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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I have finished another panel on Nature's home. To me, the colours on the squirrel looked really like, I would have expected them to be either dark brown or reddish. However, I just carried on and it does look quite nice now actually. Those are the only 3 panels finished (out of 35), so long way to go.

The children are still on holiday, and our office closes early. We have nothing really planned for New Years Eve. I'm 'on call' and I'm quite happy about this...Nafees has this thing about going to Central London on New Years Eve to join the masses - and I hate it. I can't stand big crowds, and as I'm the driver on top of that, I will have to drive back through massive congestion - done it before, a 1 hour journey took me 4 hours - never again. So, very conveniently, I'm on call and can't really leave the house to go to a very noisy place. Maybe I can convince him to just go to a restaurant, and if he wants to go, I really don't mind.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Danial has hardly ever left his room since I've got the children the computer for Christmas! I went out to the sales yesterday ... no, I'm not one to go mad over the sales and launch myself into those crowds - that is something I try to avoid at all costs. And I don't really need anything, as in .. reallllly need it, so there is no need to go to the sales.

However, It's Imran's birthday of course on the 27. December, and every year the same.... I think that I wait to buy his present until after Christmas so I can get it reduced. And every year the same.... whatever he want's is not reduced. Isn't it aways the same, whatever I need is not reduced. Anyway, I went out and bought him a PSP (Playstation Portable) with 3 games - that's what he wanted. No point buying a 13 year old boy stuff he might or might not like. So, it was of course exactly the same price in 'Game' as before the Christmas. And tonight, he wants as to go to Nando's as a family.

My turkey recipe

My turkey turned out fantastic this year, it was moist and I didn't even had to put it in the miccrowave to finish it off as ususally I had to do every year - infact, I think it was the best ever Christmas meal I've cooked - so I will write the recipe down here and, if nothing else, I have something to come back to next year ;-)). This is easy-peasy. I loosely followed Jamie Oliver's recipe. but didn't make my own stuffing.

I bought the turkey fresh on Christmas eve, weight 9lb. I had it in the fridge overnight (not freezer). Take the turkey out of the fridge about 2 hours before start. To calculate cooking time: 20 mins per 1lb of turkey (9lb turkey = 3 hours cooking time) + extra 20 mins allowing for stuffing's weight + an extra 20 mins on top of everything = 3 hours and 4o mins for a 9lb turkey.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C. Also, prepare the stuffing (I have used ready-made stuff)

2. wash and dry the turkey

3. rub with lemon, then brush with olive oil and put on salt and pepper (I didn't have ground pepper in the house, so just put a few whole peppercorns on the top and in the cavity.

4. put the stuffing into the neck cavatiy (the round end). I sort of went in with my hand and separated the skin from the meat and put my stuffing in between the skin and the meat, sort of like another layer in between.

5. In the cavatiy, I put one cut apple and a few slices of lemon.

6. Put the turkey in the oven (breast side down - this makes the breast nice juicy, it really works, though the breast will be a little bit deflated), and cover the turkey loosely with a sheet of
tin foil (don't wrap the turkey, because the air still has to circulate).

7. For the 1st. hour, don't look into the oven at all. After that, baste every 20 mins with a bit of olive oil, salt and the juices which collect in the bottom of the tin.

6. After 3 hours, remove the tin foil from the top for the next 20 mins (to brown the bird on the bottom). You can now also remove the juice from the tin and use it to make your gravy)

7. For the last 20 mins, turn the turkey over so the breast is on top, no tinfoil, for the breast to roast.

Voila! I served this with roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, honey roast carrots, brussel sprouts and parsnips.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whereever in the world you are.
I've put my turkey in, yes, it is turkey this year after last year's disaster with the goose which really didn't taste nice. I'm sure it must have been me and I did something wrong rather than something wrong with the product, but I really don't want to take that chance again. So we went to West Ham yesterday to get meat. We finished work at 1 pm, than I dashed home and quickly tiedied the house up. Then I picked Nafees up from West Ham, and back home, we wrapped the presents. The children don't believe in Father Christmas any more anyway, so I placed the presents under the tree (I personally don't feel it is such a big deal to believe in this anonoumus figure of 'Father Christmas'... ? Sorry, I don't mean to be a scrooge or something, I love the season etc).
We bought the children a PC for Christmas, so at least my laptop will be all mine now! :-))
Anyway, here is some progress from the last two weeks: Nearly finished Spring Queen, but than it suddenly came to me what to stitch for Rachel - a towel with a little Poodle, so I quickly finished that last weekend. I forgot to take a picture, but will ask Rachel.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The days just seem to pass so quickly, only 1 1/2 weeks left for Christmas. We have put the Christmas tree up, but the big lights for the patio window don't work... I remember now that I wanted to get a new set last year in the sales after Christmas. Of course, I didn't, thinking that Christmas is a looong time away. Well, here we are ;-(( Anyway, I have the pressies for the children ready. Mum's parcel arrived - she sends me a parcel with lots of German sweets every year, and boy, do we love it. I've put the children's bags away, but keep having to sneak at 'my' sweets bag *sssht*
What I like most about the season is the lights in the window, and I always like to get my cross stitch out for Christmas. I think one of my memories as a child is that I had some sort of kit been given, and I was stitching under the tree... long time ago. Usually, I would stitch Christmas stuff now, but this year I just keep to my usual rotation, as I finally want to finish something!

Linda Davies 'Wilderniss of Mirrors'

The title and picture somehow sugggested a romantic novel. Well, it sort of tabs into the romantic novel market by using similar style, but is a spy-crime story. Good research and insight into venture capitalist market.
Blurp reads:
The Target - Robie Frazer, a Hong Kong businessman of legendary wealth, vast multinational interests and unparalleled, violent corruption.
The Trap - set by MI16, baited with a diamond mine in Vietman, masterminded by the charismatic and mercurial Andrew Stormont.
The Lure - two women, once friends. the first an undercover agent and reformed heroin junkie, has good reason to hate Frazer. The second is a high flying venture capitalist who can provide finance for the mission. Both will become key players in the game to trap Frazer - a ame which will climax in a terrifying hunt to the kill in the Vietnam jungle.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I'm just no good at taking pictures of stitching (close up stuff), I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. This one is taken with a 4 million pixel phone camera, quite a good camera. Well, I don't know, nothing I ca do about it. Anyway, this is my progress on the little labrador picture. it is fun to stitch and won't take me long to finish. Now she's got eyes!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Rachel's Poodle is coming along very very slowly. Considering that I thought I can stitch this in a few months.... I was gonna have it ready for her birthday in April, and now it won't even be ready for Christmas. I like stitching on the tiny 18ct Aida, but the colours are all very similar, so this is tedious.

©2009 The Pegster | by TNB