27 December 2012

Christmas Day!

I always get a load of complaints from my kids for taking the same photos every year at the same crucial moments - Presents under the tree, pulling crackers, eating, the cake, etc. etc.  So this year here is my offering - it must be the only "After" pic that is actually worse than the "Before"!

We had a lovely bright sunshiny day full of joy, with all the family under one roof (only just, but that's another story which I might or might not add later!).

Happy Christmas to everyone, and a very healthy (most important) wealthy (useful, in Greece at the moment) and joyful 2013 - one that brings you everything you most wish for.

18 December 2012

Getting ready for Christmas.

Ever since one of our sons informed me that the highlight of his Christmas is "baskets of mince pies" (with heavy emphasis on the "baskets" - meaning lots and lots and lots), I get stuck in nice and early in December and first make the mincemeat and then the pies which I freeze in readiness for the holiday period. This year I have had to make a second load of mincemeat which will be ready for use in a couple of days after it matures in the sherry and brandy in which it is now soaking.
Long ago, probably in my first Corfu Christmas, before the internet gave such easy access to recipes and changed our lives, and before the local shops stocked the wide variety of ingredients now available, three of us "foreign" wives got together to make mincemeat and Christmas puddings. Reading our recipe books told us that we needed suet, so we trotted down to the local abatoir (not a pleasant experience) and asked for "xigi apo nefro" much to the curiosity of the Greek workers there. Returning home, and remembering the instructions of our various mothers, we put it in the fridge until it hardened and then began to grate it. Well, I can still remember the increasingly gooey mess as the nasty fatty stuff began to soften and become less and less "grate-able". We all swore never to do it again, even if it meant going without mince pies! A few years later I discovered that you don't actually have to have suet anyway, and that grated butter is just fine, or even nothing at all. I wonder why no-one told us then?

Coffee and mulled wine in our office

On Thursday we celebrated the start of the Christmas season with what is becoming a regular annual event - mulled wine, mince pies, coffee and cup-cakes (didn't they used to be called buns?).
Loads of people turned up this year to check out the new office d├ęcor - courtesy of Kourasanit, an amazing material that creates waterproof surfaces on walls, floors and shelves. Ideally suited to the Greek-island style that is so much in fashion, our office now looks very trendy indeed. If anyone is interested, we have colour samples and brochures available and will be happy to show off our new look!
Thank you to everyone who found the time to come. 

12 December 2012

Winter is DEFINITELY here

I can only agree with Diana, winter is most definitely here! This photo shows the hail stones in my garden, falling in just a few minutes. The temperature was so low that the carpet of hail stayed for more than a day afterwards. Brrr...