Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Merry English Christmas 2014

Well, as previously noted, Christmas 2014 was one that I mostly slept through due to a powerful attack of what I think the doctor called bronchitis and from which I am still healing.

I had meant to finish my son's new college quilt for Christmas. Instead I presented the blocks to him in a box and teased him that "there it is!" Truely this Christmas my family has learned to laugh and make the most of the little things. =) I never got to finish Christmas shopping and plan B has now moved into plan C. Alas...

From the costume sewing basket I had meant to handsew a new 18th century shift for my daughter and a new 18th century frock coat for my son. Alas...

So what did we do?

We got to attend a beautiful candlelight service at Patrick Henry College in early December, which can be viewed here in gorgeous photo format. This lovely depth of meaning of the Reason for the Season carried us through the rest of the Christmas season. One of the guys who stayed with us for Thanksgiving was in the chorale, which made it all the more exciting. Also one of the chorale members, Teresa Scanlan, is a previous Miss America! I follow her on facebook and it was fun to finally see her in person. Yes, she is a PHC student! This beautiful concert, Lessons and Carols, can be viewed here.

The weekend before Christmas my family decorated the house. Then on Christmas Day, I had my husband bring me an America Test Kitchen cookbook where I showed him the recipe to follow for roast beef. I grew up with turkey dinners for Christmas but that is labor intensive, whereas I prefer to play with my family on Christmas. Years ago we started the tradition of ham for Christmas, but my husband has high blood pressure and is on a low salt diet.  Last Christmas the ham was too salty for all of us and simply wasn't enjoyable.  This year I thought I'd do a roast beef and replicate an English Christmas, with a touch of colonial history. Alas, I succombed to the bronchitis and any movement on my part, or even attempts at spoken words, brought horrible coughing. I literally slept and coughed through Christmas as powerful meds worked to slowly heal  me. Therefore the idea of an English Christmas never took full fruit, however, my husband and son made the most of it (because by now my poor daughter was sleeping and coughing through Christmas too).

Thus I told my husband about a Yorkshire Pudding recipe in a Colonial Williamsburg cookbook. I love Yorkshire Pudding, which we rarely have, and I knew it would make the dinner more special and English. For the rest of dinner I suggested mashed potatoes (which my husband loves), gravy, salad, and green beans with almonds, served with sparkling cider.

For once my husband, who likes every detail of Christmas busy-ness to happen, did not feel like clearing off the dining room table of my past sewing project (the quilt for my son) to become festive. I told him I was okay with eating at the kitchen table.  As it was, my head usually succombed to wanting to lay down to sleep in the middle of family dinners, yet I did want to be with my family.

When my husband called us to dinner, I found this festive kitchen table!


Then the dinner plates arrived!


Oh my goodness! This was the most succulent roast beef I have ever tasted! This is saying a lot, because the only other roast beef my husband cooked was over 20 years ago which burnt to a crisp! And that Yorkshire Pudding was a delight! Everything was delicious and all agreed that this intimate table settle and English dinner was perfect!

Thus these were the highlights of our Christmas season this year!


  1. That is indeed a very English dinner! I'm glad that you were all able to enjoy it, despite being, to use an English word, 'poorly'. And congratulations to your husband for cooking it all so well; Yorkshire Pudding isn't easy.

    1. Oh, it is? Yea!!! If you have other ideas for me for next year, I'd love to hear them! =)