After the event

Well, it took its time coming (weeks of preparation), finally came and then went in the blink of an eye but we had a happy time. I had some fabulous presents from Husband, children and friends. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but here is one of the books I had specifically asked for. At almost 900 pages, it’s very heavy to hold and I’ve found the only way to cope comfortably is to rest it on the arm of the chair. Bedtime reading is an impossibility!  My fondness for hares prompted the gift of mug, coaster and small tray (perfect for a slice of cake).


I also had a pretty glass bowl containing money for pampering (a favourite activity), a pot of fabulous Filorga Time Filler face cream (which I am known to like a great deal but can’t always justify buying), a voucher for The Blue Lemon (for the foot balm I use) , Bare Minerals make up, Butler’s chocolate, Perfume, gift vouchers and lots of other lovely treats. From work we each received a very welcome £50 voucher from Love to Shop which can be used in several outlets including M&S,  Debenhams and other major stores.

I thought that the Christmas TV offerings were exceptionally poor. I watched Call the Midwife  which, although rather gloomy, I enjoyed, but I switched off the eagerly anticipated Little Women before the end of the first episode and didn’t even bother with The Miniaturist  despite the hype because I thought the book (aptly described by Margaret in her blog as ‘pretentious twaddle’) was boringly awful!

We were only four adults for Christmas day lunch and two little ones (29 and 15 months) who barely ate any of it (the elder one was far more interested in pulling crackers). Nevertheless I still bought and cooked too much, but not a single bit was wasted. The leftovers have been used thus:

Parsnip, potato and apple soup: Made extra thick (takes up less freezer space), it will need diluting before serving. These two containers will yield six generous portions. I usually add water, or if I have some left over from something else, perhaps coconut milk or even a drop of cider.


Crustless quiche with ham, mushrooms and Stilton cheese. It made lunch today with plenty left for tomorrow.


Also in the freezer now individually portioned:

  • several portions of thickly sliced ham which will be eaten with egg and chips or served with parsley sauce, mashed potato and peas.
  • a cheesecake from which only two slices were eaten – cut into wedges ready to be removed one at a time.
  • cherry & apple crumble
  • gammon and turkey pie filling complete with stuffing and gravy (mash or pastry topping required)
  • a large container of mixed grated cheeses suitable for making cheese & potato pies, quiches or sauces (and there’s still lots of cheese left in the fridge)
  • turkey & mushroom in peppercorn sauce – great as a jacket potato filling or topped with mashed potato

I haven’t bought a thing since Christmas eve (food or otherwise) and have no intention of going shopping over the weekend (though Husband will buy bread and milk when fetching his newspaper). It’s not often I go a whole week without even entering a shop! I reckon there’s enough in the cupboards and freezer to take us though January. I’ll buy fresh fruit and veg, of course, but I can’t imagine the need for a supermarket shop. (If I do, I’ve nowhere to put it anyway!)

For my final comment on Christmas 2017 – as requested by Theresa, here is the recipe for my Christmas cake. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t make a traditional one. This is a much used apple-cake recipe (more than 25 years old) which I tweak. The original is from the Bygones Museum (Babbacombe, Devon) recipe booklet. I’ve shown in brackets what I actually use

  • 10oz SR flour
  • 6oz butter/margarine
  • 6oz caster sugar (Billingtons golden)
  • 4oz sultanas and 2oz currants (6oz Whitworths mixed fruit. I like this one because it’s very moist and sticky)
  • 12oz cooking apples (red eating apples, cored and chopped but not peeled)
  • 3  standard eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk (3 tbs amaretto for Christmas version)
  • Pinch of salt (I never add this)
  • Half a tsp mixed spice (2 tsps cinnamon)

Rub fat into flour and cinnamon. Stir in sugar, fruit and apples. Add beaten eggs and milk/spirit. Baked in loose bottomed 8″ tin on 175c for …….here the recipe suggests one and three quarter hours but I find an hour maximum is ample time. Test with a skewer.

For the Christmas version, I spread top with icing sugar/water mixture and decorate with cherries, walnuts and almonds  but use whatever suits your tastes.

I have played around with this recipe using pears instead of apples or a mixture of cherries and pecans instead of the mixed fruit. I’ve made it with ginger instead of cinnamon and even thrown in a few halved grapes or blueberries when I’ve wanted to use them up. Experiment and enjoy!

And if you missed my earlier post – here’s what my Christmas version looked like.



  1. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas. Thank you so much for the recipe I will be trying it out as soon as the leftovers have been eaten and things are back to normal. Happy New Year to you all


  2. Hi Eloise
    That’s some great use of left-overs. I cooked a conventional Christmas lunch for 6 people and most got eaten or taken home by daughter, son and grandson at the end of the day. We had cold turkey for Boxing Day but I’ve been very off my food with this virus so, eating some pasta and a plain tomato and basil sauce is my idea of heaven!!! Made some sweet potato and carrot soup yesterday. We differ in our tastes I think as I simply adore Christmas cake particularly the marzipan! Not that keen on Christmas pudding though. We don’t watch actual television these days – more interested in Netflix and currently re-watching Band of Brothers, also binging on The Crown and The Good Place, which is hilarious.

    I had some lovely presents of books, books and more books! Happy New Year and all the very best for 2018!


    • Hi Penny, I’m sorry that you have felt unwell. Whilst I don’t wish for that, of course, I would welcome feeling off my food for a while! It’s hard getting back to sensible eating post-Christmas, but I shall persist! Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What lovely gifts you received, I love the hare coaster mug and tray.
    I tried royal icing last year and we didn’t really like it, so I just stick to the ready made. Your soup sounds delicious.
    Happy new year to you and your loved ones.


    • Many thanks. Yes, I love the hare set too. I felt very blessed to receive such nice gifts. Wishing you and yours a happy New Year.


  4. What wonderful things you have concocted from leftovers! You are so inventive, and I’d never thought of making soup thick, ready to have stock or water added before re-heating and serving – that’s a very sensible idea, as you say, it takes up less space!
    Your Christmas cake looks stunning, but oh, we love almond paste and icing, so I don’t think our family would appreciate to go without those on top of the cake. Maybe one of these days I will make your recipe (the Bygone’s book one, I mean) and serve it with those lovely fruits and nuts on top.
    Ham, mushroom and Stilton quiche sounds great – I have all these things in the fridge so I might make one, too!
    I’ve never heard of Filorga Time Filler face cream – it sounds like something from Star Trek!
    Margaret P


    • Hello Margaret. I don’t like almond paste/marzipan or Royal Icing so conventional Christmas cake doesn’t work for me. Husband likes rich fruit cake but he gets Christmas pudding which is similar! The thick ‘condensed’ soup was first made accidentally some time ago but then I thought it seemed a good idea to freeze it like that, so if I’m making it specifically for freezing, that’s what I now do.
      I discovered Filorga when I bought a box of summer cosmetic goodies for £10 in M&S. Supposedly £100 worth it seemed worth trying. It was! There were several full size items though the Time Filler was just a small sample. I loved it and have bought some once but it is rather an indulgence. though cheaper to buy online than in M&S . Only the largest branches stock it.


  5. Your Christmas cake looks lovely. Has it all gone? I will have to keep your receipe and make one next year.
    Happy New Year to you both. 🎂🎄


    • There is a single slice remaining, Wendy. I am back (ish!) on my Slimming World plan as of today so I shall leave it to G. Wishing you both a very Happy New Year.


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