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Thursday, 10 December 2015

CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER ~ IT'S TIME FOR MY MINCE PIE RECIPE

Good Morning to you,


'You might just as well say' 
added the dormouse,
who seemed to be talking in his sleep,
that 'I breathe when I sleep' 
is the same thing as
'I sleep when I breathe'


Alice in Wonderland



Now this is a strange beginning to our weekly chat isn't it.... me, mentioning a mouse

Well, if you had been in our house this week, you would have discovered that a mouse, has been an integral part of our week.

Let me tell you why.... but I would ask you to be patient, as this is a bit of a convoluted story.

As you know, last Saturday was the day we unpacked our Christmas decorations. Now last year, I had asked Natasha and Danielle if they would like to choose Christmas decorations from our tree, to add to their collection. They instantly smiled, and within seconds they were both standing at the tree.... no, not deciding which decorations to choose, but looking for a certain decoration, which they both loved. I knew which one they were looking for, because I had bought them in Germany and the girls always loved them.  It took a few minutes to locate the decoration, but they both chose the same one, along with a few others which they also loved.


So on Saturday, whilst I was unpacking our Christmas decorations, I remembered that we had only one, of a certain decoration left to hang on the tree.  I mentioned this to George. He looked at the decoration and told me, if I wanted him to, he could make a few more for me, as they were easy enough to put together.



I was thrilled, because it would be a role reversal. After many years of hanging decorations, which the girls had made, in future years, they would be hanging decorations, on their Christmas trees, which their dad had made. 

..... so, George set to. He was busy in the garage, on and off, for a couple of days, recreating these little decorations.  All that was needed, was for me to make the hat and scarf, which I felt was easy enough to do, even with my limited crochet skills.

On the third morning, George said the decorations were ready, so he went into the garage to collect the little lovelies.  He came back into the kitchen and said 'You'll never guess what, the heads are missing'. Of course the first thing I said, was 'Did you glue the heads on,'  He said, 'Of course I did, I definitely glued them on'. To which I said, 'Have they fallen off the workbench and rolled onto the ground'. His reply was 'Actually, that was the first thing I thought of, so I checked the floor, but no, not a head in sight.... they have completely disappeared' 

So a closer inspection was needed and that is when George discovered, we'd had a little visitor in the garage during the night.... a mouse... and what do mice love.... well, one of the things they love, is nuts.... and what were the heads made of.... yes you've guessed it, nuts.

You see, the original decorations had round wooden heads, but I did not have any round wooden balls to make the heads, so we decided to improvise and use a whole nutmeg for the head, which we thought looked pretty good..... but what we hadn't bargained on, was the little visitor in the garage. The nutmeg turned out to be a fabulously, scrumptious meal for the mouse.... Christmas had certainly come early for our little visitor.

So what did we do?

Well, we never use those horrid traps, which kill mice, we use humane mouse traps, as they catch the mice, without hurting them.  We then release the mice into a field.... but it has to be quite a distance from our home, because, mice are very territorial and they can make their way back home very easily.

So, the humane trap was set.... George had put a sprout leaf into the trap and do you know what, I have to tell you, we are dealing with a very clever mouse, because when George went into the garage, the next morning, the sprout leaf had disappeared, but the trap had not closed. Somehow our resident mouse had managed to take the food without getting trapped itself.  

So what did we do.... we  tried using cheese.... nope... the mouse did not even try and eat the cheese.... but I thought mice liked cheese, have their tastes changed over the years.  So what to do, the only thing we could, we turned to the Internet of course.... and what did we discover.

Well, believe it or not, it seems mice love peanut butter.... yes peanut butter.... who would have thought it.  I know it makes sense because the butter is made out of peanuts, so of course it would be a tempting feast for a mouse, but we would never have thought of this ourselves.

So, the upshot is, 

..... the peanut butter has been placed inside the humane trap

..... the decorations have been removed from the garage and have taken up residence in my sewing room.... waiting to be completed

..... I am trying my best to crochet the little hats and scarves.

..... oh yes, and I am going to do, what I should have done, in the first place ..... isn't hindsight a wonderful thing, I am going into town tomorrow to buy some wooden heads.

All being well, in the next few days,

.... the mouse will be deposited in its new home, where it will be able to hibernate before the weather turns. 

.... the decorations will be completed

.... so the said decorations will enjoy their new place on our Christmas tree.

.... phew what a pallarva over a few Christmas decorations.

So I think I had better change the subject, don't you, and get on with the Christmas baking.

The final thing I am going to share with you from our family Christmas two years ago is,





one of George's favourites, Christmas Mince Pies.... although to be honest, it is difficult to pin down George's favourite, because he loves Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies.


The brilliant thing about mince pies, is that they can be frozen, either when baked or before baking. So when time is of the essence, I tend to make the mince pies as early in December as I can, but I don't bake them straight away, I tend to freeze them. 


I love it when I can place a red tick against my Family Christmas 'Things to Do' list.... it feels very satisfying.

.... and so to the Christmas music I am playing at the moment.


I thought it apt that I was playing this music, as Natasha and I went to see Kate Rusby sing live, at The Sage in Gateshead, a couple of Christmases ago and we loved every minute of her performance.  Kate has the most beautiful voice.




So enjoy Kate Rusby singing Diadem with a little bit of Yorkshire brass music thrown in for good measure.

Now this song isn't from the same album, but I love it all the same as Kate can do no wrong in my book.



Oh and before I go, would you like to see what all the fuss and bother was about,




Now you see it




and
now you don't.


Take care and I will see you next week.






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