Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.
Here we go, here we go, here we go, bang into another New Year. I hope your Christmas went well and your batteries all charged as we all proceed together to take on the challenges of the months ahead. The arrival of January 7th always sees me taking down the Christmas decorations. Having lovingly put them up in good time for the Festive season, it’s equally pleasing to take them all down again when the time is right and is there anything worse than when you have them all carefully packed away in the farthest end of the attic to find one or two items that you missed. Maybe it was an age thing, but I must admit that I didn’t go over board with my glitzy pieces this time. But I did stick to the age-old custom of the single candle (electric of course) lighting continuously on the window from start to finish, even times when I was away. The Crib in very important to me also and it took it’s place of honour gaily bedecked in berry holly and streams of fresh ivy and a couple of lights to brighten up the Holy Family. In all the weeks leading up to December 25th there was an endless array of cooking programs on TV. The poor turkey was bisected and trisected and deboned and stuffed with mountains of butter shoved in under the skin, before it was banished into the oven flat on its back. It mystifies me why is it always placed on it’s back. Thus ensuring that all the juices of the breast will drain away down to the pan. I always place any bird on it’s breast for most of the time letting any juices from the rest of the body seep down into the breast and for the last half hour or 45 minutes turn it over to brown the breast. Never any need for all this basting every fifteen minutes. But then we’re all different, aren’t we? My favourite will always be the turkey stuffed with lots of bread stuffing smothered with spices and onions and even the pick of the carcass is all the more tasteful next day because of it. Pate is a must at Christmas, made from liver and spices and cream. It comes from all kinds of bird or animal. Spread on a slice of toast or a cracker it never fails to thrill the palate. But this year for some reason the makers decided to add lots of cranberries to the mix, spoiling it entirely. A sweetener in a savoury dish does not go down well with me. Christmas changes with the passage of time. Young married couples like nothing better than coming home to parents for the occasion and in some cases the bride likes to go home to Mom and Dad and the groom to his parents not wanting to miss the tastes that they loved so well. But as time moves on and they have children of their own they want to remain in the home which they have created ,where they build their own tastes and customs that will rub off on the youngsters as time goes by. As I’m on the subject of food, a little word of warning. We all love sticky, crusty chicken wings for a quick snack now and then, but lately I have noticed that the bones are very broken and could pose a danger for children or indeed grown ups. So keep an eye out for them.