Monday, 14 December 2009

Home for Christmas

Im back! I've returned home, back to my lovely family and welcomed to an amazingly decked out Christmassy house (oh how much I love Christmas). I can't begin to explain how great it is being home, it seems all my worries and fears have just gone out the window. Or probably are all locked up somewhere waiting to be released again once I return back to England. But for now everything is great, although I have had to bring along with me, my lecture notes and books.

Christmas is a time where we Georgoulopoulos' truly go all out! The whole house is decorated from top to bottom with ginger bread men, candy canes, baubles, santa hats, fairy lights, holly berries, rudolf cuddly toys and of course the all important Christmas tree. I've probably painted a crazy, tacky, over the top picture in your heads of what our house looks like. But our house looks amazing at Christmas and isn't tacky at all. Instead, it is warm, inviting and puts a lovely smile on your face.

I arrived on Saturday night and immediately on Sunday (after an amazing lunch of roast chicken pieces with carrots and onions, accompanied by a bowl of steamed brocolli, cauliflower and dry fried mushrooms with a squeeze of lemon, delicious!) found myself helping my mum make her mince pies for my old schools' Christmas carol concert. I always love helping her make them every year but was quite upset when I realised how much better hers had turned out in comparison to the ones I had made at university. I hadn't tried any of the mince pies I had made last week nor had I tried my mums. But hers looked amazing, smelled even better and just had the crumbliest of pastries (a good thing in my mind). But maybe this is a good thing, that my mums mince pies are better. It makes them more special. It seems they're only perfect when she makes them!

Continuing with the fact that we go all out during this festive time, this is the list of things we have come up with which we have to, or rather want to make/do before next week:
-Gingerbread House
-Gingerbread Tree
-Ouzo Biscuits (Κουλουράκια Ουζου)- A recipe recently found by my dad who used to have these as a child and who is desperate to try them out.
-Melomakarona (Μελομακάρονα) - Traditionally Christmas, greek, syrupy biscuit. Α favourite in our family.
-Fig Chutney (we have a fig tree at our summer house which every year produces hundreds of figs, which we then dry with the intention of eating them all year round. As of now we still have 2 large boxes of them waiting to be used. So we have decided to make a chutney from of them)
-Decorate the Christmas Cake

So from tomorrow our cooking/baking marathon begins. The gingerbread house, gingerbread tree and melomakarona are trusted recipes we use every year, so hopefully there will be no suprises there. However the Ouzo biscuits and fig chutney are recipes we will be trying out for the first time, so fingers crossed. The decorating of the Christmas cake, I've been doing every year. But I still find it quite tricky and there's always a debate on what decoration or design I should put on the top. But I'm so happy to be doing all of this in my home with the people I love around me.

I will be updating you on how all our Christmassy cooking comes along. I think the first thing up will be the fing chutney. Wish me luck.

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