What A Wonderful Time of The Year….Despite Covid

Welcome to my last blog of 2020, and guess what?! My Christmas Blog! This blog will be a little longer than a “typical” blog should be because I have so many things to share with you all. So why not put on some Christmas tunes, snuggle up with a hot chocolate wearing your Christmas Pyjamas, and, enjoy!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some Christmassy baking and cooking. As a vegetarian of 21 years I’ve been making this spiced lentil and spinach pastry (recipe from my Aunty) for many years, for the past 2 years I’ve been making this dish both vegetarian and gluten free. It’s very big for one person, so I tend to cut it into 6ths and freeze until needed.


I really struggled to find gluten free Red Split Lentils – the ones suggested are called “Nato Red Split Lentils” I unfortunately couldn’t find these. I am part of CoelaicUK which is amazing, they have dieticians on hand to speak to you about any issues you are having, I called and spoke to a dietician and said the Red Split Lentils I had “may contain gluten” she informed me that, if washed properly they should be ok so I have used them. Next year (hopefully not in lockdown so I can actually go shopping and not rely on deliveries) I can purchase some officially gluten free Red Split Lentils.

One of my number on Christmas traditions is drinking Mulled Wine, even better, making your own homemade Mulled Wine https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/jamie-s-mulled-wine/ Last year I went Christmas Shopping in Oxford with my Dad, we stopped for a Mulled Wine in our favourite Oxford pub – The Turf, best Mulled Wine I’ve every had. The Turf is off the beaten track located in a beautiful area of Oxford City Centre, it’s very “Harry Potter” esque – you’ll have to have a substantial meal with your Mulled Wine this year (Tier twoers).

One of my favourite nibbles at Christmas is Delia Smith’s Vegetarian Sausage Rolls – I make these gluten free – remember if you’re making gluten free pastry you’ll need Xanthun gum (only half a teaspoon max). https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/vegetarian-recipes/vegetarian-sausage-rolls

Who else has festive traditions? I’m sure they will be very different this year because of Covid. One thing won’t change, our fresh Christmas Tree, which we don’t put up until, at the earliest 17th December, we like to keep our tree up until January 6th. I have previously mentioned I am part of Rock Choir, this time of year we would be doing loads of Christmas gigs, wearing our Christmas hats. My favourite Rock Choir Christmas gig has to be when we perform at Bath Abbey. I am really really missing Rock Choir, but this time of year I am missing it more, what I would give to be singing Hallelujah and Christmas Carols (which I can still do, not the same though!) Rock Choir are releasing a Christmas single “Keeping The Dream Alive” with 4500 rock choir voices on, we all recorded ourselves at home – Proceeds for Mental Health Charity. Also, who’s going to miss Christmas parties?!, I’ll miss spending time with those people more than the actual event. We usually like going to the local Carol Service on Christmas Eve, which I am guessing won’t be happening this year. Despite all the changes and the restrictions, we still plan on making the holiday special. So watch out neighbours we’ll be putting our Carols on full blast and having our own Christmas Carol Service! On Christmas Eve I like to wear some new Pyjamas to wake up in on Christmas morning (hopefully some new slippers too!) On Christmas Day we’re allowed to have 3 family households mixing – we’re just having my Grandmother over (England restrictions- which of course could change), unfortunately my Uncle won’t be able to come over from Holland. On Christmas Day we like to take all day to open presents. For our breakfast my Dad, and my Uncle, when he’s here like to have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. My mum and I have buttermilk pancakes with fresh fruit and maple syrup, and, of course a cheeky bucks fizz. Then it’s time to dress up in a new outfit and cook the Christmas lunch, carols playing, a few breaks opening some presents. Christmas lunch is my favourite meal of the year! My gluten free lentil dish, gluten free bread sauce, fairy cabbages (Brussel Sprouts) and all the trimmings. We then watch the Queens speech, to be honest I usually doze off (don’t tell the Queen that!!) we have our pudding – the Christmas Pudding I showed you in my last blog, which we’re making into a black forest gateua, if I haven’t dozed off! We go for a dog walk, hopefully in the snow. Then we settle down for the evening, maybe play a game or two and see what Christmas TV is on ( who else buys the TV guide and highlights all the Christmas tv shows and films they want to watch?!) I hope we have another Gavin and Stacey special this year, and, of course Vicar of Dibley, they’re excitingly showing three 10minute new clips on the back off traditional episodes. On Boxing Day we like to go for a nice long family walk and eat leftovers. Our Christmas is pretty traditional simple, but that’s what we absolutely love.

Rock Choir Christmas Gig

Talking of Christmas traditions my Mum and I, for as long as I can remember have been making a Christmas Wreath.

My Oasis is 18 inches

Soak your Oasis ring in water for 24 hours. We use large head Gypsophelia which we get from a flower market, cut very small springs and put into the oasis ring, making sure the whole ring is covered with flowers. Once fully covered spray with clear glitter spray (reading the glitter spray instructions and making sure you’re in a well ventilated area). Then it’s time to display your beautiful wreath!

Ta dah!! Beautiful wreath

Well, that’s it, last blog of the year! I am guessing New Year will be a quiet one too. I’m sure things will be different in my next blog, will we have a vaccine? What tier will we be in? Whatever you do, be safe. I’ll see you next year for my January Blog – which I would love to hear your New Year’s Resolutions!


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