Geeking Out Over Christmas

I have been somewhat obsessed by Christmas, more so than usual. I think it is a way to distract myself from worrying about the pandemic and my health.  And it seems to be working.  Plus we were supposed to go to our Boles trailer this weekend but can’t due to Tom’s knee injury (looks like he is heading for surgery).  So I am distracting myself from this loss too.

It all started though December 2 when we watched Christmas Vacation.


I love this movie, and Cousin Eddie’s RV is classic.

IMG_1656cousin eddie

Plus I love the moose mugs.


I had this mug on my Christmas list from a few years.  So impulsively this year I bought one for myself.  The box is actually really cool, complete with the RV.

But the mug is cooler.  



Almost every year I break one of the ornaments, usually a precious one.  This year it was my 1979 ornament. Fortunately (I guess) the top broke and the majority of the globe is intact.  So I kept it was a decoration on my marble table of Christmas stuff.

broken 1979 ornament

I had planned on making the Christmas recipes from my Downton Abbey Cookbook this year.  So despite the fact that we will not be having any holiday meals with family this year, I was determined to still make these recipes.  Here is the Yule Log in progress, making quite a mess of my kitchen.

Here is is all cooked,

yule log cooked

and here it is rolled up.

yule log rolled

And finally all decorated.  It is yummy, although neither of us are fans of mixing fruit and chocolate (in this case cherry preserve filling and chocolate buttercream frosting).  

yule log decorated

And here it is on our dining room table.  This table has become Christmas central with recipes, candy, liquid advent, cards, etc.

I finally got a decent video of our twinkling tree.

Next I made the Downton Abbey lemon mincemeat.  It started with boiling a lemon.  I have never boiled a lemon before.

Then the lemon is put through a blender, sugar is added, and it sits out for 12 hours.

Then you add dried fruit, spices and grated suet.  

shredded suet in mincemeat

The cookbook suggests making tarts but doesn’t give instructions how to do so.  So I found a recipe for sweet pastry, and I found another about how to bake them.  And here they are all cooked up.  They are really tasty.

mincemeat tarts

A while ago I had saved recipe for homemade Frangos so I finally made these.  I realized after I made them that there are eggs in them, and they are not cooked.  They are tasty but softer than the Frangos I knew.  

I have also been pasteurizing eggs for myself and the family to make grampa’s egg nog.  I haven’t made the nog yet though.  Saving it for Christmas Eve, I think.

I stopped by my grandmother’s grave to decorate it for Christmas.  She was responsible for my Christmas Eves for the majority of my life, and her traditions have continued thanks to my aunt and uncle.  So I had to pay respects.  

gramma grave christmas

I watched Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas on PBS.  This was a fascinating show about Christmas traditions in the times of Henry VIII.  I decided after this that I would make a traditional mince pie and deck the halls with bough of holly, ivy and other greens.  I couldn’t find recipes associated with the show so I googled around and found this recipe.  I plan on making this mince pie with our venison tomorrow for dinner.  

A couple of days ago I gathered some of our holly, ivy and yew and rinsed them.

holly ivy

So today during the Seahawks game I assembled them, initially on a blanket on the floor.  I used this site as a guide.  


And then I was able to tie the boughs up with twine.  I think it looks nice.  


I also watched the Great British Baking Show Holidays.  With this I became inspired to make a sausage wreath.  So I found the recipe and plan to make it Christmas Eve.  We will skip the black pudding though (at Tom’s request).

I plan on making traditional Rice Porridge/Risgrøt for Christmas breakfast for the first time.  I also plan on making sticky buns like usual.  This year it will just be Tom and I though.  So there will be leftovers, and the pigs and/or chickens might get lucky.

For Christmas dinner I had wanted to cook a goose (one of ours).  But I think I mentioned that Tom is not interested in helping butcher one nor eating it either so I gave up on that idea, at least for this year.  So I bought a duck for me and Cornish game hens for him.  I plan on making the Downton Abbey cookbook stuffing recipe.  It called for chestnuts which I was actually able to buy at our local Fred Meyer.  

So I am distracting myself with cooking and eating.  As you probably have already guessed, I like to travel geographically and historically with cooking and eating.  And Christmas is the perfect time for this kind of travel, particularly in a pandemic year.  Here is our tree, now with presents.  And I have managed not to gain any weight, likely due to doing all the farm chores that Tom normally does.  

PS FYI I wrote this post this morning but it needed some edits so am posting it this evening. More on this in the next post…

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4 Responses to Geeking Out Over Christmas

  1. Jeanne says:

    Very interesting!

    I’m sorry about Tom’s knee possibly needing surgery. Although that surgery isn’t as painful as replacement. My daughter-in-law has had meniscus repair two or three times. I’ve had three knee replacements. You may know that the second time they do one they refer to it as a revision.

    Your swag is beautiful.

    How do you pasturize eggs?

  2. FullyFleeced says:

    Is there any chance that Chloe might have ingested any of the yew that your brought in for the decorations?

    • Donna says:

      I really doubt she got into the yew. She never ate anything that was not dry cat food. Plus I made it on the blanket and immediately took what fell out of the house. I guess she could have eaten some when it was drying on the back porch though. I would feel even more horrible if that was the cause.

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