Christmas is over again

Another Christmas done and dusted. This time it was a Coddington Christmas. My brothers trekked to Redbank, to spend it with my 88-year-old mother. We ate one of the piggies as our Christmas ham, glazed with dark ale, one of the now defunct Martinborough Brewing Company ales, called ‘The Square Ale’, mixed with mace, brandy, brown sugar and butter. This is one Christmas season I shall not tire of ham. We also had roasted turkey, basted over four hours in a whole bottle of Palliser Riesling (rated as one of the best by top wine writer Michael Cooper in the latest Listener magazine). We don’t usually use it for cooking, we drink lots of it, but this was a special occasion. The turkey was perfect, not dry at all. The traditional accompaniments – roast agria potatoes, roast golden kumara, fresh asparagus, Cumberland sauce, gravy – yum!

Sister-in-law Angela made lovely Christmas puddings and brandy butter sauce.

But of course we started the day with Christmas cake, made as usual by CCQC, to his mother’s recipe, and iced to perfection – this year with butter icing – by him.

We washed this down with Palliser methode, while we opened the presents from under the tree. I love decorating the tree. We choose it from The Real Christmas Tree Company in Featherston, bring it home and put it up together, then I climb up into the attic and get the decorations and hang them all over the branches before putting the lights up last. Even without any children at home any more, it’s still fun.

As usual, CCQC spoiled me rotten. We were given a new colour printer which is also a photocopier, a CD burner, scanner, fax machine. Plus a lovely bracelet, and a commercial hairdryer because I’m always grizzling about the cord twisting on my old one.

CCQC got from me two beautiful bowls made by local farmer Denis Handyside, one of jarra with copper and ebony insets, and the other of holly with some sort of green wood insets. They’re amazingly detailed and works of art, not to be used. I also gave him a silk tie and silk hankie (cos he’s a Silk), and biography of Sir Ranulph Fiennes.  

Amazingly we had a perfect hot day, with no wind. Can’t say I’m sorry Christmas is over, though, it’s a pretty exhausting time of year. Now we’ve got a month of summer in the vineyard stretching ahead of us to enjoy.

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