One of the most heartbreaking things to hear before Christmas is this sentence;
The trouble with making super limited editions of any one thing is explaining that concept to people. I often get these heartbreaking emails and have to write back and say that what they wanted is all gone. I sew from vintage fabric mainly so the likelihood of me sewing more is remote.
It’s a sad situation when you’re the one missing out.
Here then, for the common good is a blog post of lasts. Items that there’s only one left of. Click each image to head through to the shop (it’s not an exhaustive list).
I’ve been thinking about our Christmas tree lately…
We’re staying at home this year, which means we can visit my favourite place – the Christmas tree farm down the road. I love roaming around the different types of trees then picking one for our house. And each time it’s the same routine – I picture the perfect little tree then fall in love and come home with a skyscraper.
Years ago I worked with someone who set a decorating theme each year. At the time I thought that was a bit high-maintenance but over time it’s come to make sense. I like to see a lot of tree and keeping it simple lets you do that relatively cheaply. One year I cut bird silhouettes from white card and tied them on with white ribbon. Another I just did various colours of tinsel.
This year I think I’ll do lights, ribbon and baubles. But I’m not set on what colour…
Then again I really love this simple tree in a basket.
How’s your stress free Christmas going? I’ve got 90% of my presents sorted and 90% of my Christmas cards written and sent. I decided to send one to all my stockists this year, which was a big job and now just a few friends remain to be written to.
We’ve pretty much sketched out the menu and I have ideas for wrapping presents.
Now all that’s left is some proper decorating, which I plan to do this weekend.
It’s not very traditional but a couple of times now we’ve began our served Christmas lunch with a soup course. It pays to create a nice, fresh, light soup so you make it special – not really the kind of occasion where you want Grandma’s rugged vege soup.
You should also serve a small amount – we go for low, shallow bowls to give the soup a restaurant feel. Here’s an easy recipe that never fails and is easy to adapt if you have dairy free people staying.
Pea and rocket soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
700g frozen peas
100g rocket leaves
3 cups (750ml) hot vegetable stock
Shaved Parmesan and rocket leaves to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until soft.
Add the peas and rocket, and cook for a further two minutes.
And the stock and 1 cup of water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Cool slightly and then either blitz the soup with a stick blender or put it in batches into the food processor and blitz it that way. Return to the cleaned sauce pan and heat through.
Serve garnished with shaved Parmesan and extra rocket. I also recommend adding salt to taste.
Today I did a bit of stocking up my online shop. Here’s what’s new:
My online shop is open right until Christmas – last orders will be couriered on Monday, 23 December – that means you can shop right up until Sunday, 22 December.
When we were kids Christmas was huge – heaps of food – heaps of work and then we’d all stuff ourselves and sleep through the afternoon.
As I got older I realised there are different options and a couple of times (when we’re home) Tom and I have planned a Christmas menu and served a plated meal. It means more manageable portions, buying quality over quantity, fewer leftovers, and I find it much more exciting to cook a few special things.
Here’s a couple of sample menus that you could use.
Light spinach soup with basil and dill
New potatoes with mint
Vanilla bean ice cream
Vietnamese spring rolls with duck
Pea and rocket – recipe will be tomorrow’s blog post
Roast lamb with fresh homemade bread and green salad
Individual brown sugar Pavlovas with Greek yoghurt and lemoncello-soaked berries*
*Lemoncello soaked berries are the best. Make or buy lemoncello, put berries in a bowl, cover with lemoncello, leave for a couple of days. They’re REALLY potent and brilliant. If you do raspberries then you can add those to the bottom of a glass of bubbles too.
Sometimes you stumble across the most brilliantly simple idea and it stops you in your tracks. That’s what this idea did to me. A large vase, Christmas baubles and some fairy lights and voilà!
You’ve got yourself a mesmerising masterpiece that:
- Won’t cost you the earth
- Already has the bits and pieces needed to create it just lying around, and
- Looks stunning.