|Brandy Raisin Macarons at Cacao at the GPO|
- Santa on a jetski salt and pepper shakers - see in a shop
- Santa in sleigh being pulled by a dinosaur in a local garden- heard on radio
- Santa breathing dragon's breath in Hong Kong display - relayed to me by my friend
|Melbourne Town Hall|
|Santa climbing the Eiffel Tower on our tree|
|Miss Marples tearoom, Sassafras|
- Ian "Molly" Meldrum has been in a coma after falling from a ladder while preparing the house for a Christmas party. My best wishes for his health. He brought so much music and enthusiastic into my childhood.
- George Whitman died last week. He resurrected the English Language bookstore, Shakespeare and Company in Paris after Sylvia Beach's first incarnation closed. I visited the store on my first trip to Paris and was offered accommodation there. Unfortunately at the time I was too naive to realise it was a genuine offer.
- Bruce Ruxton, former RSL president, died this week. He was no role model for me with his right wing views but he was always there with a news bite through so much of my childhood.
For each high profile death and sadness, there are many of us with our own private griefs. I know of those among fellow bloggers and others in my life who will face this Christmas lacking someone or even something that matters deeply. Or there are those like "vegan alone at Christmas". My thoughts go out to everyone whose Christmas isn't the jolly merry event that the media likes to portray.
Cranberry Nut Buns (recipe to come - thanks Kari). It is similar to other chestnut soups I have made - velvety and flavoursome. I was relieved by the end of the day that it was simple and quick. I had already been the shops twice - used up my walnuts intended for the nut roast when I made the buns and I also used up sour cream so I got inventive and served it with brandy cream. Surprisingly this sweet cream worked but is not essential. I am sending the soup to Ricki for her Holiday edition of Wellness Weekends.
Sylvia now asleep. All the presents are wrapped. A mince pie is left out for Santa. The table is set for breakfast tomorrow morning. I wish everyone a merry Christmas, a great feast and a happy and safe holiday.
Celery and Chestnut Soup
Adapted from The Great Big Vegetable Challenge
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-6 celery sticks, sliced
1 carrot peeled and chopped
400g tin of chestnuts
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt flakes
3 cups stock
juice of 1/2 an orange
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons brandy cream, or yoghurt (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan (I used a stockpot). Gradually add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot as you chop them. Gently sweat until softened. Add chestnuts, potatoes, salt and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree with a hand held blender. Add orange juice and pepper to taste. Serve with brandy cream or yoghurt as desired.
On the Stereo:
Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Novelty Records of All Time, Volume VI: Christmas