Belated happy christmas!

Hope everyone had a cracking crimbo. I spent mine in the deepest, darkest recesses of Gloucestershire, i.e. the quiet parish of Maisemore. Normally I would go back to Sweden for a family Christmas, but this year I decided to be an adult and spend it away from my parents. At the grand old age of 32, I thought it was about time…

The journey down was very exciting. This exciting, in fact:

On the road

This could have something to do with the sugar-laden picnic I had prepared, including some pretty gooey-tastic chocolate treats. Hubba.

That sort of set the tone for the rest of Christmas and indeed, this blog post. It was aaaall about the fodder. I had prepared by baking a pretty damn mean almond cake, courtesy of Nigella Lawson, but sadly forgot to take a picture of it before it was devoured… Make it. Go on, do it – the combination of a full packet of butter and half a block of marzipan can only equal a happy tummy. Unless you eat the whole thing. Not that I would know. Anyway.

Since Christmas Eve is the day we celebrate in Sweden, I got to milk Christmas for three whole days, unlike the Brits who just get Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It started with a rather lovely breakfast of poached eggs and bacon on toasted muffin, with a glass of prosecco.

Xmas breakfast

Yes, it was only 11AM but it’s only once a year… I had also volunteered to cook a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner for Christmas Eve – this also conveniently got me out of doing anything on Christmas Day! The traditional thing to eat at a Swedish Christmas table is a baked ham, so I went for this one by British TV chef Phil Vickery. I’ve made it before and it takes a while but is always mega-tasty. I’m making another one for New Year’s Eve, by request. I also made Swedish Hasselback potatoes, along with Delia’s braised red cabbage and a sprout gratin. I’ve never been a fan of sprouts but when you cover them in creme fraiche, bacon and cheese, anything becomes tasty.

Here’s the Christmas table and dishes in all their honour:

Xmas table

Spread

Considering this was the first time I had ever cooked a Christmas dinner, I was pretty proud of myself. Now I know (about a fifth of) what my mum goes through every year, and why she was glad to get out of it this year! But it looked ever so purdy:

Full plate

By the way, I had about two of these bad boys. There’s no stopping me at Christmas.

But then! Oh. Then these little boys showed up:

Puppies

Two little puppies! So utterly cute! The blonde one is Alex and the brown one is Oscar. They were incredibly playful and cuddly and settled in surprisingly fast. Within five minutes they were climbing all over their “brother”:

Jono + puppies

They also quickly adopted a pair of slippers as their own and were met with not much resistance from the man of the house. I mean, would you?

Puppies playing

The rest of Christmas was mostly spent playing with the boys, eating, drinking and sleeping. We did venture outside on Christmas Day but were stopped at the end of the road by seasonal flooding.

Flooding

So we did the sensible thing – went to the pub.

Season’s greetings all!

x

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