. I used the pickled onions on New Year’s Day when the family came for lunch and they all declared they were the best they’ve ever tasted. They are in fact home grown shallots, grown in Anne’s garden last year. I’m particularly looking forward to the lemon curd made with eggs from their own chickens. Thanks Anne and Mark. xxx

  4. Anne
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tess. Thank you for your comment. Glad you liked them.

    Let this present and blog inspire you to have a go in your garden. It’s good exercise and lots of fresh air after a hard day at work.

    See you soon.
    Anne. x

  5. Sadie
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, saw Tessa’s comment and had to add mine! We also had a beautiful hamper again. My pickled onions came out at New Year and were a big hit; the lemon curd made even dry Tesco scones taste good and the eggs boiled were so yellow I needed sunglasses! Still have to try the orange marmalade and need to cook a ham to try the red onion with chilli marmalade. Will do that at the weekend hopefully.
    Hope to get another one next year, but can I beg you to try the caramelised pickles in balsamic vinegar please?
    Love the blog and the photo of you is fantastic. Those glasses do something great!

  6. Anne
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks Sadie. People reading this will think I’ve paid my friends to comment!! Maybe the glasses make me look clever! I need something to help. Glad you like the blog, I am loving the experience too. x x