Preparation – word of the week

Some weeks, it feels like I’m wading knee-high through treacle. Takes real effort to get anything done. This week was one of those. Enthusiasm was waning. Looking back, I couldn’t think of anything remotely remarkable for my weekly roundup. I’d taken one photo all week, which wasn’t a lot of help. Thankfully, Eldest Teen was on hand to point out that I’d not been sitting around imitating a bowl of gloop. Turns out progress and preparation had been made.

I must be on auto pilot.

In the kitchen

I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen. Baking and preparing. I made vats of pasta sauce and apple/strawberry pie fillers. Separately, of course. Not sure they’d taste right together.

It’s always quite a work up, but worth it. Each jar represents the basis for a meal or pudding, which saves time later. A ready meal. The jars are preserved/canned, so they go straight into my store cupboard, with no need to refrigerate or freeze. Sixteen jars added. I’m pretty pleased with how they all look on the shelf. We’ve already eaten a few jars, I made a month ago. The contents taste as fresh as the day I made them. It is quite astonishing. I’m loving this process of preserving.

Mr TTC juiced a crate of apples. We pasteurized them, so they can sit in the store cupboard too. Although this weekend, I might crack one open to make a non-alcoholic version of mulled cider. I think it will be perfect for it.

I still have a good number of apple crates left. This weekend, I’m going to do a batch of apple and cinnamon pie fillers. It will use up the last of my preserving jars. Already added apples to my mincemeat, today. It’s soaking in port and will be put in jars tomorrow. I based mine on this recipe from The National Trust. I can assure you that my kitchen now smells far more alcoholically than any self respecting kitchen should at 10 am on a Friday!

(For anyone outside the UK, mincemeat is sweet and goes in mince pies and cakes. No meat in it, unless you use beef suet, which I don’t.)

(chrysanthemums from the garden)

Christmas preparation

We’ve organised all the Christmas food and trimmings, this week. As the least organised person, this is pretty good going for me. We are using all local, family businesses and avoiding supermarkets as best we can. Leaves the precious Christmas supermarket booking slots for people who need them. In the spirit of a traditional Christmas, I’ve even ordered my Christmas tree, which I have never, ever done before.

{pauses, to allow this fact to soak in}

Before you are lulled into the false impression that somehow I’ve morphed into someone efficient, I better put you right. I haven’t even started on the presents. Nothing. Zilch. Probably this weekend.

(“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” – You have Mail)

Family time

Despite all my Christmas preparations, I’m insisting that we don’t get truly into the festive spirit until later. We’ve settled on the last weekend in November, but that’s only because Dec 1st is in the middle of the week. Strictly no decorations, music or films till then.

To plug the gap, we have organised a series of family movie evenings. Themed, of course. Now they are teens, the children tend to go off and do their own thing, so an evening like this is becoming rarer than hen’s teeth.  We watched “You have Mail“, this weekend, which was a perfect choice. A new one for the children. Set in autumn and has some of the best movie quotes.

Right, that’s my week. How about yours? (By the way, I will cover my ears if you tell me that you have all your gifts bought and wrapped. La la la. Can’t hear! Or should that be eyes/see? 😆 )

I’m joining in with Anne’s word of the week linky. My word is Preparation.

Word of the Week linky

10 thoughts on “Preparation – word of the week

  • Friday 20 November, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    You sound more prepared than me so you don’t have to put your fingers in ears 🙂 I have decided on the end of November for Christmas prep. too. We generally wait until December but as you said it starts midweek, and with so many starting early this year it’s getting me feeling left behind. I wish I had a cupboard full of yummy prepared jars. I even bought a ready made apple pie this week…that’s just made me feel sad, especially when I know very well how to make one from scratch. Oh, if I could just get out of my treacle life…..

    • Monday 23 November, 2020 at 1:46 pm

      We all buy apple pie occasionally. We all need to. Niggles me because I have a storeroom of apples, but not always the time.

  • Saturday 21 November, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Oh no! Sorry you have had a week where it’s taken so much effort but I am glad you have got things done. It sounds like you did loads in the kitchen.
    We have decided the tree is going up tomorrow. I can’t wait! hehehe x

    • Monday 23 November, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      I do love seeing everyone’s Christmas tree photos via Instagram. Looking forward to putting ours up next weekend.

  • Sunday 22 November, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    I thought your photo was black beans and rice! 😀 So, what’s that rice-looking stuff, if I may ask? (They sell jars of mincemeat over here – it’s a mysterious article. I’ve never bought it; I’d need an appealing recipe to try it.)

    • Monday 23 November, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      Ha! I can see what you mean. No this really is sweet mincemeat. The white bits are shredded suet. I have to admit, they always put me off eating mincemeat straight from the jar, which is no bad thing. Scrummy when cooked in a pie. I add a few spoonfuls to fruit cakes to add a bit more moisture and richness. I’ll do my best to share a few more recipes and maybe I’ll win you over.

  • Monday 23 November, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    We have started trying to have family movie night once a week but it is so much harder with teens to get them all to agree on a movie and to find something that none of them have watched before. I have some gifts bought and wrapped and we’ll bring out decorations after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. #MMBC

    • Monday 23 November, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      That is the problem with family movie night. We’re going for oldies and have been fairly lucky so far. It’s been fun for me, as it turns out I’ve forgotten most of the stories! Thought I knew them. I think it makes absolute sense to wait until after Thanksgiving.

  • Tuesday 24 November, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Those weeks when you feel like you’re wading through treacle aren’t much fun. It sounds like you’ve had a very productive week in the kitchen though and how lovely to have a store cupboard full of home made pasta sauce, pie filling and apple juice. That mincemeat looks good. Well done on organising Christmas food and trimmings already. Love the sound of the family movie nights. #WotW

    • Friday 27 November, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Hadn’t realised how much fun we’d have just deciding on the movie, let alone watching them. 😆 It is a good family time.

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