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Friday, December 29, 2006


The next phase of the Yuletide festivities began when son Alun and partner Trudy arrived from Portsmouth on the evening of Friday 22 December to a festive spread of sausage rolls, anchovy and olive pizza, meat'n'tatty pies from Mabel's Bakery, a spicy ham prepared according to Goddess Nigella, mince pies, welshcakes, an apple pie (made with apples from the garden of Lorenzo the Llama), cheeses and other festive items.

Trudy places the Yule Cake by the evening's feast....

...and samples a glass of New Zealand Champagne

Saturday was they day for shopping in Ulverston to collect the pre-ordered pheasants, game pie and sticky-toffee pudding, along with the remaining salads and vegetables. A stop in the local farm shop for a slab of their excellent sausage meat (my mountain of sausage rolls seemed pitifully depleted after last night's bash) and a stop at the Candle Workshop in Lindal to top up supplies of candles, and to partake of coffee and hot chocolate in the tearoom.
Dinner comprised duck paté with ensalada mixta, luxury fish pie (salmon, smoked haddock and cod with prawns baked with parsley sauce baked in a pie topped with puff pastry).

Christmas Eve required the customary venturing out into the Duddon Estuary at low tide to obtain lugworm bait for fishing on Christmas morning. This strenuous activity was followed by a comparatively lazy day, the focus of which was "my" Christmas dinner of roast crown of turkey with the usual trimmings.

Alun and Trudy digging for lugworms in the Duddon Sands on Christmas Eve

The high tide was at about 2.30 am on Christmas morning, so midnight saw the three of us at the end of Askam pier casting out into the flood tide in perfect calm conditions with the lights of Askam behind us and those of Millom across the estuary. Trudy was the first to catch, a splendid flounder of 1 lb 2oz, followed later by a small whiting. Alun also caught a whiting, but, shamefully, I had no luck that night. A flask of piping hot glogg (mulled wine fortified with rum) helped to assuage my disappointment.

Trudy proudly displays her 1 lb 2 oz flounder caught in the small hours of Christmas morning
It was to bed by 3.00am after gutting and cleaning the fish, then up at 9.00am Christmas morning to make special Yuletide flounder cakes with capers, anchovy essence and parsely. Yum! Breakfast was supplemented with other goodies.

After dealing with presents, Alun took charge of the Christmas dinner, a brace of pot roasted pheasants with shallots and caramelised apples. part of the process involved chucking a tumbler of flaming Calvados into the pot (there was plenty left in the bottle for the Yuletide digestif).

Alun and Trudy hijack my kitchen...

Christmas afternoon was spent in the time-honoured soporific manner, watching tv and the Nutcracker ballet.

On Boxing Day morning we enjoyed a bracing walk round my research site at Roudsea Wood, shifting and topping up bird feeders necessary for my research on Marsh Tits.

In the afternoon we broke new ground by going to Holker Road Barrow to see Barrow Town AFC (the "Bluebirds") play football against Lancaster City. We had the satisfaction of seeing Barrow win by 3 goals to nil.


Blogger simon said...

looks like a treat for sure... Especially the fish! ;o)

4:05 am  
Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Did anyone eat the pineapple in the end?

One highlight of my festiviies was setting up Lorenzo the llama's new blog! Why not pay a visit?

4:40 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

Lovely to have your family with you, especially to hijack your Christmas.

Maalie, have a happy New Year, many thanks for your comments and support.

2:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Maalie! What a splendid feast on offer. Mabel's Bakery?? did Stef and I visit this establishment! Nigella is an essential stocking filler for Christmas Day.


1:39 am  
Anonymous Mrs Billybob said...

That's quite enough speculation about Nigella filling stockings! It looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas, we raised a glass to you all from the Coromandel.

Happy 2007

Mrs Billybob

2:38 am  
Blogger TCA 2006 said...

We only hijacked the KITCHEN, much of CHRISTMAS was dictated by Maalie.

2:30 pm  

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