Archive | December, 2012

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20 Dec

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

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19 Dec

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14 Dec

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13 Dec

First Winter Snow

3 Dec

One good thing about not being able to get to sleep, is that you see things you would otherwise miss. Like the first winter snow falling silently from an orange sky.

Son had heard on the weather forecast that there was snow coming and had been checking the window all day, but when he went to bed there was still no sign of it. Shortly after 2am, he woke himself up coughing. Instead of letting him fall back to sleep, I whispered to him that it was snowing and asked if he wanted to see. He sleepily lifted his arms to me so I carried him to the window. Squinting through tired eyes, he nodded and croaked ‘good’ then I tucked him back into bed. He fell asleep with the biggest smile on his face.

By the time he woke again, there was barely a hint of snow and he couldn’t remember me showing him during the night. I hope there will be plenty more to come, he has his heart set on building a huge snowman. A little treat in Elf’s pocket soon cheered him up though; a chocolate, a small bag of sequins and a note asking if he could make some decorations to brighten up Great Gran’s flat.

We were going to make four of these triangles, stick them together into a pyramid then hang it over a bottle. However, son’s attention span was particularly short today and barely covered making this one, so it will probably just be made into a picture. Not to worry, I’m sure Elf will have a few more suggestions for him over the next couple of weeks.

Christmas Hot Chocolate

2 Dec

I’m not a big fan of hot chocolate out of a packet. I haven’t tried it since I was a child because the memory of that chalky feeling in my mouth just puts me off. But the idea of hot chocolate is one that appeals. I love chocolate, I want to love hot chocolate. So I thought I’d better have a go at making my own. I had to anyway, the Elf told me to.

I’ve never made hot chocolate before so, rather than follow a recipe, I thought I’d do the sensible thing and just chuck some chocolate and milk in a pan, heat it up, and see how it goes. Quantities were based on ‘what was left in the bottle’, so about three quarters of a pint of whole milk and half a small tub of single cream. I had two 100g bars of chocolate in the cupboard, one dark and one milk, so I tried 60g dark and 40g milk. I know this because, rather conveniently, each bar of chocolate had ten squares.

It tasted quite nice but I thought it could do with something extra to make it a bit different. I considered a pinch of chilli powder but didn’t have any, curry powder sounded yucky, so I went with the only other thing in the cupboard – mixed spice. I used a measuring spoon (so that I didn’t accidentally tip half a jar in) and added a bit less than a quarter teaspoon, then gave it a good whisk for frothiness.

It made four small cups of some rather good hot chocolate. A small cup was enough as it was really quite rich, but I was pleasantly surprised with how nice it was and the mixed spice made it taste all christmassy. Granny and Grandad both approved but son was not keen. I think if I make it for him I would have to use more milk chocolate and maybe less cream so it’s not as rich.

I’d like to try it again but, as I am generally rubbish at cooking, I’ve no idea how it can be improved. Should I boil the milk or just warm it? Would more spice be too much? If any of you can tweak my recipe a bit to make it even better, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

The Magic Of Christmas

1 Dec

I know I say this every year, but I can’t believe it’s December already! As son has not been having a good time of late, I plan to make this the best, most magical christmas ever, but despite scribbling ideas in a notebook for the last couple of weeks, I am still totally unprepared. Last year, Elf came to visit. Son remembered and asked about him so was pleased to hear that he would be returning this year, but I haven’t told him anything else about my plans.

Last week, we borrowed Polar Express on DVD from a friend. Son had never seen it before and sat captivated all the way through. He even cheered when they made it across the ice! He loved it. Which is why I was sat up until silly o’clock this morning preparing this:

The first gift of christmas, brought by his Elf. Son was over the moon. His face lit up before he even got the box open as he realised what it was, and it was so good to see him so happy and excited. He kept ringing the bell and telling us all that he could hear it because he believed Santa was coming, and checking that I could hear it, and granny could hear it, then had a whole conversation with the Elf about it. It was magic.

I’m sure, as parents, there are many of us who do things like this to make christmas a truly magical time for our little ones. I bet there’s a good chance that while the little ones are busy staring, full of wonder, that a few knowing looks are exchanged between the adults. How many of us secretly wish that it really was magic, that these things just happened and didn’t have to be set up by us? That Santa really had just flown over on his sleigh and dropped an elf off at your house?

What if, when you looked out of the window that morning, there was a huge chunk of ice on the road outside your house? Or is it compacted snow? What if you knew that there had been no snow falling at all, anywhere near where you lived and a quick scout of the area found…nothing? What if that groove in the top of the ice was just wide enough for the runner of a sleigh…

 

I believe.

Do you?