Christmas stress comes early


November 27, 2012 by talkaboutyork

During a normal December, my inner domestic goddess dusts herself off and gets to work creating culinary feasts. I always make things ahead – like gravy and braised red cabbage and minced pies. I even have a book with all the Christmas menus I’ve done over the last few years. Not just Christmas, but Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and New Year and how to use up leftovers in between. Sad and possibly slightly OCD I know.

I love it. All the mixing and cooking and storing and preparing. It feels like Christmas. And I feel like a proper mum.

However, this year is proving to be somewhat more challenging. I still have a kitchen full of builders (or at least I should have if they could be bothered to turn up). It’s not easy cooking when you have power saws going off next to you and decorators’ protective sheets draped over work surfaces.

What’s more, I have one million and one other non-Christmas related jobs to do – like selling stuff on ebay and trying to find the missing bolts for the guest bed so that our guests have somewhere to sleep and trying to figure out what to do with a sofa we can’t get out of the basement and the fact that I can no longer get a sofa bed delivered before Christmas.

In short, I am somewhat lacking on the Christmas mojo front. Right now I feel like being a ‘Mum that goes to Iceland’ and buy everything ready made and frozen. I can’t even find my ‘book of all things’ that contains my previous Christmas menus so that I can just replicate one of the years.

My husband is in San Francisco this week, New York the next. I am the lone ranger trying to break up fights between decorators and builders and kitchen fitters. Somehow – like the children – none of them seem to take too much notice of me when I ask them to do something. They need the alpha male here to call the shots. But I am about to unleash my inner South African on them. It’s not going to be pretty.

Goddamit, I will be making Nigella’s gingerbread stuffing and Jamie’s make ahead turkey gravy and Christmas cookies for the tree and no amount of dust and lack of work surfaces is going to stop me.

Christmas (and the two weeks thereafter) for the 12 of us staying here, will go ahead. Even if it takes this advent calendar to get me through it.


2 thoughts on “Christmas stress comes early

  1. Sarah Elizabeth says:

    Hi, I’m Sarah, from australia, I just came across your blog. Have been looking for christmas recipes. Could you please post your braised red cabbage recipe? We have some that need to be pulled from the veggie patch and I’m not too sure what to with them. Do you freeze your braised cabbage once cooked? Thanks so much

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