Christmas preparations

This year end is crazier than last year (in 2013 I have finished with NV office move in November and in December 2014 looked very good and promising, little did I know haha). Of course, 2014 has given me a lot and there were great moments, however, this is also a year when I gave up fitness because I couldn’t find any time for it in my life due to work, I also lost weight because I didn’t have enough time to lunch and I think I have turned into a misanthrope because human stupidity drove me to that. My colleague shared a great picture that still cracks me up:

True that. But I have also met so many great people who helped me along the way, made me laugh, shared the work stress and just were there for me – that is truly precious :)

These last days before Christmas are still full on: today I left at 6 and decided to work from home tomorrow as it is officially half day on Christmas Eve. In the remaining half a day I need to clean the house, put the turkey in the brine, make lemon and chocolate chip biscuits for the presents, buy remaining groceries and decide what to wear on the day. Oh and wrap presents :)

This year we are going to host Christmas for the first time which is such a grown up thing to do, eek =)

For breakfast I am thinking of making buckwheat blinis with salmon and cream cheese (for Ben it will have to be some kind of meat as he doesn’t like salmon).

We will have 4 friends coming over and everyone is responsible for some part of the menu. We are making:

  • stuffed brine roast turkey & potatoes/parsnips, cabbage
  • Christmas pudding (I have selfishly bought it from WholeFoods)
  • biscuits
  • pigs in blankets
  • (a reminder to buy sage, thyme, basil, bay leaves, rapeseed oil and mulled wine set).

Our friends are bringing roast pork and veggies, mince pies, wine, cheese, grapes, vegetarian roast for a vegetarian friend.

I decided to use the brine because I like juicy meat, the recipe is quite simple – vegetable broth, herbs, salt, cider/water, turkey – left overnight and then rinsed, pat dried and roasted. This is all new terrain – I have never celebrated Christmas and cooked turkey before, so I am looking forward to it.

Another thing I am making is lemon chocolate chip cookies: lemon juice, zest, eggs, self raising flour, butter, sugar, chocolate chips. First batch is already in the oven. I was very much inspired by the looks of these cookies even though I do not like sugar cookies.

And this is how the same blogger (Emily Schumann, the author of cupcakes and cashmere) makes icing:

And while I am preparing all of this, on the background is my favourite Soviet film :)

I am slightly breaking tradition here as this film is supposed to be watched on 31st of December while waiting for Russian president to make a speech on TV. I haven’t followed this tradition for… many years by now.

Merry Christmas! =)